Folks, I tell ya, after the loss to the Rangers on Saturday afternoon (the Rangers’ first-ever win at Barclays Center, by the way), I seriously thought the Islanders were going to walk away from this weekend of back-to-back home games with 0 points. I thought that even a tired Lightning team, one that played the night before and had to travel, was still a better team than the Islanders. And, arguably, they were last night. But the fast start helped.
I’d still be scared to death of facing Tampa Bay in the first round. It’s a series the Islanders would probably lose in 5 games. But last night is what the one game they’d win would look like.
- Barry Trotz’s post-game presser praises the fourth line, the goaltending, and the fast start. [Islanders]
- The Lightning game was a big test for this team going in, one that they ultimately passed with flying colors. Can you believe that, even after last night, Tampa still only has a single-digit number of regulation losses in mid-January? [Newsday]
- Michael Dal Colle, who was healthy scratched for both Ranger games, and Adam Pelech, who was healthy scratched in lieu of Luca Sbisa for Saturday’s game, both made their way back into the lineup Sunday night. [Newsday]
- Dimitri Filipovic guest-wrote at ESPN about goalie tandems throughout the NHL, and the Islanders, as you might imagine, are among the best in the league this season.
- Trotz returning to Washington for the first time since leaving the Capitals, which will be Friday night, is the NHL’s big story of the upcoming week. [NHL]
- The Sound Tigers’ home points streak ended with their regulation loss to the Hartford Wolfpack on Saturday. [Soundin’ Off | CT Post]
Saturday’s and Sunday’s NHL scores. The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs on Saturday while the Sabres lost to the Lightning in regulation, and on Sunday the Hurricanes defeated the Predators. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets won both nights, beating the Caps on Saturday and the Rangers Sunday.
- The Ducks, who lost their 11th straight game yesterday to the Jets, have announced they are not considering firing coach Randy Carlyle. This is, of course, the kiss of death. [NHL]
- The DGB Grab Bag includes the problem with letting the players police the game amid dangerous plays involving stars Connor McDavid and Elias Pettersson. [The Athletic]
- VIDEO: Snoop Dogg guested on the LA Kings broadcast Saturday night in their win over the Penguins, and I wish he did this full-time. [Yahoo]