After a five day bye week, the Islanders are back on the ice at Madison Square Garden this afternoon. Games against the Rangers are always big, but given the Islanders’ precarious position in the Metro, this one is extra big. You know what, from here on out, consider every game big.
FIG Picks go here. Josh Bailey, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk remain out. Go wild and take Michael Dal Colle, who makes his NHL debut today.
- You know, I like Doug Weight as a person and appreciate his candor. Maybe being tougher on his players will make a difference. But then the question becomes, “why did he stop being tough on them in the first place?” He’s clearly concerned (maybe too concerned) about wearing out his message because he’s talked about it before. The quotes here are both reassuring and concerning. Just win the game, dude. [NY Post]
- More on Dal Colle’s dal-but. [Newsday | NY Post]
- I wrote that Garth Snow shouldn’t wait until the trade deadline to augment his roster. I don’t know, man. I’m just tired of the rollercoaster. [LHH]
- We had a large update to the Tavares Contract Encyclopedia, that added Dallas, Winnipeg and Vegas to the list of places people think he should play other than the Islanders.
- Casey Bailey’s goal with two minutes to go gave Bridgeport a 3-2 win over Providence. [CT Post]
- Sound Tigers defenseman and possible Islanders call-up Devon Toews will miss the next 4-6 months with a shoulder injury. That’s a tough blow for everyone. Hoping for a full recovery for him. [Islanders announcement]
- Matt Lane gave the Railers their first ever OT win in Friday night’s game against Manchester. Fans were chanting “boring” in the third period, which reminds me of some old games at the Coliseum. [Telegram]
- Welcome back Kieffer Bellows, who scored twice in his first game for Portland since the World Juniors. The Winterhawks beat Tri-Cities 5-1.
- Last night’s NHL scores. Thanks to Jay Beagle’s last second goal against Carolina, the Islanders are just two points out of the final wildcard berth in the East.
- Victor Hedman is out with an injury for 3-6 weeks, which is bad news for the Lightning. But he’ll be back for the playoffs, which is bad news for everyone else. [Raw Charge]
- Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson has requested a trade due to diminished ice time. He was almost signed to an extension this summer when the Blue Jackets expected to trade Ryan Murray for Matt Duchene. If you’re an Athletic subscriber, this is an article chock full of intrigue.
- Dion Phaneuf could find himself and his large contract traded as Senators owner Eugene Melnyk looks to shed salary. [Sportsnet]
- Some teams have better cap outlooks than others. The Islanders “have some work to do.” The Predators are set up beautifully. [PHT]
- Long Island guy Matt Gilroy is going to the Olympics. [Newsday]