The Islanders are 22-7-2. I don’t think I ever expected to type a sentence like that. I mean, look at the disparity between wins and losses! That can’t be right, can it?
After yesterday’s win over the Sabres, that’s where the record stands, and it’s good enough for third in the NHL. That’s a nice birthday gift for me this year.
Recaps from a sword fight: LHH | Islanders | Newsday | NHL | NYI Skinny
Barry Trotz liked the first and third periods, but not the second. He also didn’t like Mathew Barzal’s late penalty that allowed Jack Eichel to tie it late and force overtime. He didn’t like it at all:
Trotz on today's OT win over the Sabres: pic.twitter.com/iKETdu7bKu— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 14, 2019
- Anthony Beauvillier thought he had a tough one yesterday, but he still came away with three points, including his first-ever overtime winner to rescue his buddy Barzal. The step he’s taken this year has been huge. [Newsday]
- The tables turned as far as the top line’s muscle goes: Ross Johnston was sent face-first into the ridge of the boards by Marco Scandella and Josh Bailey jumped in to defend him. [Newsday]
Johnston had an excellent quote about the situation:
Line of the day goes to #Isles Ross Johnston. Asked him what he thought of Josh Bailey's response confronting Marco Scandella after d-man's hard hit on Johnston: "Love it. I don’t think that was the intent Barry had when he put us three together..."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 14, 2019
- Michael Dal Colle actually scored a goal yesterday, and he seemed to be fitting in on the second line with Beauvillier and Brock Nelson before leaving the game hurt in the second. Jordan Eberle jumped into that spot nicely, scoring a goal, as well. [Newsday]
- The Sound Tigers lost 5-2 to the Hershey Bears, but Andrew Ladd had a goal (his birthday was Thursday, like Billy Smith, so happy birthday Ladd) and Kieffer Bellows did, too. It’s Bellows’s third straight game with a goal and he’s got six in his last eight contests. [Soundin’ Off pregame | CT Post postgame]
- It was Teddy Bear Toss night at DCU Center and Shane Walsh made them fly only two minutes into the game as the Railers defeated the Maine Mariners 3-2. [RailersHC]
Yesterday and last night’s NHL scores include the Capitals winning yet again, this time over the Lightning by a score of 5-2, the Penguins topping the Kings in a shootout, 5-4, and the Hurricanes shutting out the Flames 4-0.
- Taylor Hall still has not been traded, but he did not play in last night’s Devils win in Arizona. Ironically, it’s believed the Coyotes are the front-runners, so they may be leaving him there. [Sportsnet]
- New Jersey has been mostly bad for the last several years, except for Hall’s MVP season. But is this one the most miserable season in Devils’ history? [AATJ]
- The Oilers have been propped up this season by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and unexpectedly above-average goaltending. Now the goaltending is regressing and it’s exposing all their other warts. [Sportsnet]
- As we mentioned yesterday, Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom is likely done for the year after his diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. [BSH]
- Eric Duhatschek on why some high-scoring defensemen aren’t scoring highly this year and what Peter DeBoer’s next step might be. [The Athletic]
- What keyed Philadelphia’s turnaround? Which current rookie would you build around? These are some of the questions answered in this debate-style piece. [ESPN]
- Drew Doughty has had a lot to say this year. Most recently, he expressed his feelings toward fighting in hockey. [Yahoo]