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Islanders News: Thank Halak, injury progress, Yashin to the booth

Halak: “Not going to lie. I’m tired. Need some sleep.”

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders
What is this I’m feeling, victory or shot fatigue?

Maybe all that video scrutiny made a mark on the Islanders...but took a whole period to sink in.

After being blown out twice coming out of the All-Star break and getting a thorough video review of everything (we assume) they’ve been doing wrong, they somehow were dominated by the Blue Jackets in last night’s first period, but for the grace of Jaroslav Halak they lived to tell about it and take a 4-3 regulation win.

Islanders Reading

  • About last night: Terrible first period, during which Jaro saved their bacon, then much better final two periods to take the win. [LHH | Newsday | Post | NHL | Isles | Weight reacts (video) | 1st star Halak talks with Shannon | Clips from Pride Night]
  • Will Nikolay Kulemin make it back this season after all? He’s been skating a lot, and it’s too soon to tell, but it kind of sounds like it. [Isles]
  • The same on Kulemin, plus Johnny Boychuk inches ever closer to a return. [Newsday]
  • Weight was happy with his remix of the top-two lines. Also, more on the injury updates. [Post]
  • The Sound Tigers won at home over the B-Sens, with Ben Holmstrom scoring twice in a 3-1 victory. [CT Post | Thompson says Dal Colle and Ho-Sang were better: Soundin’ Off]
  • In the ECHL, Worcester won 5-2 over Brampton with a couple of Isles execs in the building. [Telegram]
  • Kieffer Bellows scored twice in Portland’s 3-2 win over Tri-Cities. He has four goals and an assist in his first three games back from injury. [Winterhawks]
  • Alexei Yashin will be part of CBC’s broadcast at the Olympics. Turtleneck optional. Not a 10-year deal. [THN]
  • Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin may be refreshingly welcome owners and arena solvers {crosses fingers}, but until they do something about the on-ice product... [Elite Sports NY]

From the NHL recap by Brian Compton, this Doug Weight quote about that terrible first period despite all the video homework they did the day before:

“I told the coaches that I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown sitting at my desk. I had my head in my hands. [Associate coach Greg Cronin] went in with the understanding of calm, collected, are you guys serious with what we talked about? About three minutes later, it looked like he had a tomato on his neck, so he was screaming at them. You want to get it out of them, and they’ve got to realize it wasn’t good enough in the first.”

Fun coach history trivia, and also periodic reminder that Al Arbour took over a last-place team in an era with no regular season overtime. More Skinny here.


  • Conacher, the ex-Islanders, scored on the penalty shot:
  • Stars do retro night with these in warmups...against Minnesota:
  • Another controversial goalie interference non-call, this time on a Panthers game-winner with seven seconds left. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill gets tossed. [SB Nation]
  • The Rangers lost both Marc Staal and Jimmy Vesey to injuries. [TSN | Post]
  • The asking prices for trading Max Pacioretty and Evander Kane remain high. [Sportsnet]
  • More trade gossip: The Penguins may look for help up front, the Wild may move one of their defensemen. Maybe. [NHL]
  • The Canucks will wear red warmup jerseys to recognize the traditional Asian Lunar New Year. [Star-Journal]
  • Feeling high after their domination of the Isles and Rangers, who are both bad, the Leafs were brought down to earth in being thumped by the Bruins, who are good. [TSN]
  • Never mind the Leafs’ good young defensemen, Mike Babcock is sticking with old guys because NHL coaches gonna coach. [TSN] Also: Little-used winger requests trade. [Sportsnet]