Isles-Caps is a 12:30 start on MSG+ and NHL Network. So if you're out of market and rely on NHL Gamecenter but don't have NHL Network on the tee-vee...sorry.
The Caps are coming in hot -- like the Isles, 7-3 in their last 10 -- and still sporting that 24% power play, including a 3-for-6 performance against Winnipeg. (Somebody cover Ovechkin, okay?!) They've now passed the delightfully slumping Penguins to push Pittsburgh down to fourth in the Metro, but the Caps come into the day five points behind the Isles.
This is the fourth and final regular season meeting of 2014-15. The Isles won the last one on Johnny Boychuk's OT power play blast, which was some revenge for a November regulation loss in D.C., which followed a John Tavares OT power play winner at home.
Register your First Islanders Goal picks here. Catch up on the team and the league below.
- Mikhail Grabovski's on IR with a suspected concussion, meaning Kael Mouillierat is recalled on emergency conditions for an NHL debut at age 27. [LHH | Newsday | Soundin' Off]
- Also at the end of that Newsday link: Another newborn speedster for Michael Grabner.
- The Rat's recall means the Sound Tigers lose their best current forward (in addition to Colin McDonald, who's already up with the Isles). They have 25 games left and no margin for error. [CT Post]
- However: Ryan Pulock is back, and his cannon is no worse for wear. [CT Post]
- But speaking of injuries: A cool roundup by Eric Morris of the week's NHL injuries with outlooks and gifs. Let him know what you think here, there, or @NHLInjury. [Undisclosed Injury]
- Are the Islanders "growing up?" They were all business-like in dispatching the NHL's 1st-place team Thursday. [Newsday | The Checking Line]
- That was Eric Nystrom's "last lap" at the Coliseum. [Isles] Shame he knocked out Grabovski.
- It was also another feather in the cap for a team that has shown itself to be a contender all season long, Willhoft explains in a fireside chat. [LHH]
- A nifty little poster commemorating the Bobby Nystrom goal call, via Hockey By Design. [LHH]
- In defense of Capuano and the Strait usage that frustrates many fans. [Islanders Insight]
- On that note, some fun FanPosts: Reasons for using Strait. When did you start discussing nothing but Brian Strait?] And is this just a wasted season for Matt Donovan? And: an issue with what Newsday chooses to print. Print, in the literal sense.
- Check Japers' Rink for coverage and links about the Capitals.
Beyond the Corridor
- These are players in the NHL with no-trade clauses. The Isles have none. [Fourth Period]
- A sweet look at NHL GM's in terms of who played the game, who's family to someone already in the game, who played and got traded a lot, etc. [Grantland]
- Last night in tanking, the Leafs lost their 14th straight road game (to the Canes), the Oilers were shutout (15 shots) by their former goalie Devan Dubnyk and the Wild, and Buffalo lost to the Rangers but Matt Moulson logged his 300th NHL point.
- In the East's playoff race, the Bruins lost again as poor Malcolm Subban gave up three goals on three shots in the second period to get yanked in St. Louis. From a few losses ago, Cam Neely was already upset with the team, so who knows how he feels now. [Boston Globe]
- The outdoor game in Santa Clara is tonight, with NHL Network's on-site team hilariously spending a huge segment yesterday describing how good the Kings practice was. Dan Bylsma was jonesing to grab a whistle again. Anyway, follow Jewels from the Crown and Fear the Fin for tons of coverage.
- The Jets cannot catch a break: New acquisition Drew Stafford is hurt and day-to-day, while revelation Mathieu Perreault is probably done for the regular season. [PHT]
- Bob McKenzie and Ray Ferraro discuss Ontario's favorite dysfunctional franchise. [Maple Leafs Hot Stove]
- Sad read about Steve Montador, who reportedly did not die of suspicious circumstances, but whose personality had changed the last few years, family said. [THN]
#Fancystats to NHL.com
Just as Ken Campbell
predicted lamented completely misunderstood, the NHL has brought many of the "advanced" or analytic stats to nhl.com.