With the NHL on winter break for one more night, the 2019 World Junior Championship had the spotlight all to itself to kick off the tournament. The openers were entertaining save for Canada’s 14-0 slaughter of Denmark, which was only enjoyable in a “I like to watch puppies get kicked” kind of way.
Much more tonight, while the Isles wait for a busy weekend to finish out 2018.
- Andrew Gross’ midseason reports on the Islanders for Newsday: The defense is much improved | The offense still needs work (funny how those two topics are always related) | Will either goalie take the reins?
- Four national teams with Islanders prospects were in action at the WJC last night. (But only three dressed.) [LHH]
- Noel and The Other Dan recorded an Isles Buzz podcast to look back at the road trip, Devon Toews, and the road ahead. [LHH]
- That Robot 91 guy says “I assume it will be strange for sure on some level,” facing his old team Saturday, talking of emotions if emotions were a thing. [NHL]
- These actually aren’t all that funny — they’re mostly kind of dad jokes — but they’re our Isles dads, so it’s fine: Maven Memories from the ‘70s. [Isles]
John Tavares through 37 games— Noel Fogelman (@thefirstnoel19) December 24, 2018
This season: 42 points
Last season: 48 points with #isles
He’s finally unleashed
Thank you for all the nice comments on our new addition to our family. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your families.— Johnny Boychuk (@joboych) December 25, 2018
- At the WJC yesterday, the U.S. mostly dominated Slovakia (Oliver Wahlstrom had six shots) but had to reverse a 1-0 deficit in the third period to win 2-1. The Czechs beat the Swiss 2-1 in a tight OT affair. As mentioned, Canada destroyed Denmark. And historic rivals Sweden and Finland met.
- Matt Dumba will miss three months after pectoral surgery. Ouch. [TSN]
- The Canadiens have Karl Alzner buried in the minors but they’ve recalled him due to an injury to David Schlemko. [HEOTP]
- One way to fix the NHL playoff bracket: Keep the conferences for travel purposes, but then disregard them for the final four. [Down Goes Brown @ Athletic]