It’s fair to say the Islanders are in better position than most thought they’d be at this point of the year. Even despite a regulation loss last night, they still hold a non-wild card playoff position in the (admittedly weak) Metro. But with five Eastern teams within two points of them (including Ottawa and Philadelphia, who you might dismiss), it’s also a reminder of how hard staying in the race can be.
That’s where the consistency under Barry Trotz — no long losing streaks yet — can help.
Last night they were right there, then there was a power outage (okay, a lighting difficulty) as the second intermission ended, and finally costly communication gap between Thomas Hickey and Robin Lehner, where they conceded the go-ahead goal to lose 3-2 to Vegas, their first loss to the Golden Knights in history.
They’re back at it Saturday when the Wings are in town.
- About last night: Recap [LHH | Newsday | Post | Isles | NHL | Knights On Ice | NYI Skinny]
- Leo Komarov (and Jordan Eberle, and Cal Clutterbuck, but not Tom Kuhnhackl) were ready to go, which mean Josh Ho-Sang waits. [Newsday]
- On the slapshot, and Ryan Pulock (who had his own role on the pivotal goal last night), in today’s NHL. [Athletic]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Blackhawks ending an eight-game (!) skid at the expense of...the Penguins.
- HERE ARE THE TEENAGERS YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED ABOUT, ranked. [Sportsnet 2019 draft rankings]
- Let’s speculate about Alex Pietrangelo, goalies and also reiterate the players don’t like (and, it seems, still don’t understand) escrow. [31 Thoughts]
- It’s a separated shoulder (2-4 weeks) for Kevin Shattenkirk. [NHL]
- How long will Guy Boucher last in Ottawa? [TSN]
- Hey, let’s write about the Sabres’ hot start in a way that we can question it and also use a picture of Brett Hull’s foot-in-the-crease goal from 20 years ago. [Times]
- Steven Stamkos is happy for that other 91 guy, so that’s just great. [NHL]
- Ken Hitchcock in Edmonton seems to be the only coaching change that has had any effect this season. [TSN]
- Not hockey exactly but: The city of Phoenix is not currently prepared to support renovations to the home of the NBA Suns, a basketball-only (in a Barclays kind of way) place where the ‘Yotes once played. [AZ Central]