Another Islanders game that, once they gained an early lead of multiple goals, was “business as usual.” This team’s transformation is honestly stunning, and while there is still a lot of time for things to change in terms of the standings, there is no denying that the Islanders are leaps and bounds better than what they were last year, despite the drop-off in natural talent.
Having one of the best coaches in the NHL is turning out to be quite the replacement for the talent, and the more they keep up this play, the more sustainable it seems. They can’t win ‘em all, and we should expect a few more losses in the future than the 3 in the last 18 they’ve had since my birthday. But dammit if this isn’t the most fun it’s been to be an Islanders fan in a long time.
Barry Trotz’s post-game after the victory over the Ducks:
- Robin Lehner, who got the shutout Sunday afternoon, has experienced a “remarkable turnaround” in his first season with the Islanders. [Newsday]
- Larry Brooks says to not be shocked if GM Lou Lamoriello strikes at the trade deadline, stating there is precedent in Lou’s past and that he often makes waves weeks before the deadline. [NY Post]
- Two Railers defensemen, Tommy Panico and Tyler Mueller, played together for four years at UMass-Lowell, and lived together for a year there. They’re doing the same in Worcester. [Telegram]
- Unfortunately, the Railers lost 5-1 to the Newfoundland Growlers at home. They were down two defensemen in the third, though. [RailersHC]
Yesterday’s NHL scores include a wacky game on national TV as the Blackhawks defeated the Capitals 8-5 on the back of a Jonathan Toews hat trick. All 5 Washington goals were scored by defensemen. But their loss, combined with the Isles’ win, gives New York a 3-point lead in the Metro. Also, the Maple Leafs lost to the Coyotes on home ice despite John Tavares scoring his 30th, meaning the Islanders are officially ahead of them in the standings.
- Chicago seems to be ready to begin the sell-off, making players like Marcus Kruger, Chris Kunitz, and Andreas Martinsen available to other GMs around the league. [SCH]
- The Wysh List this week is the 10 best Stanley Cup match-ups at the end of this season, including a showdown between the Canadiens and Predators, a live-action test of the Shea Weber-P.K. Subban deal. [ESPN]