After a brief break and some home cooking, the New York Islanders are back at it tonight in New Jersey, the first half of a back-to-back that continues the seven-game road trip in Columbus tomorrow night. With the gap having narrowed a bit with the two hot teams behind them in the Metro, this is a big weekend.
Right now, the great first three months remain key.
- Not a read, but: The Islanders interviews after practice, where Mikhail Grabovski appeared on the top line. [IslesTV]
- After two losses in a row, they just need tinkering. [Newsday]
- Or secondary scoring. [LIBmagazine]
- More of the "Capuano, Adams candidate" talk. [SI]
- Down Goes Down revisits preseason predictions and found even his optimism may have sold the Isles short. [Grantland]
- Scott Mayfield is "a solid defensive defenseman who obviously needs to work on his first pass," says Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson. [CT Post] Also: That postponed game with Worcester is rescheduled for April 6.
- And Ryan Pulock doesn't need surgery, or at least will try rehab first, meaning he's out at least three weeks, surely missing the All-Star Game. [Soundin' Off | LHH]
- Further down the pipeline, Lukas Sutter was named to the ECHL All-Star shindig as an alternate. [Stockton]
- FIG Picks: Leave your picks for tonight's First Islanders Goal here.
J.P. Parise Remembered
Countless tributes for the beloved former Islander, North Star, and all-around good guy:
- The Star-Tribune with history and great photos | Reflections from Lou Nanne | On a long hockey career |
- More from around the web in their roundup here, including the Newsday piece by Mark Herrmann.
- Larry Brooks in the Post with a nice tribute, and yearning for the days when reporters could drink with players. [Post]
- Puck Daddy on his remarkable hockey legacy.
- Finally, a big thank you to everyone who weighed in on our Parise tribute thread, which also migrated into cherishing parent-child relationships. [LHH]
Around the League
- The Wild sound kind of pissed at their goaltending. [Star Tribune]
- The stupid Kings lost to the stupid Rangers, which means those Smurfs have won 12 of 13 but still haven't caught the Isles. Because when their hot streak began, the standings looked like this.
- Roberto Luongo beat his old team last night (the other old team), and tied Dominik Hasek for 11th on the all-time win list. (Also: The Panthers know their diacritics.) [Panthers Twitter]
- Think Luongo plays guitar? Because that is supposed to help. (No, not Guitar Hero. Sorry.) [NHL]
- Even if the Sens move to LeBreton Flats, success is no sure thing. [Silver Seven]
- It seems Arizona has one of those sports rumor "sources say" guys, and the club burned him for it. [Sporting News | Yahoo]
- A Zemgus Girgensons Latvian hip-hop tribute video. Need I say more? [Puck Daddy]
- It's cold, and the teams are bad, so no one showed up to watch the Canes host the Sabres. [Score]