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Islanders Gameday News: We love our defensemen

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As Leafs visit, we share separate odes to Pelech, Pulock, Toews, Leddy/Boychuk

Florida Panthers v New York Islanders
TRUST THIS MAN.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Islanders look to continue their 12-game point streak tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are evidently Canada’s most highly rated manufactured drama.

I don’t know what the latest Must Click Topic is this week for the NHL’s perennially over-covered also-ran franchise, but it surely relates to a captaincy/free agent/waiver guy/trolling columnist/ticket prices/parent of some guy/special serenade to a former Islander/league office disrespect or other topic of grave importance.

I’ve said this before, but Toronto is kind of like Canada’s New York, except if New York only had three or four major sports teams, and only one per league instead of two or three, and people felt obliged to reach out and host a special night to salvage the feelings of an $11 million player they felt was treated rudely by those savages who supported four Stanley Cup winners (instead of zero) since the civil rights movement. So bear with them amid their self-cannibalizing-yet-self-congratulatory sports-radio-style neurosis, is what I’m trying to say. Self awareness is a journey in the Center of the Hockey Universe when even Alberta and southern California have two NHL teams each!

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight right here.

Islanders News

  • The Islanders have a few players returning from injuries. Leo Komarov and Andrew Ladd are both now be available tonight, as is recall (again) Otto Koivula who has yet to get his first NHL game. [Newsday | Isles]
  • Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk were acquired on the same day and they’ve basically been together ever since. [Athletic]
  • Barry Trotz on Adam Pelech: “I think he knows that I trust the hell out of him in almost every situation.” (That’s a shot at Spizzwolf right there.) [Islanders Insight]
  • The latest Isles Seat podcast welcomed Toronto broadcaster Nick Alberga, who seems to get a bad rap from Isles fans, to discuss tonight’s match and the fans who care more about something something Tavares. [Isles Seat]
  • Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews were among the key contributors to the recent 10-game streak. [Islanders Insight]
  • The Sound Tigers have turned it around a bit of late, enjoying some youngsters getting their first AHL goals. [Bridgeport Report]
  • For a long time I never saw live NHL hockey unless our Czech mechanic passed tickets he received from a customer along. This is a pretty sweet Isles fan story, and will particularly tug at your heart if you or someone you know has dealt with Lyme disease. [NY Sports Daily]

Damien Woody looks forward to taking in tonight’s game with this crew:

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores included the Penguins losing to the Rangers in overtime, and the Bruins hilariously and historically coughing up a third-period 4-0 lead to lose in a shootout and give Jack Edwards such a sad. (The lights also went out during a Panthers scoring chance, which was reminiscent of previous Stanley Cup finals that the Bruins lost, a tradition in Boston.)

  • Mitch Marner is out a month or so with a high ankle sprain, so he hopes to use the time off to strengthen his shot. [NHL]
  • How shall the Leafs get by during Marner’s absence? [Sportsnet]
  • The Los Angeles Kings have made it clear to Ilya Kovalchuk that he’s Ilya Kova, Kova, Kova-not gonna work here anymore. [Jewels From The Crown]
  • Vladimir Tarasenko’s return this (regular) season is in question. [NHL]
  • Don Cherry regrets nothing. [TSN]
  • The Stars will retire the #56 worn by Sergei Zubov, who is in this year’s Hall of Fame class. [NHL]
  • Keith Kinkaid digs emojis. I tell ya... [TSN]