We’re at the All-Star break, the final gap in the NHL schedule before the mad dash to the playoffs.
As it stands now, the Metropolitan Division is one giant traffic jam of teams who can make the playoffs, five of whom probably will. The Isles are still in that mix after a 2-0-1 road trip capped by a win in Vegas last night.
- About last night: Jaroslav Halak’s best work came in the first period. [LHH | Newsday | Isles | NYI Skinny | Knights on Ice]
- Interviews via MSG video: No coincidence, Doug Weight said the team’s worst work came in that period. Ross Johnston reflects. And Halak liked how things settled down after the first.
- Anthony Beauvillier on how he got his groove back after a brief stint in the AHL: “It’s all in the head.” Weight: “You don’t see that a lot. It generally takes five, 10, 15 games, sometimes a year for kids to come back up and be a different player.” [Newsday]
- Mathew Barzal and Brock Boeser talk about each other and the Calder race. [NHL]
- With Sebastian Aho in the NHL, Mitch Vande Sompel, another one of the Isles’ mid-round finds, is an AHL All-Star at age 20. [CT Post]
- Greg Cronin reflects how Charles Wang and the Isles have made an impact on youth hockey in China. [Isles]
- The Isles were psyched to be on their first work visit to Vegas. (After a win, that only intensifies the memory.) [Isles]
- In Albany, the MTA chairman is “concerned” about whether they can actually add capacity at Belmont for the Isles’ proposed arena. Not sure if they realize tons of fans from the east will want to drive and tailgate, while many from the west will want that rail access. [Newsday]
Great turnout from the traveling fans last night.
Last night’s scores include the struggling Devils getting shut out at home, the Flyers being thumped by the Lightning, the Pens beating the Wild, the Hurricanes winning a wild one in Montreal, and the Capitals, Rangers and Blue Jackets all winning in regulation.
- The Lightning dominate the mid-season coaches poll, but Mathew Barzal is your Calder darling. [TSN]
- Cool story: Brian Boyle replaces injured Taylor Hall for the All-Star Game. [NHL]
- P.K. Subban on the Daily Show is good, and also good for the NHL. [SB Nation]
- The Mike Smith trade is starting to look pretty good for the Flames. [SB Nation]
- Dominik Simon is the latest young winger to figure out the way to play with Sidney Crosby is not to force the puck to Sidney Crosby. [Gazette]
- Sure, why not: The Rangers claimed Cody McLeod off waivers. [Blueshirt Banter]
- Vegas has decided only kids 14 and under can ask for autographs. [SB Nation]
- Don Cherry coached a squad of CHL all-stars that included Europeans he’d rather not be in the league. [CBC]