Last night’s game was definitely worth staying up for. It’s still way too early in the season to make any sort of sweeping declarations, but I’d be lying if I said things didn’t feel different with this team since Barry Trotz was installed behind the bench. Through a very small sample based on my eye test and admittedly small brain’s interpretation of hockey, the Islanders seem to respond to pressure and setbacks much better than they have under any other coach in my memory. I, of course, never really watched them under Al Arbour, so this “having a real coach” thing is still pretty new to me.
- Recaps from a third period blowout that featured four goals on four consecutive shots on goal; here’s hoping Robin Lehner is okay after taking a shot up high and being removed from the game: [LHH | Islanders | Newsday]
- Jan Kovar signed a PTO with the Boston Bruins’ AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. But Lou Lamoriello and the Isles aren’t upset by it. They were under the impression he was headed back to the KHL if he didn’t make the NHL roster, and that the AHL was never an option. So, uh, I don’t know, folks. [Newsday]
- Johnny Boychuk took a slapshot on the inside of the ankle Wednesday night in Anaheim but it didn’t break the way we all thought it did, and after how much time he’s missed the past few seasons due to injury, he wasn’t gonna miss any time for this boo-boo. [Newsday]
- Stephen Gionta is a Sound Tigers regular at this point in his career, and his buddies down there can’t resist ribbing him, but he knows and they know of his importance down there. [CT Post | Soundin’ Off on Gionta and Kovar]
- Rookie pro David Quenneville, currently with the ECHL Worcester Railers, has hockey in his blood and in his name. [Telegram]
- Last night’s NHL scores. Good news: the Maple Leafs have been shutout! Bad news: it was by the Penguins. Womp womp.
- Life as a Maple Leaf has changed under Kyle Dubas, who is apparently a much more approachable individual than Lou, which I can see. [The Athletic]
- Blues goalie Jake Allen has had a pretty rough start, but he’s been pummeled with shots. [THN]
- The Sharks have stumbled out of the gate despite being a sexy Stanley Cup pick via the addition of Erik Karlsson. Here are five reasons why. [ESPN]
- After the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees, there was discussion of New York pitcher Luis Severino’s tell, tipping his pitches. Katie Strang asked around the NHL to see who has the biggest “tells” in the league. [The Athletic]
- Discussions of merging the CWHL and NWHL are resurfacing, again. Baby steps! [The Ice Garden]