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Islanders News: Halak talking, line mixing, idle Leaf-watching

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“Lotta talk about” Halak.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Islanders
At the team watch party for Leafs vs. Bruins
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders’ wild card chase took another hit last night as the team in the spot they want, the Toronto Maple Leafs, cashed in their game in hand for a three-point lead.

With 11 games left for both the Isles and Leafs, however, Toronto’s win over the Bruins brings them to within a point of Boston — underlining that the B’s are a wild card target too.

Meanwhile, in Islanders Country

  • There’s “a lot of talk about” Jaroslav Halak coming back, coach says. Let’s not rush into any decisions here. [Newsday]
  • The Kulemin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck line was reunited at practice yesterday, while Andrew Ladd was back on John Tavares’ wing. [Isles]
  • Shane Prince and Johnny Boychuk are skating, but they’re not ready yet. [Isles and Newsday links above]
  • The Point Blank podcast took on the burning self-inflicted issues (losses, goalies, Pulock). [SNY]
  • Anders Lee was on SiriusXM to talk about his Kancer Jam. [Isles] Young Carter also spoke with Lee about the event. [CarterHud]
  • Possibly even cooler is his interview with Joshua Ho-Sang: “You look at a boy who's been battling cancer, and you think he cares about the number 66? Not really. I think that at the end of the day there's a lot of bigger things going on in the world.” [CarterHud]
  • Steve looks at the effects of this season’s coaching changes around the league. [The Unbalanced]
  • Two key Isles prospects (Parker Wotherspoon and Mathew Barzal) may face off in the WHL playoffs. [My Northwest] Check back later for more on the end to Ilya Sorokin’s season.
  • Cool: Ted Nolan funding scholarships for indigenous women. [CTV News]

Not Isles, No Not at All

  • The bad news from last night: The Leafs were tied with the Bruins with just minutes left. Then they got a gift late power play, scored the go-ahead goal, swept the season series and got two more crucial points in the wild card race. [PPP | SCOC with the ugly crucial penalty call]
  • An early review of how trade deadline deals are working out. [SB Nation]
  • Looking at the Kings, who are constantly dominant in possession but poor in shooting percentage. Good insights here on the components of hockey and how close it all is. [THN]
  • Matthew Tkachuk has opened his NHL suspension account, getting two games for elbowing Drew Doughty. “It is never acceptable for a player to strike an opponent in the face with his elbow,” says a video that will probably be brought up next time an elbow goes uncalled. [NHL Player Safety | M&G]
  • Two Scottsdale natives: Auston Matthews vs. Makenna Newkirk and the case against USA Hockey. [PPP]
  • WHO’S A GOOD DOG? This dog, who dropped down from the rafters in Dallas. [SBN Lookit]
  • Steve previewed this last week...Vote now, as the Hockey Twitter bracket has begun! [@YakovMironov]

Checking in on the NCAA

Fun Tweets about Kings

Happy Birthday, Nick Leddy

Yesterday was the Isles’ #2’s birthday. You can buy a shirt and support dementia research in Al Arbour’s name.