After a couple of days off on their Western swing, the New York Islanders wrap it up with a visit to Vancouver. Will they carve out a two-goal lead? Will it be another way of spicing up a gift to the opponent?
- The Islanders dropped another two-goal lead, so curses and exasperation and "never seen anything like it" were the words of the weekend. [Newsday]
- Ryan Strome and Anders Lee are learning, attending meetings. [Newsday]
Kevin Poulin did his best to keep them in it, but Bridgeport got outplayed and lost in OT in St. John's. [CT Post]
- Here is perhaps the kindest review of the Islanders' seasonlong Vanek Saga. [LIB Magazine]
- I'll be honest, I never watched wrestling. I'm just a caveman, so your WWE references frighten me. I knew who Hulk Hogan was (is, and forever returning). And Andre the Giant. Maybe the Piper guy. That's it. But here is a look at WWE characters (personas? sports entertainment personalities?) that fit Islanders players and/or fans. [EOI]
- What do you suppose the Flyers will pay Andrew MacDonald? [Broad Street Hockey]
Staple's Chat: On Moulson, Deadline
If you missed the online chat from Newsday beatwriter Arthur Staple -- who somehow receives fans' frustration by proxy -- here are two nuggets to whet your appetite:
On what soured, or why they parted with Matt Moulson in the first place:
I believe Matt Moulson's reps were asking for $6m per for 4-5 years. That was a non-starter for Snow, which in turn upset Moulson quite a bit; there was a lot of tension there as training camp opened. Despite the chemistry and Moulson's place as one of the core Islanders, I think Snow and the staff felt they needed a more dynamic player on the top line to keep up with Tavares' improving play. No one doubts Moulson's heart and ability to mesh well with any players, I think it was primarily a skill observation.
And this has made the rounds a lot, but as to the claim that Bob McKenzie believed multiple Canadian teams made "better offers" for Vanek:
I spoke to Bob McKenzie, the source of this info who is the best there is in my business. He said this bit of info was said during a radio chat and that a couple of teams felt they had better offers to make, but the Islanders would not take salary back -- that is NOT to say they were unwilling to pay part of Vanek's salary. It is to say that those teams were offering players off their roster with decent salaries and not much future that Garth Snow didn't want. Snow wanted a first-round pick for Vanek; barring that, from what I understand (and no one was offering a 1st), he wanted a good prospect, not someone else's salary toss.
Plenty more in the chat transcript.
- More theorizing from how this year's trade deadline got stuck in the mud: The Bruins had a deal for someone in Vancouver (Alex Edler?), but it was pending another Canucks move (believed to be Ryan Kesler to Pittsburgh), yet everything was stopped because the dominoes didn't fall. [Boston Globe]
- Speaking of tonight's opponent, the Canucks are surrounded by doom and gloom. [Metro News]
- The state of Vancouver goaltending after Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo departed? [SB Nation]
Last night's scores. The Blues are in first place, FYI.
- The Kari Lehtonen injury. [Undisclosed Injury, an E. David Morris joint]
- The OHL might poach an NCAA commit. Just another day. [SBN College Hockey]
- Not only is Philly talking head Tim Panaccio still have that mustache, he's also still obsessed with Ilya Bryzgalov's media relations. Dude, it's not like he's Nino or something. [Deadspin] (Oh, Nino is one goal behind Dany Heatley, by the way.)
"It's really tough. You can play a great game, play a great overtime and then you go to a shootout and just because you lose a shootout it feels like you've lost the game -- and you have, and it hurts because you played such a good game. I would rather lose a game by playing the game."
Of course the thing about hockey is it's a low-event game. Goals are inherently scarce. So you either have to manufacture fake ways to generate them quickly (e.g. 4-on-4 with nothing to lose because everyone got a point) or accept that sometimes it's not gonna happen, and both teams deserve a point for a tie game.
But that's not happening, because The People Demand A Winner. Maybe via 3-on-3 or something.
First Islanders Goal picks for tonight, very late tonight (10 p.m. EDT start), go over here.