The Islanders kept the Rangers winless in 2019 and it arrived in the most delicious fashion: Crapping the bed in the third period, giving up the lead, only to score on the Isles’ lone shot of the period with 90 seconds left in the game.
Normally that would be shameful, but against “the Reindeers” (as my five-year-old called them last night, to my delight), it just feels quite satisfying.
The Isles were better in the first 40 minutes, so it’s not like last night was a disaster papered over by 60 minutes of luck. Just...the third period was a bit ugly. The Reindeers get the chance for revenge Saturday afternoon, but hopefully the Islanders bring their 60-minute A Game and make that unattainable. Because after that comes the Lightning.
- About last night, which was a glorious third-period theft: [LHH | Newsday | Post | Isles | NHL | Islanders Insight]
- “Barzal and Sidney Crosby are the only players in the last 30 years to record at least three points in three games against the Rangers prior to his 22nd birthday.” [NYI Skinny]
- Staple takes up the Ho-Sang topic, noting how the team has had a hole in the two games since his demotion. [Athletic]
- Robin Lehner won his eighth in a row. He reflected on a “weird” game. [@NYIslanders]
- Barry Trotz dressed Ross Johnston instead of Michael Dal Colle because he figured the Rangers were “up to something.” The Post says the move “paid off,” although Johnston got an early (and absurd) penalty after “veteran referee” Brad Watson completely misread the exchange with Cody McLeod, who wanted nothing to do with Johnston after crosschecking him, but acted like he did. Whatever. [Post]
- Chronicle of Three Arenas: Why the Isles and Barclays Center will happily break up with each other. [Drive 4 Five]
- The regulation defeat puts the Reindeers 11 points back of the Islanders and makes clear the Garden Smurfs should resume tanking, er I mean “developing.” [Post]
- Bad vibes very quickly: Some “computer and human issues” are appropriate for the latest Islanders Anxiety, where Dan and Mike return to angst for the first time in a while. [LHH]
- The Sound Tigers are dealing with a couple of ailments to Sebastian Aho and Christopher Gibson and made a couple of recalls. They’re in Utica tonight. [Soundin’ Off | BST]
Barry Trotz says all hail the special teams and that crucial 5-on-3 kill:
I will again post Josh Ho-Sang's WOWY numbers, specifically to reference his performance with Filppula and Komarov. With that third line becoming a black hole, as referenced in today's @StapeAthletic article, it essentially creates a domino effect when a bad period takes shape. pic.twitter.com/vt0ukXsieT— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) January 11, 2019
- Sergei Bobrovsky was held out of last night’s Blue Jackets game because of an incident where “he failed to meet expectations.” [Cannon]
- Everybody was talking about that, and Nathan MacKinnon’s visible spat with his coach at the end of another Avalanche loss. [Mile High Hockey]
- The Senators should probably trade Ryan Dzingel. [Silver Seven]
- Some robot in Toronto scored his 300th NHL regular season goal. [NHL]