Coming off a convincing and crucial win Thursday night in Columbus, the Islanders return home to host Connor McDavid and the Oilers before heading back out to western Canada, where they will face the Flames, Edmonton again, and then the Canucks.
The standings remain unchanged from when you woke up yesterday morning: the Isles are three up on the Capitals and seven up on the Blue Jackets for the top spot in the Metro.
Leave your FIGs for tonight’s game here.
- The biggest news from yesterday: the Islanders announced that the first round of the playoffs will be played at the Coliseum, but any subsequent rounds will be at Barclays Center if they should advance. I’d prefer all of them at the Coli, but that simply wouldn’t be feasible. [LHH | Newsday | Islanders]
- The other big news from yesterday was the announcement of Bill Torrey Appreciation Night, which will take place on March 9 at the Coliseum against the Flyers. [Newsday | Islanders]
- The other night, the Blue Jackets were taught a lesson by the Islanders. Aaron Portzline argues that, whether Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky leave in a week and a half or this summer, they could learn another one from the Isles about dealing with the departure of your top players. [The Athletic]
- Speaking of Panarin and Bobrovsky (the latter of whom will not likely be a target), what will GM Lou Lamoriello do at the Trade Deadline? Surely he’d add, but it’s impossible to know what he’s thinking. [Newsday]
- The Sound Tigers face their second straight 3-in-3 this weekend, having played on the road last night in Lehigh Valley and hosting the Hartford Wolfpack tonight and the division-leading Charlotte Checkers tomorrow afternoon. [Sound Tigers]
- They lost 4-3 in OT to the Phantoms last night, despite leading 2-0 at one point. They salvaged a point, at least. [CT Post | Soundin’ Off with the game preview]
- Over the last few years, captain Ben Holmstrom has been one of the constants in Bridgeport. This season, he’s been in and out of the lineup with the influx of youth and more talented AHL vets, but he’s adapting to his new role. [CT Post]
- This Trade Deadline, instead of revisiting the Butch Goring trade (which will likely be revisited by someone anyway) let’s revisit the John Tonelli trade to Calgary while the Flames were in town. Ironically enough, the Flames will probably be on Long Island on the day of the deadline, but won’t actually play the Isles until the next night. [The Athletic]
- NEW! Dang, Rob Schremp bringing the heat this morning. As smooth as ever:
The ultimate “ I did my job “ kind of superstar. He wins when he goes to play for his country as they are loaded with players mostly equal or better. Other than that, he just collects HIS points and HIS awards.— Rob Schremp (@RobSchremp) February 16, 2019
Coach Barry Trotz’s media availability yesterday included some words about The Best Fourth Line in Hockey™:
“They play sort of that relentless style...they get on the right side of pucks and they have good success.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 16, 2019
The Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck line has been on fire pic.twitter.com/daRdDB0suS
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers 6-2 drubbing of the Sabres in Buffalo, and Cory Schneider finally got off the schneid with his first win since December 27, 2017. The Devils trailed the Wild 4-1 going into the third and Schneider entered the game to start the final frame; they scored three times in the third to send it to OT and Nico Hischier won it. Devan Dubnyk has not been very good this season.
- Late last night, the Flyers and tonight’s opponent, the Oilers, consummated the goalie trade they’d been rumored to be making, with Cam Talbot going to Philadelphia and Anthony Stolarz going to Edmonton. [NHL | BSH with the Philly perspective | C&B with the Edmonton angle]
- LATE ADDITION: The Rangers are in contract talks with both Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes, two pending UFAs that playoff contenders have had their eyes on as rentals. If they come off the rental market, it reduces the options for buyers and drives up the price for the rentals that are available. [NY Post]
- Sabres fans are starting to wonder whether the time is right to fire coach Phil Housley, but the truth is that it’s uncertain — they’ve even acknowledged how many coaches they’ve gone through in the last half dozen years, so it may not even be just the coaches. [Die by the Blade]