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Islanders News: Barzal stars, Trotz talks, Sislo scores

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The Isles closed 2018 on a high note and face a busy January

New York Islanders v Arizona Coyotes
“As you get older, wisdom tells you that you didn’t invent the game and it keeps evolving and your way might not be the best way.”
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Hope you all had a happy, safe end to 2018.

It couldn’t have ended much better for the Islanders, who came off their winter break to face a daunting three games in four nights to ring out the year. After a stumbling start in Brooklyn against the Senators, they came back to win that one, humbled the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada, and finished things off with a win in Robin Lehner’s return to Buffalo.

Next: 11 games in 20 days heading into the All-Star Break, including several against non-playoff teams, a home-and-home with the Rangers, and games against each of the East’s division leaders.

Islanders Reading

  • ICYMI: Coverage from Islanders 3 (EN), Sabres 1: [LHH | Newsday | DBTB | Isles | The Skinny]
  • Barry Trotz passed Al Arbour in career regular season wins, furthering a sure Hall of Fame career, but he’s just focused on the next win. On Arbour, who Trotz never met but admired from afar: “Just a complete human being and a really good coach. That’s what I really admire about him.” [Newsday | Isles]
  • More from that piece at the official site, which is filled with good quotes: “When you’re a young coach you think you invented the game,” Trotz said. “As you get older, wisdom tells you that you didn’t invent the game and it keeps evolving and your way might not be the best way. It’s okay to listen, take in information and make your own analysis of what is said. I listen a lot more than I ever did when I was young.”
  • Mike Sislo broke a 17-game goal drought for Bridgeport on Friday, but he does so much more than score goals anyway. [CT Post]
  • The Sound Tigers are in Rochester Wednesday night. [Soundin’ Off]
  • Mat Barzal was named 2nd Star of the Week. [Isles]
  • This isn’t fantasy: Robin Lehner leads the NHL in GAA and save percentage. [NHL fantasy tracker]

Elsewhere

  • The WJC quarterfinals take place Wednesday ight, with a few Islanders prospects in action. [Isles]
  • The NHL added some more outdoor games — not all of them involving the Hawks, Bruins or Penguins! — including one in Dallas’ Cotton Bowl, and one at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Also, the 2020 All-Star Game will be in St. Louis. I’m just thrilled. [NHL]
  • The Bruins won this year’s Classic over the {flips coin} yep, Blackhawks. [NHL]
  • Edmonton’s trades to add, um, more third-pairing defensemen sound desperate. [TSN | Athletic]
  • The Coyotes do not refute rumors of looking for yet another owner but insist they would only welcome an investor committed to keeping them in Arizona. Lather, rinse, repeat. [Sportsnet]