At long last, a goaltender stood on his head to put an end to The Streak.
It was 17 games, spanned multiple road trips and time zones, and set a new franchise record. But last night Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson said enough is enough. He stoned the Islanders for the first period, while the Ducks adjusted and worked to get one- and then two-goal leads like they had learned something from the visitors.
No early lead to get them going, and no late comeback heroics to overcome a drab final 40 minutes.
The Islanders went 15-0-2 during the streak, going from Oct. 11 to Nov. 25 between regulation losses. Their record is now 16-4-2 after 22 games.
And sober up on this: It still leaves the Islanders in only second place in the Metro (three points behind Washington, albeit with three fewer games played), and just eight points clear of the first non-playoff team (Tampa Bay, sitting at 26 points through 21 games).
All in all though, not bad work for a quarter of a season.
- About last night: [LHH | Newsday | Isles | NHL]
- Barry Trotz: “It’s hard to be hungry when you’re full...” noting that some players haven’t been playing hungry enough — probably including Jordan Eberle, whose ice time was limited down the stretch last night. [Athletic]
- In his first year as Ducks coach — and having selected over Islanders assistant Lane Lambert — Dallas Drake is looking to the Islanders as a model for success. [Newsday]
- In this episode of Islanders Anxiety: Why is your face on the Islanders website? [LHH podcasts]
- The Streak is over now, and might never be repeated for another generation nor does it guarantee even a playoff spot. Hope you enjoyed the ride. [Newsday column]
- With four goals including two in overtime, Brock Nelson was named one of the NHL three stars of the week. [Isles | Isles video | Newsday | NHL]
- Prospect Report: Samuel Bolduc keeps rolling, but Reece Newkirk misses games with a scary skate cut injury that could’ve been a lot worse. [Isles]
- Bridgeport Report: The Sound Tigers continue to inch back from their poor start after winning two of three this past weekend. [Sound Tigers]
- It’s been a tough start to the Western trip for the power play, but otherwise that unit has been good and new coach Jim Hiller has integrated seamlessly into the bench staff. [Athletic]
- Streak’s over...just in time for the Islanders to take the top spot in another power rankings. [NBC Sports]
- Bad Sabres news: Rasmus Dahlin has suffered a concussion. [TSN] No updates on Kyle Okposo, but in case you missed it that former Islander suffered another one last week and it makes you wonder if it’s worth continuing. [Buffalo News]
- Kyle Turris was a healthy scratch again for the Predators, who’ve kind of done this to themselves with a declining player on a pricey contract. [On the Forecheck]
- Developing situation: The Flames and the NHL will investigate allegations that current Flames coach Bill Peters used racial slurs against Akim Aliu back when the former NHLer played for Peters in the minors. Aliu brought it up on social media in the context of news about Peters’ colleague Mike Babcock also treating players like dirt. [Sportsnet | TSN | NHL statement] Update: Aliu talks about it here, with two former teammates backing him up. [TSN]
- On that note, more former players are publicly calling out how certain coaches have treated them. The era of dehumanizing drill sergeants in pro hockey may be waning. Even Mike Keenan eventually understood that. [Insert Uncle Gordon whining about soft millennials, back in my day you could defecate on a guy and it was all cool, etc.] [@sheriffmcmorrow]
- With a very handsome contract still running and ego intact, Mike Babcock is in no rush for his next NHL coaching job. [Sportsnet]
- His replacement, Sheldon Keefe, dedicated his first home practice to skills development. [TSN]
- And one of his early regrettable incidents was with Mitch Marner, who says the latest Toronto-media-fueled drama is in the past, move on. [TSN]
- Alexander Kerfoot has been suspended two games for boarding his former teammate. [NHL]