The Islanders open their stroll through the southeast in Texas, specifically Dallas, and against the Stars. Dallas is a very streaky team. After only one win in their first nine games, they rolled off something like 14 of their next 17 games and had a long point streak mixed in there. They won their most recent game, but that snapped a four-game losing streak. So who knows which version of the Stars we’re getting tonight.
The important thing is to play Islanders hockey and let the chips fall where they may. The Stars have some offensive weapons that will be hard to contain, but the structure would do a pretty good job of that.
FIG Picks go here. It’s a 9:00 p.m. EST puck drop, so you have a little extra time to make your pick.
Let’s preview the damn thing, shall we?
Enjoy what they looked like in practice before they flew out yesterday:
good morning from practice! pic.twitter.com/2RDyVvLzDn— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 6, 2019
- Just before that practice, the Islanders announced they returned Otto Koivula to Bridgeport, which is probably the best move right now. [LHH | Islanders]
- Anthony Beauvillier has definitively broken out this season, but he said the only thing he really changed was his mindset. [The Athletic]
- Ross Johnston rolled out on the first line last game and was pretty solid, actually. [Islanders Insight]
- The Islanders created a winning culture. I had to actually rub my eyes when I read that subhead. [The Athletic]
- LISTEN: The PTIsles podcast discusses the win Thursday night against the Golden Knights and the fisherman revival.
- The Sound Tigers continue a three-game road trip this weekend that takes them to Utica and Syracuse. They have Koivula and Tom Kuhnhackl along for the ride now. [Sound Tigers]
- They were in Utica last night and beat the Comets 5-4. Kieffer Bellows scored his third goal in his last four games. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Sound Tigers post game]
- Stan Fischler remembers what it was like in 1986-87, the Islanders’ first season without Al Arbour since their inaugural season. [Maven’s Memories]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers losing in the final minute of regulation to the Canadiens and the friggin’ Capitals getting their 22nd(!) win and their 48th and 49th(!) points by beating the Ducks in regulation. They swept their California trip, those bastards.
- Nathan MacKinnon would “take less again” to help the Avalanche field a better team. [NHL]
- Jakub Vrana is Washington’s new secret weapon. [THN]
- Allegedly because he doesn’t want to pay child support, Senators defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, who recently took a leave of absence for personal reasons, forcibly took his kids from his ex-wife. [Yahoo]
- The Maple Leafs need a back-up goalie. Here are ten options for them to get one. [Sportsnet]
- All About the Jersey’s official position on the matter is that, since they’re going to lose a number of players to trade or UFA, GM Ray Shero should clear out the entire coaching staff this summer.
- They’re also not too happy that Shero has managed them to a third tanked season in his five years on the job, but they have a good breakdown about how he should handle it. [AATJ]
- And the Post’s Brett Cyrgalis pooped his diaper about P.K. Subban’s endorsement commitments because hockey players should be all hockey, all the time. [NY Post]
- The latest ESPN buy/sell topics were Phil Kessel hitting 30 goals and whether or not the Panthers regret the Sergei Bobrovsky contract already.
- The Hurricanes have a new practice facility in Morrisville, NC. [Canes Country]
- Part 2 of the Hockey Advanced Stats Primer: How can (and should) we measure play-driving ability? [The Athletic]
- Former NHL player and coach Steve Ludzik is in need of a life-saving liver transplant. [THN]
- This is a crazy story: Gene Carr, a member of the Kings in the 1970s and apparently who the Eagles song “New Kid in Town” is about, had a daughter he never knew about when he was with the Blues and got traded to the Rangers. [The Athletic]