Yup. Hot on the heels of back-to-back losses to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference - and one missing its starting goalie and No. 1 defenseman - the Islanders will once again attempt to not embarrass themselves and maybe actually win a game. Making matters worse is that they’re in Pittsburgh against the two-time defending champs in a matinee tilt.
In other words, make it six straight losses.
FIG picks go here. Christopher Gibson starts in net. Rest of the lineup TBD. Game time is 5 pm so don’t tarry.
- Recaps: LHH | Newsday | NY Post | Islanders | NHL.com | NYI Skinny | EOTP
- If you’re looking for an explanation as to exactly what happened last night, you won’t find any with the Islanders. [Staple]
- Doug Weight getting short with Stan Fischler in the post-game presser got some traction last night. Believe me, Stan’s gotten it much, much worse throughout his career. It’s Weight’s final comment - about how the Islanders kind of expected to just take over the game and win by virtue of being at home - was way more bothersome to me. [MSG Networks]
- Jordan Eberle missed last night’s game, ending a streak of 215 straight appearances. [Newsday]
- Mathew Barzal’s spectacular rookie year has been aided by teammates helping him keep his head on straight. [NY Post]
- It was a good night for the affiliates, at least. The Sound Tigers beat the Habs’ AHL team 4-2 with a late goal by Kane Lafranchise. [CT Post]
- And the Railers utterly dominated Wheeling in a 5-0 win. [Telegram]
- As he announces his retirement from TV at the end of the season, The Maven reflects and thanks some of the people he’s met along his long, long, long journey. [MSG Networks]
- Voting is open for the Garth Madness tournament at Hockeybuzz. Some tough match-ups in there.
Around the hockey world
- Last night’s NHL scores: Long story short, the Islanders remain four points out of the playoffs, but are now chasing Carolina, who’s in eighth place. Also, the Panthers are here.
- There’s an outdoor game today. No, seriously! It’s Caps-Leafs at the US Naval Academy, a setting Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner is very familiar with. [NHL.com]
- NHL GMs remain gunshy when they they’re not going for top-to-bottom teardowns (even ones that weren’t top-to-bottom teardowns). [Cyrgalis Backcheck]
- Should Peter Chiarelli still have his job this summer, he’s got quite a shopping list for the Oilers. [The Oilers Rig]
- Being an NHL equipment manager is hard work, man. Even harder at the trade deadline when you don’t even know who’s on the damn team. [The Athletic]
Here’s the Beginnings: Mat Barzal video you should have already watched and memorized by now.