Tonight is the NHL All Star Game Fantasy Draft. Air time is 7 pm on NBCSN and we'll have more info on that and the game and events coming up in a little bit. But first...
- Bob McKenzie's new book sheds some fascinating light on star athlete John Tavares. Both of them. [LHH]
- Ed Mangano's troll-bait tweet brought up some feelings on the sad recent history of Nassau Coliseum. [LHH]
- The Islanders continue to win, even if few are paying attention. [Sports on Earth]
- Sportstat Super Site fivethirtyeight looks at how the Islanders got where they are. Hm? So maybe they weren't a "tire fire" last year?
- Happy Thomas Hickey. [IPB]
- Which Eastern conference team has the edge post break? [NY Post]
- Sporting News' East rankings like the Islanders. Like, really like the Islanders.
- The team's most important (and enjoyable) games of the first half of the season. [Along the Boards]
- Butch Goring says the wins over the Ducks and Kings were the signals that the Islanders are for real. [NY Post]
- Ex-ref Paul Stewart tells the heartwarming tale of crusty Mike Milbury and the hiring of Peter Laviolette. [Hockey Buzz]
- AHL All Star Aaron Ness looks for a big second half from his Sound Tigers. [Soundin' Off]
- The Islanders teach kids in Hampton Bays a few things. [Patch]
- Only two defenseman have scored hat tricks for the Islanders. You know, but you might not know. [The Skinny]
All Star Stuff
- Jaroslav Halak even takes goofball stuff like the All Star Game seriously. [Islanders]
- Sidney Crosby, who during Tuesday's Flyers-Penguins game was celebrated repeatedly for finally going to his second All Star Game, has bowed out due to injury. He joins teammate Evgeni Malkin who also backed out. Crosby is now ineligible to play in the Penguins return game next Tuesday versus Winnipeg. The Post-Gazette's Seth Rorabaugh has some thoughts on the All Star Game rules.
- Also out is goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who won't get to enjoy an All Star Game in front of his hometown fans. [BlueJacketsXtra]
- It's not bad enough that Crosby, Malkin and Bobrovsky will miss the game, but the NHL's ticket pricing for kids to attend an essentially kid-friendly event is even more disappointing. [The Cannon]
- Where do American All Stars come from? [SCOC]
- You can't have Crosby in Columbus, but you can have this insanely large sausage. [The Cannon]
- Down Goes Brown breaks down the absurd and apathetic about the ASG. [Grantland]
- Looks like the Wild will finally get their outdoor game next year. But their opponent is all wrong. [Defending Big D]
- Don't call it a "tank job." It's a rebuild in Buffalo. [ESPN]
- The Blackhawks got a good one in this Ville Pokka kid. (and yes, the Islanders got one, too, in that Nick Leddy kid). [Second City Hockey]
- The Penguins have lost some good depth players over the years. [Pensburgh]
- An awesome graph project shows who scores with who for every NHL team. Spend some time playing with this.
- I wrote a Zeitgeist-y thing for Battle of California, who is publishing FanPosts just 'cuz.