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Islanders Gameday News: In Philly, with tightness in the Metro

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As the top of the Metro tightens, the Isles could really use one of those win things.

Artists at work.
Artists at work.
Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Islanders are in Philadelphia tonight, and their three-game losing streak has finally cost them: A Penguins win last night drops the Isles to second place in the Metro. A Smurfs win last night tightened the spread to just two points among those top three spots in the division.

Islanders Reads
  • The losses dropped the Isles in the power rankings, too. [LHH]
  • The Islanders, understandably (and glaringly overdue?), spent time yesterday working on the PK. The Flyers have a good power play. Capuano: "For the most part, where we’re giving the shots up from, we’re not really going to change our mindset." [Isles]
  • The Isles no it isn't working. John Tavares (who doesn't do PK) says the PP is an issue too. [Newsday]
  • The Flyers, meanwhile, are mindful that the Isles' awful PK at least is a shorthanded goal threat. [CSN Philly]
  • Oddly late and with an unbelievable -- no really, it is beyond belief -- conclusion ("The fourth line is why the Islanders are, finally, in the thick of a playoff race."), the WSJ praises the fourth line with quotes from Butch Goring and Jack Capuano. [WSJ]
  • The Isles aren't confirming any details of the Okposo "upper body" injury (eye, detached retina, are the reports), so we are left to speculate on whether it's minor or major and whether it threatens their playoff run. [IPB, Too Many Men]
  • Meanwhile, Bridgeport monitors Kevin Poulin's injury. [Soundin' Off]
  • Former Islander Steve Staios discusses his new (but temporary?) role behind the bench with the Leafs after doing a player development role and bringing Scott Pellerin in. [Spec]
  • FIG Picks: Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight right about here.
Beyond the Island
  • Yesterday's NHL drama was all about Evander Kane: Apparently he was scratched for showing up to a team meeting in sweats instead of a suit. [Free Press, by a frequent Kane-basher]
  • That only heats up speculation about whether the Jets would trade him, which would of course be foolishness. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts goes heavy into escrow (a concept players who complain seem never to understand) and the Kane situation. [Sportsnet]
  • The Flyers' belief in Steve Mason was widely mocked, but after 100 games it is starting to look on the mark. Mea Culpa time. [BSH]
  • Speaking of widely mocked...a deep look at the season of Marc-Andre Fleury, who had another shutout last night. [PensBurgh]
  • And on the relentlessly mocked front, it's been nine years since the Oilers played meaningful games and that means fans have missed out on a lot. [Copper & Blue]
  • The autobiography of Val James, the first U.S.-born black player in the NHL. [NYT]
  • Former NHL linesman Ray Scapinello doesn't understand why current (and much-maligned) ref Tim Peel would talk to Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski, and also discusses ref "game management," which isn't done at the insane level it once was. [Sportsnet via Kuklas]