Mornin’, folks. Hope everyone that celebrates it had a very Merry Christmas and isn’t too hungover for some post-Christmas hockey reading. The holiday break is, after all, a de facto halfway point of the season, so you have a pretty good idea of what each team really is this season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
The NHL resumes action tomorrow, but the Islanders don’t resume action until Friday when they host the Senators at Barclays Center.
- Devon Toews made his debut in the victory, and he looked like he belonged in the NHL. Everyone had positive things to say about him. Hopefully, he ain’t going anywhere (although Staple reports two bits below he may be sent back to Bridgeport once Thomas Hickey is eligible to return). [Newsday]
- It’s no longer before his NHL debut, but here still are 7 Facts about Toews, including that he emphasizes the second syllable of his first name and not the first. [Islanders]
- As Arthur Staple notes, the notion that the Islanders would be sitting two points out of a playoff spot at the holiday break would’ve been a cruel joke four or five months ago. He delves into the good and bad of the season thus far and what to expect for the rest of the season. [The Athletic]
- Toews made his debut because Johnny Boychuk flew back home to New York for the birth of his son. To coach Barry Trotz, Boychuk is “Ol’ Reliable.” [Newsday]
- This Christmas was especially important to Robin Lehner, who is celebrating nine months of sobriety thanks to the support of his wife and family, as well as the organization he plays for. [Newsday]
- Prince Edward Islander Ryan MacKinnon is a member of the Railers and would like to one day be a New York Islander. He helped snap the Reading Royals’ seven-game win streak and is learning how to be a professional hockey player along the way. [Telegram]
Scott Mayfield and his extremely good boy definitely got into the spirit.
Sunday’s NHL scores include the Hartford Whal - err, I mean the Carolina Hurricanes beating the Boston Bruins 5-3 on a night where they wore their Whalers jerseys and played Brass Bonanza when they scored.
- Johan Franzen has been through hell and back in his recovery from a concussion that effectively ended his career almost four years ago. He’s been diagnosed with PTSD, and has severe anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. His wife and his kids have been an amazing help to him, he says. But it is harrowing existence, and we hope he feels better soon.