This season hasn’t exactly been packed with delight, but I am thankful for many people that work hard to bring us Islanders hockey, even in the bad times. If you will allow me the floor for a moment:
- I’m thankful for Brendan Burke, who has stepped seamlessly into Howie Rose’s shoes (not literally) and has brought not only great in-game chops but a sense of humor and awareness of Islanders social media trends that I never expected. It’s been fun so far, even when the games haven’t been.
- I’m still thankful for Butch Goring, who remains an Islanders legacy and an often hilarious (intentionally or not) kindly uncle analyst in the style of his old teammate Chico Resch. I could listen to Butchie’s old war stories all day.
"And of course the empty net goal by Muzzin... that's just gravy on the train." - Butch Goring— Dan Saraceni (@cultureoflosing) November 24, 2016
- I’m thankful for Shannon Hogan, who’s sincerity and smiling face before, during and after games has continued to her blog posts at MSGNetworks.com. She seems to kinda know what we’re thinking as we’re thinking it, which is a little crazy. But she's always a warm, welcome presence.
- I’m thankful for Arthur Staple, who single-handedly faces the horde of angry Islanders fans everyday but is always available with information and humor whenever we ask. I’m not sure I could keep it together the way he has all these years, dodging more shots than any other messenger in the NHL. I'm pretty sure they don't teach you that stuff in journalism school.
- I’m also thankful for CT Post’s Michael Fornabaio, who gives us some of the most in-depth and introspective AHL coverage available. I’m not sure if other teams are as lucky, but I’m glad the Islanders are. Following the Sound Tigers isn’t only essential but fun when the stories are both human and eclectic.
- We all better be super thankful for Eric Hornick, the one-man Islanders history book that knows more about the team than anyone ever has or will. I have no idea how he does it, but I’m thrilled that he does.
- I’m thankful for many of the behind-the-scenes folks at the Islanders who go unheralded but do a great job in presenting the players as people first. Please take the time to thank Corey Wright, Rachel Schwartz, community relations director Ann Rina and others that remind us of the personalities of the guys we often give no quarter to.
- As always, I am most thankful for John Tavares for being John Tavares. I have never wanted another person unrelated to me to feel joy more than I do him. I could go on, but it’s best to leave it at that.
- Finally, I’m thankful for Dom, Keith, Chris, Mark, David all the Mikes, garik and all of the newbies who have made and continue to make this site a special outlet and just be phenomenal people. I’m also thankful for the many other Islanders blogs for offering perspectives and ideas I never would think of. And, of course, thanks to all of you for reading my nonsense for all these years. I have no idea why, but if you do, thanks.
Okay, that’s enough. Now, to, uh, news?
- Recaps: Dom Up All Night Newsday | Islanders | NHL.com | NYI Skinny
- Cal Clutterbuck skated in warm-ups but was scratched. Shane Prince played, as he should every game. [Newsday]
- Josh Bailey is helping the Islanders power play show some life. [Newsday]
- Brian at IPB looks at Bob McKenzie's mention of the Islanders "kicking the tires" on Evander Kane. In short: pass.
- Video: The Islanders love the West Coast, but also a bunch of different road cities. [Isles Twitter]
- The Sound Tigers beat Hartford 4-2 on the road last night. Eamon McAdam made 30 saves and has won three straight. [CT Post | Soundin' Off]
- Steve Bernier blocked a shot late in the game and the puck sailed off his body and all the way down to the other end for an empty net goal. So, uh, Merry Christmas, dude. [SBN]
- December 3rd in Bridgeport is Star Wars Night, including special X-Wing pilot style jerseys. Leave your lightsaber outside. [BST]
- Last night's NHL scores. Ovechkin, Penguins remain good. Devils come from 3-0 to beat the Leafs in a shootout.
- People are still talking about the Vegas Golden Knights. SBN Pacific Division folk weigh in on their new rival | Mark Recchi was an investor, but now he's not [P-G] | Apparently, Alexei Yashin is, though. Hm. [Rovell] | Down Goes Brown offers his advice for the expansion team | Heads-up: there's a good chance they'll beat the Islanders next season.
- Flyers center Sean Couturier will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, meaning he can't be traded for every player in the league via every phony proposal ever. [BSH]
Yup, it was Butch Goring Night in LA last night. They should have handed out replica helmets to fans, but these tickets will do.