The New York Islanders are officially at the halfway point of the (regular) season. They are officially a real threat to make the playoffs. Their recent surge has stalled for a moment, their six-game win streak ending Tuesday night after a fortunate win in St. Louis. But now they have a chance to get back on track during this busy schedule with two games against the struggling Rangers.
Leave your FIG picks for tonight here.
- Carey looked at how Josh Bailey has played a role in the Islanders’ — and Mathew Barzal’s — progress this season. But that won’t sway some, because opinions are entrenched. [LHH]
- Another life story-inspired mask for Robin Lehner is coming, this one with a Fisherman top to an overall theme of the struggles and renewal he’s experienced. [Instagram @daveart]
- Barry Trotz was unhappy with how the last two games went, and is hoping an intense practice yesterday helped get them back on track. [Newsday]
- Arthur Staple had the Islanders review their first half in their own words. The majority picked Lehner as MVP. [Athletic]
- NEW! Also at The Athletic, Down Goes Brown succumbs to the Islanders fans in his mentions and wonders if the team is actually getting the short end of the attention stick around the league.
- Meanwhile, the NHL.com panel has Barry Trotz in the lead for the Jack Adams. [NHL]
- Devon Toews is already making an impact with the Isles. (But you knew that already.) [Post]
- A therapeutic rant about the Islanders demoting Ho-Sang instead of some other forward doing much less. [NYIsles blog]
- NEW! Mike Carver talks Ho-Sang and more with Arthur Staple, Devin from YesMen Outfitters and an extra schmoozy guest on this morning’s Isle Seat podcast. A new episode of Islanders Anxiety is up, too.
Last night’s NHL scores included just three games, all affecting the West.
I missed this the other night but it sounds fantastic:
Oilers wanted to pull Talbot after the last goal but Koskinen couldn’t get from the dressing room on the other side of the ice in time. Referee won’t let them make the change. Koskinen stands by the far door waiting for a whistle. Usher tells him to move so fans can see— Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) January 9, 2019
- Those Oilers, they are in a listing state and don’t appear to realize what’s wrong. [Super Fan] A roundtable on their condition (some Koskinen talk) [Copper N Blue]
- The NHL unveiled All-Star jerseys yesterday; they’re made of recycled marine plastic and have the players’ team logos on the front instead of an NHL or conference crest. [NHL]
- 31 Thoughts: Various trade deadline and other topics. [Sportsnet]
- The NHL leaders visited Seattle and promised flowers and profits and an All-Star Game and stuff. [NHL]
- How much do players really make? Part 2: Taxes vary. [Hockey-Graphs]
- Jimmy Howard hopes to continue and end his career with the Red Wings. [NHL]
- Mitch Marner reiterates he doesn’t want to talk contract during the season. Enjoy, Leafs. [NHL]