This team is good. Like, really good. Despite the lack of
pure elite talent outside of Mat Barzal, the coaching, the defense, and the goaltending are carrying the Islanders and they now sit five points ahead of the Capitals in first place with the same number of games played; they’re seven up on the Blue Jackets, who have a game in hand.
I know you’re all aware of this, and I’ve probably said it plenty of times before, but I keep looking at the standings and saying “wow” like Owen Wilson.
- Thomas Greiss’ calm demeanor was on full display yesterday; he can handle just about any adversity and remain easy. [Newsday]
- Tanner Fritz scored the winner again, as the Sound Tigers got a big OT win over Utica to close out the weekend. [BST | Soundin’ Off]
- Mat Barzal, who has gotten a little feisty and sick and tired of getting hounded all the time, took a retaliatory penalty yesterday for punching a Wild player in the face, and coach Barry Trotz was not happy at all. [Newsday]
He spoke about that and the level of commitment his Islanders are showing toward maintaining their standings position:
- It finally happened: the Ducks have removed Randy Carlyle as coach after losing 19 of their last 21 games. [NHL | Anaheim Calling]
- GM Bob Murray is going all Lou Lamoriello/Mike Milbury and putting himself behind the bench for the rest of the season. [TSN]
- Now in last place in the Western Conference, it’s time for them to “be real” about their team and look ahead to next season. [The Athletic]
- Claude Giroux has proved doubters wrong throughout his entire hockey playing career and is doing the same thing this season, having a renaissance season when everyone said he was washed. [NHL]
- In the midst of a very good season, the Canadiens aren’t satisfied with losing, even when they gain a point like they did Saturday night against Toronto. [NHL]