Before last night’s game, speaking with reporters, Barry Trotz said forget “measuring stick” — he clearly thinks the Islanders already belong in the same area of the stick as the defending conference champs — he just wanted a good bounce-back game.
He got it.
Tough start — one well-played mistake became an early Bruins goal — but otherwise the Islanders impressed, got better as the game went on, and deservedly claimed two of the three points against a team they hadn’t beaten in eight games.
It took extra time though, and then extra-extra time. The Islanders opened the shootout with two precise snipes from Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal, but Bruins beast David Pastrnak got one back. That left the game on Brad Marchand’s stick...denied. (I don’t care where we are or what day it is, it’s always good to see Brad Marchand lose.)
- More about last night: [LHH | Newsday | NHL | Isles]
- And the Skinny: Isles improve to 16-0-1 when leading after two periods. [NYI Skinny]
- Cal Clutterbuck left the game after a scary skate cut, though hopefully he’ll be okay after getting stitched up. [SN]
- Arthur Staple asked Lou Lamoriello about Josh Ho-Sang (better call us because we aren’t calling you), Andrew Ladd (seven goals and counting in Bridgeoprt), and more. [Athletic]
- An oddly unexpected sentiment that got a lot of play yesterday: Asked about the Predators using their top PP unit on the 5-on-3 late in the blowout of the Isles, Trotz did not like it. Said it says something about Peter Laviolette. (Personally, I thought it was more a reflection of the PP coming about because Scott Mayfield had mauled their scorer.) [Newsday | Islanders Insight | TSN Insiders | Sportsnet]
- Written before last night’s game, but relevant to the “measuring stick”/”statement game” aspect of facing the Bruins. [Isles Blog]
- Who are the top New York sports stars? Mathew Barzal is the top hockey one, it says here. [Newsday]
Regarding the rumbling from Elliotte Friedman that Ilya Sorokin would force a trade from the Isles to an NHL team with a “clear path to start,” the Isles draftee says:
Ilya Sorokin on the 'trade demand from the #isles': 'Learned I demand something when I read about it today'— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) December 19, 2019
Last night’s showdown was worthy of a Newsday full-page pun:
Friday's @NewsdaySports cover:— Gregg Henglein (@GreggHenglein) December 20, 2019
BOSTON 'D' PARTY#Isles defense, goaltending rebound vs. Bruins@AGrossNewsday
Le'Veon Bell wants to remain with #jets@Al_Iannazzone #NHL #NFL @APSE_sportmedia #islestwitter pic.twitter.com/2Ma1eKgVYh
- These are power rankings and the Islanders are deemed to have the fifth-most power. [Sportsnet]
- Various stats around the league, and musing on what impact Taylor Hall could have on the Coyotes. [Athletic]
- The Leafs are 8-4 under Sheldon Keefe but still have “a long way to go.” [TSN]
- The Flyers have a #OskarStrong rallying cry for the rest of the season. [NHL]
- The Jets re-claimed goalie Eric Comrie off of waivers from the Red Wings. [TSN]