Tonight the Islanders are in Detroit for the first of a back-to-back, returning home to face the Hurricanes on Saturday night. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for the game here.
- Expect Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck to be back in the lineup tonight, with Thomas Greiss starting while J-F Berube goes tomorrow. [Isles]
- It's Jason Chimera's 1,000th NHL game, and he and his family are starting to feel comfortable in a new environment after seven years in D.C. [Newsday]
- The Point Blank podcast takes on the recent play of Andrew Ladd, the contract extension for Thomas Greiss, and oh, something about arena issues? [SNY]
- Visiting Jaroslav Halak, who’s winning five in a row and getting to know the young teammates he barely met in training camp. "Hockey life can be funny." [NY Times]
- The Sound Tigers have a stable roster -- and Halak -- to help them steady the ship in Bridgeport... [CT Post]
- ...so naturally now Steve Bernier is hurt. [Soundin' Off]
- Carter Verhaeghe was named ECHL Player of the Month. [ECHL]
- For You Can Play, the NHL has named an LGBTQ ambassador from each team. Casey Cizikas is the Islander. (And interestingly...Andrew Shaw for the Habs) [Out Sports]
- A fella named Frans is the one for the Wings. [Detroit News]
- The Flames will practice outside in Central Park as they visit New York. [AP]
- It's a crucial trade deadline for the "fragile," "almost '99 Thrashers bad" Avalanche. [Sportsnet]
- What if the Leafs could rent players like movies? [PPP]
- The infinite puzzle and value of back-up goaltenders. [Sportsnet]
- Chris Pronger fined himself $5 for hitting that Bieber kid. [ESPN]
- The short-lived (Oakland) California (Golden) Seals were colorful and chaotic with an awesome jersey/logo set (not the SEALS wordmark one, either). [ESPN]
Allow Me a Moment, Pass Me a Tissue
Some of you know I came to Islanders fandom by way of my father’s stories of Al Arbour, his favorite player (and coach) for the St. Louis Blues before he joined the Islanders. I grew up with stories of bespectacled Arbour’s on-ice wisdom, as well his blueline mates the Plager brothers.
Last night the St. Louis Blues retired the jersey number of Bobby Plager. Who is he, you might ask? He was an original Blue from the ‘67 expansion, he’s been with them ever since — his brother Barclay played along side him and later coached the Blues before dying of cancer in 1988 — in about every role imaginable, from coach to broadcaster to IHL (champion) coach too. He’s revered around town, where he owns some bars and always greets fans who approach him with a smile. The Plager brothers, who shook off Ranger roots, were feared on the ice and beloved off it. Now they are up in the rafters together forever. [STLtoday | BND]
During the ceremony, they had Bobby’s #5 stop halfway up, while Barclay’s #8 came down to join him before both numbers went up to the rafters together. Said Bobby afterward, "the two banners haven’t gotten into it yet, but one of these nights you may come in here and one of ‘em will be gone."