When last we saw the Carolina Hurricanes, they were completing that rarest of playoff sequences: sweeping the team that had just swept another.
That second-round loss still stings — or stinks, if you will — for the Islanders, but it takes a backseat to their need to get things in order after a tepid first three games of the season.
“Tepid” is being kind, and it’s that kind of performance that will make Papa Barry break out the Kuhnhackl:
#Isles Barry Trotz confirms Tom Kuhnhackl will play Friday night at Carolina but not necessarily with Nelson and Bailey.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 10, 2019
Trotz expects Cizikas and Leddy to be available.
The Canes are coming in hot, and you can get the latest on them over at Canes Country.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight over here.
- Mark down Game 4 as your first “must win” of the season. [Newsday]
- Joe Buono talks to fan favorite Mick Vukota, who speaks of old times, the current ownership rekindling bonds — oh, and that time he and Rich Pilon planned to hide in the stick room to jump Dale Hunter, who received an escort elsewhere instead. Great story about Billy Smith playing for keeps in training camp, too; and he...does not like Rob Ray. [PT Isles]
- Learn to stickhandle like Mathew Barzal, it’s easy. [LHH]
- “Undervalued and underappreciated.” That’s in praise of Adam Pelech. [Athletic]
- Why is Brock Nelson taking so many penalties? [Islanders Insight]
- It’s a different Holmstrom in a key role down in Bridgeport. [CT Insider]
Belmont is coming along:
From @wcbs880 #Chopper880: First framing and footings in the ground as the #BelmontParkArena begins to take shape; 10.07.19; @NYIslanders; @NHL; @PR_NHL; #Isles pic.twitter.com/xPZ4wZYLzM— Tom Kaminski (@TomKaminskiWCBS) October 10, 2019
Last night’s NHL scores include the Lightning destroying the Leafs to hand them the first of many season-ending losses, and the Oilers staying undefeated.
- Hot take: Flames might not be enjoying the early results of the Milan Lucic-James Neal trade. [TSN]
- The lasting impact of Wayne Gretzky, without whom many of the thriving SunBelt teams might not be where they are now. [Athletic]
- Todd McLellan and Drew Doughty ripped their team after a blowout loss to the Canucks. [TSN]
- Have questions about analytics and stuff? There’s a forum for that. [Skrimmage]
- The NHL should be more like the NBA and other sports that feed off individual interpersonal rivalries because it sells and even makes national writers acknowledge the West Coast exists, here’s living proof. [ESPN]
Gonna editorialize here for a moment: Yes, hatred and rivalries sell, but some of us who don’t clamor for more hate circus rivalries aren’t holding some “archaic” views about hockey values and individuality. Personally, I am just not drawn to that stuff, and it’s not why I watch sports — that media-fueled “OMG did you hear what he said?! And now what HE said back?!” But WWE, Kardashians and manufactured reality TV drama isn’t my cup of tea either.