The Islanders are playing only their second road game of the season, and much like their second home game of the season, it’s against the Winnipeg Jets. It also marks New York’s first trip to the Great White North of 2019-20.
According to Winnipeg-area native Butch Goring on Monday afternoon’s broadcast, there’s already snow on the ground up there. Wonder what fellow Manitoba natives Barry Trotz and Ryan Pulock have to say about all the white stuff.
Leave your FIGs here. DO pick Wahlstrom. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m.
- Let’s look into what we might expect for tonight, shall we? [Islanders]
- Island Park-bred defenseman Anthony Bitetto won’t play tonight as he’s dealing with a possible lower-body issue, but the defenseman from Long Island has carved out a nice niche with the Jets, both on the ice and in the locker room, since finding himself in an elevated role within a depleted defense corps. [Newsday]
- After six games, Arthur Staple has six thoughts to offer, including some near-waterworks between Oliver Wahlstrom and his father on Monday; and hope for a fourth-line reunion. [The Athletic]
- He has no doubt that he belongs with the Islanders. Josh Bailey recognizes he’s special, and Trotz isn’t ruling out keeping him. [Newsday]
With Jordan Eberle and Casey Cizikas definitely not going to Winnipeg, and with Eberle unlikely to go for Saturday in Columbus either, Wahlstrom won’t be going back to Bridgeport just yet:
.#Isles at Winnipeg. Thurs, at Columbus Sat. Could Cizikas & Eberle play Sat.? Trotz: "I think they’re going to miss the trip right now. That’s the indication...They’ll stay back. Casey is probably the closest. If he feels good, then we’ll have no problem bringing him in.” #NHL— Brian Heyman (@bheyman99) October 16, 2019
- Carey Haber has been posting KPI Scorecards of the Isles’ individual performances on Twitter for every game so far this season. Thankfully, he’s also taught us how to read them. [LHH]
- The Devils’ slow start has some wondering what the plan with Taylor Hall, pending UFA, is; Hall, for his part, has contacted John Tavares to get an idea about the free agent process. Also in 31 Thoughts is that Mathew Barzal is third in average 5v5 TOI in the beginning of the season, up almost three minutes from last season. [Sportsnet]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Penguins handing the Avalanche their first loss of the season, but it was in overtime (and on a really unfortunate bounce for Colorado) and Edmonton absolutely smoking the Flyers. Connor McDavid is going to drag their sorry asses to the playoffs whether they want to go or not. Okay, that remains to be seen because they’re still the Oilers, but so far, he’s on another level this year. Watch this:
- Michael Hutchinson gave up three goals in a 78-second span in the Maple Leafs’ loss to the Capitals last night, and Toronto still has a shaky backup goaltending situation. What a shame. [Sportsnet]
- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is doing well after having basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, removed from his forehead. [NHL]
- With some unexpected players and teams starting out white-hot, it’s time to break out the mirage meter. [ESPN]
- The stigma surrounding the Senators’ horrendous ownership situation isn’t good for attendance. Nor is having a bad team that plays over a half hour away from most of its population. [Sportsnet]
- The Stockton Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, are in the final year of their contract with the city of Stockton in California, and neither the city nor the team know if they’re staying beyond this season.
- Blues goalie Jordan Binnington grew up in Toronto when Curtis Joseph was there and sometimes trained at the same facility as him. Now he tends goal for the same team Cujo started his career with, and has a mask to honor the man—of course, Cujo took his nickname from Stephen King’s fictional rabid dog, using it as inspiration for an iconic mask of which Binnington now has his own version. [Blues]