The Islanders won a tight one in Ottawa last night to take both games in a back-to-back weekend and build a little three-game win streak. They survived a parade of Senators power plays — many on shaky-at-best calls on Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle (seriously you were right there and you called that interference?!) and Scott Mayfield — but lost Casey Cizikas to injury.
Naturally, Cizikas tried to come back in the game twice, but ultimately left for good. It wasn’t really clear what was wrong after he took a bad spill into the boards, other than him favoring his right leg afterward. This bears watching. The fact he came back for a draw later at least suggests (hopefully) that it’s not a major break/tear kind of issue.
Next they host Thomas Vanek and the Canucks on Tuesday.
Reminder that LHH shirts are on sale throughout Capitalist Weekend. Just two days left.
- The Isles came out strong but didn’t have too much to show for it thanks to Craig Anderson. [LHH | Isles | NHL | Silver Seven laments a six-game streak]
- Brendan Burke and Butch Goring recap the game. [MSG Video]
- As always, the Skinny offers fun factoids like Josh Bailey leading the team in points and the Isles moving to 7-0-0 on Saturdays. [NYI Skinny]
- The Islanders agree Jaroslav Halak has had some tough luck in other starts. (And frankly, he deserved a shutout last night. He faced way too many power plays thanks to dubious penalty calls.). [Newsday]
- Isles assistant coach Luke Richardson was happy to face his old team and see old friends. Also, the Isles are monitoring when to re-introduce Shane Prince. [Newsday]
- Larry Brooks is that guy who calls into the sports radio call-in shows to say, “I’m tellin’ you what they gotta get somebody and just go for it.” Fair enough, but the devil is always in the details (like the odd detail about the Rangers apparently drafting Claude Giroux). [Post]
- NEWS FLASH!!!!! THE ISLANDERS HAVE NO PLANS TO TRADE TAVARES. I know, right? But the headline still acts like it’s a “still deciding” thing because clickbait. [Sportsnet]
- Mathew Barzal is living with fitness freak Dennis Seidenberg, und das ist gut. [Isles]
- Does hearing Clark Gillies reminisce on the dynasty and 19 straight playoff series wins ever get old? [MSG Video]
- Some great pictures of the Islanders-Flyers game in Philly courtesy of photographer Kate Frese. [BSH]
- The Sound Tigers coughed up a lead but came back to force overtime against the Orange Valley and then lost the extra point. [CT Post | BST]
- In his post-game blog, Fornabaio talks about that and Michael Dal Colle breaking a slump. [Soundin’ Off]
- The Railers exacted revenge on the Nailers. No word on the Mailers nor the Baylors. [Telegram]
- In something that produced the typical controversy among some (okay, just one) typical shoot-first, act-wounded-immediately-after Edmonton media (who naturally seized on one sound bite from a more thoughtful piece), Jordan Eberle talked about rebuilding his confidence with the Isles after the toxic fishbowl of Edmonton. [Sportsnet | Edmonton Journal | SB Nation]
- Meanwhile, Dan had fun with some of Edmonton’s regrettable moves over the last year or so. [Zeitgeist]
Not Islanders, Except Kind of Related
I find examples like this throughout the league, and I just like to call them out here and there for those who think the Isles are just evil and wrong for ever daring to hamper Joshua Ho-Sang’s creativity. I’m personally a big believer in Ho-Sang and his potential, but I also and pretty certain a player like that needs to integrate his freelancing into some predictable patterns for his teammates.
This is Mike Yeo talking about offensively talented Sam Blais, whose game still needs rounding out:
“What he needs to do with his play without the puck, he has to be easier to read off from his teammates. If you're not making the players you're on the ice with better, if it's too difficult for them to know where you're going, then obviously there's a lot of times you're in between and in between is death in this league. That's what we're talking to him about and that's where we're hoping to see improvement in talking to him and talking to the people who are watching him.
“He's got lifelong habits that need to be changed. We want to see his creativity, we want to see his instincts with the puck. Our success has been because we play as a five-man unit and so we have to make sure guys are fitting into that. We're also not going to bury him if he makes a mistake.”
It’s not that individual creativity is bad. Or that mistakes must be buried. It’s that your teammates need to have some idea of what you’re doing (think Barzal), or else many things that worked at the lower level can backfire.
Blais scored his first NHL goal last night, by the way. Maybe demoting him didn’t ruin him.
Neither Here Nor There
- Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel each appreciate your sympathy for them being on bad teams, but each just wants to win. [NHL]
- Donate to this fund for a good cause in the name of butt-ending Corey Perry. [GoFundMe]
- Carey Price was back and in form for the Canadiens. [SB Nation]
- Thomas Vanek is having a bigger impact than expected in Vancouver (even if he begins most interviews with a lament about his ice time). [Sportsnet]
- You may have seen something similar on the pre-game show last night, but cool stuff from Nicholle Anderson (Craig’s wife) on surviving cancer, cherishing each day. [Sportsnet]