The loss last night to a Panthers team that only got their second win of the season appears to be an indicator of what we all feared leading up to October: that this season, she’s going to be a long one.
It’s still far too early to tell what the rest of the year holds, but blowing 2-goal leads in the third period, and getting metaphorically smacked around in doing so, is a recipe for failure. Especially when the game was in “must-win” territory.
- Recaps from pulling the cat’s tail one too many times and getting clawed right across the face: [LHH | Islanders | Newsday | NHL]
- The Islanders moved their February 28 game against the Maple Leafs from Barclays Center to the Coliseum, since the Islanders host the Capitals at the Coliseum the following night. Makes it easier on the staff, is the reasoning. This gives John Tavares two returns to Long Island, and a February 28 game, based on how the season will likely go for both teams, will be much more meaningful than an April 1 game. [LHH | Islanders | Newsday | Sports Daily]
- The Sound Tigers’ practice on Wednesday was optional, given the slew of trucks at Harbor Yard. Only five players showed up. [Soundin’ Off]
Honoring Mr. Wang
- Before the game last night, the Islanders paid tribute to owner to Charles Wang, who passed away this weekend. [Newsday | Isles VIDEO]
- The Sound Tigers also honored Wang on their website, and their players spoke highly of him. [Sound Tigers]
- VIDEO: Isles GM Lou Lamoriello reacts to Wang’s death. [Islanders]
- And if there was one thing that Wang received universal acclaim for, it was his work in growing the game of hockey in China. [The Athletic]
- Dan here. MSG aired this video between periods of former and current Islanders players and others talking about Wang’s impact on them. The Garth Snow portion is very emotional and when I watched it last night, I had to take a minute to get a hold of myself. Most of us have given Garth and Charles a lot of abuse over the years, but this man clearly has lost a dear friend and it’s hard to not feel bad for him. Really drives home the personal aspect of Wang’s passing.
- Last night’s NHL scores. 2016’s top two picks faced off, and Auston Matthews’ squad got the better of Patrik Laine’s.
- Speaking of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft: gotta feel for Jesse Puljujarvi. To go to a team like the Oilers, who struggle so mightily with prospect/player development, and to be a European player in the meat market that is the Edmonton media... the deck is stacked against him. Take this article, for example. [Edmonton Journal]
- Splendid news: the Devils’ Brian Boyle announced that his cancer is in remission. [NHL]
- Don’t mind me, I’m just laughing my ass off (lmao’ing, as you damned kids would say) that Jack Johnson got a five-year deal with the Penguins. Did you know he was on the ice for all five goals the Oilers scored the other night? A goal per contract year, it seems! [Pensburgh]
- The NHL is addressing concerns from goaltenders about the new chest protectors, which may be unsafe. I am all for downsizing goalie pads, but the chest is an area on the body I wouldn’t mess around with much, given the heart is right there. [Sportsnet]
- Casey Mittelstadt, selected eighth overall by the Sabres, was expected by many pundits to be the top forward to come out of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The data clearly showed that Elias Pettersson, taken by the Canucks three picks earlier, was more likely to be that guy, and it has played out that way in practice thus far. [CanucksArmy]
- ESPN polled players around the league with queries about the Vegas flu, team names for Seattle, and rule changes they’d make. [ESPN]
- It has been 10 years since I forgot the NHL even did this, but it’s time to revisit the “Sarah Palin curse.” Gotta say, the evidence is stunning. [ESPN]
- The Blackhawks franchise has been in the Wirtz family for generations, but only the most recent head, Rocky, found a way to win consistently. Here’s a summary of a book that tells the whole Wirtz family story. It seems like Rocky watched the years of bumbling mismanagement that came before him and learned exactly what not to do with a professional sports franchise. [THW]