This team is hard not to love right now. I mean, even when the Blackhawks tied it last night, the game didn’t feel like it was ever in doubt. The Islanders just went about their business until overtime, taking shots and waiting for more opportunities, forcing them even. Great games from Mathew Barzal, All-Star, as well as Devon Toews, the better Toews.
The two points were important, as almost every other team they’re chasing right now won last night or the night before, except for the Capitals. Yes, even though the Islanders are currently one point out of the wild card and outside the playoff picture, they trail Washington by only three points for the Metro Division lead.
- Mark Herrmann writes that, especially after last night’s game, the Islanders have become one of the league’s most compelling stories, and perhaps the best. [Newsday]
- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton remembers fondly his time as an Islander and a Sound Tiger. His former teammates remember him well, too. [Newsday]
- Speaking of the Sound Tigers, Michael Dal Colle (currently in the NHL) and Sebastian Aho (who arguably should be in the NHL) were named Bridgeport’s representatives in the AHL All-Star Game. [Sound Tigers | AHL]
- Mike and Dan return from their holiday break to discuss the Isles’ big victories, including against the Stars, Sabres, and John Tavares and the Maple Leafs. [LHH]
- Jenny breaks down what to expect in Brock Nelson’s next contract, and how high of a number the Islanders should be willing to give him in a thin UFA market for centers. [LHH]
I was at the game last night sitting in the corner of the arena where this happened and this was wild:
- Canucks wunderkind Elias Pettersson’s leg was injured in a nasty tangling with Montreal’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi and it looked worse than it evidently was, as he will likely only miss another game or two. [NHL]
- The Hurricanes couldn’t buy a goal through the month of December. But that’s okay! [Canes Country]
- A Rangers fan heckled Sidney Crosby all night as the Penguins walloped New York, but Crosby heard the jeers and responded by sending the fan a signed and used stick with a nice message on it. Pretty funny, honestly. [The Athletic]
- Who likes made-up awards? I know you do. Of course, no Islanders were featured in this article, but that’s okay. [The Athletic]