I really shouldn’t go to today’s game at the Coliseum. I have way too much shit to do and not nearly enough time to do it. But, I mean, it’ll all get done somehow, right? This team is just too exciting to pass up right now.
The Islanders take on the Ducks today in a game timed perfectly to line up with the NFC Championship, an unwise time to schedule a game. But I know which one I’d be watching, even if I was home on my couch. Leave your FIG picks here for today.
- Folks, did I forget to mention that the Islanders are in first place? They’ll try to keep rolling against a Ducks team that has won two straight after losing 12 straight. [Newsday]
- Despite their long skid, Anaheim is still in the hunt for the playoffs. They have made a flurry of minor trades over the past month and a half, and recently recalled Troy Terry, a former first round pick who has been lighting up the AHL and who scored his first NHL goal yesterday. The Isles got Gibson’d (by John Gibson) when they met in California in October, but that was ages ago. [Islanders]
- The Islanders are trying to mold themselves into consistent contenders, so the last thing they want is a lockout to interrupt it. But Isles’ Players Union rep Anders Lee isn’t too worried about that happening this time. [Newsday]
- ESPN did a trade deadline preview for all 31 teams, and they suggest the Isles could use a depth defenseman and maybe a center. The center depth could use a little bolstering, but the defense is fine, I’d say.
Beyond the Island
Last night’s NHL scores include a Bruins loss to the Rangers, as well as the Blue Jackets regulation loss to the Wild and the Penguins regulation loss to the Golden Knights. For added comfort, the Canadiens lost in regulation to the Flyers. Playoff position and first place preserved!
- In the loss to the Rangers, Boston lost Tuukka Rask to a concussion after Filip Chytil crashed into him, though he was kinda pushed in by Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy believes Chytil would’ve hit Rask, anyway. [NHL]
- In the other net, Henrik Lundqvist earned career win no. 446, moving him into sole possession of sixth all-time in the category, breaking a tie with Terry Sawchuk. Wins, of course, don’t mean much in the long-run, but it probably means the world to Lundqvist. [NHL]
- In this forum, we’ve discussed Barry Trotz’s emphasis on scoring chances a few times. But what, exactly, defines a scoring chance? Justin Bourne tries to parse out a widely-divisive issue among the analytically-inclined. [The Athletic]
- With Taylor Hall’s injury keeping him out, Kyle Palmieri will represent the Devils at the All-Star Game this weekend. It is the forward’s first-ever selection. [Yahoo]
- The former NHL players suing the league over their handling of their concussions are “insulted” by the settlement the NHL offered, as they should be. It amounts to, about, $22,000 a head. Negotiation tactics and all, I know, but that’s utter trash. [The Athletic]