The Islanders started their southwestern U.S. road trip in style by lulling the Avalanche to sleep and keeping their vaunted top line mostly at bay, including ending the point streak of top-scorer-in-the-league Mikko Rantanen at 14 games.
Unfortunately, both Thomas Hickey and Brock Nelson left the game with ugly injuries - Hickey by accident and Nelson by way of a shitty former Penguins defenseman - but they pulled out the regulation road win with a little help from their... power play? No, that can’t be right.
But wait, there’s more! They play another late one tonight in Arizona as the Coyotes play host. Leave your FIGs for that 9:00 p.m. start right here.
- The Isles were looking forward to this road trip for all the bonding and focusing that is required of a long time away from home. [Newsday]
- Scott Mayfield, who went to school and played hockey at the University of Denver, knows the physical challenges of playing in the mile-high altitude. [Newsday]
- It’s weird to think about, but the Islanders’ reputation around the league now, under Barry Trotz, is “one of the better defensive teams in the league,” according to Nathan MacKinnon. [Newsday]
- Surging Michael Dal Colle, who must be getting close to a more permanent call-up to the NHL, was just named AHL Player of the Week for his goal-scoring outburst over the weekend. [Soundin’ Off | Sound Tigers | AHL]
- Then again, if it’s a top-6 style center in Brock Nelson who will be out long-term, perhaps an also-surging Otto Koivula could get the call, as he has been centering Bridgeport’s top line and kicking ass at it. [The Athletic]
Last night’s NHL scores. A couple of shutouts throughout the slate of games as the Bruins defeated the Canadiens and the Blue Jackets defeated the Golden Knights in the NHL’s version of the Color Rush.
- So, after a full day of denying that it was happening, the Flyers did actually fire Dave Hakstol as coach, naming Scott Gordon, coach of their AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley (and former Islanders head coach) as interim bench boss. What a circus. [NHL | BSH]
- It was time, for sure, for him to go, but jerking him around the way they did before actually doing it was pretty unfair for all involved. [THN]
- Mitch Marner was an overlooked star for years, in every level of hockey, before finally making waves throughout the NHL this season. His father, Paul, played a huge role in getting him to that point, including getting him private lessons at the age of four (4!). [The Athletic]