They can’t all be gems, so when the Islanders are able to put up 5 goals while not looking their sharpest against a weak team, well, that’s a beautiful thing. It is possible to be both lucky and good, and I’m reminded of a Clark Gillies quote from an interview he did four years ago with The Hockey News:
Everybody asks, ‘What does it take to win the Cup?’ Well, first you gotta be talented; you’ve got to be good enough – which we were – and then you’ve got to be healthy, which we were incredibly for four years. But one of the key ingredient is you’ve got to be really, really lucky. If you don’t get the breaks that go along with everything else, you’re going to lose.
Obviously, I’m not saying this team comes even remotely close, in talent, to the dynasty teams, nor that they’ll necessarily be gunning for a Stanley Cup come springtime. But there is a great deal of talent on this roster, and they seem to be catching the right breaks (and for what it’s worth, they satisfy the other ingredient Gillies mentioned by staying rather healthy this season).
Some may say you create your own luck; others may disagree. What’s ultimately important, though, is that the breaks are there, helping the team along when the team isn’t on top of their game. And hell, with the hit posts last night, one might even say there’s room for the luck to increase.
Of course, I’ve probably jinxed everything now with my commentary.
*ducks a barrage of rabbit feet and four-leaf clovers*
Coach Barry Trotz on the game last night and the progress shown by some of the younger/more inexperienced players:
- Robin Lehner, who allowed only two goals in last night’s win, and Thomas Greiss, who shut out the Blue Jackets Thursday night, keep flipping back and forth between first and second in save percentage in the NHL. What a tandem. [Islanders]
- The Sound Tigers had Thomas Hickey and Andrew Ladd join their ranks on conditioning stints. They were in the lineup tonight for Bridgeport’s OT win over the Hartford Wolfpack, each recording a goal in the process. Ladd also added an assist on a goal for Josh Ho-Sang. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Soundin’ Off postgame]
Coliseum vs. Barclays Center Clippings
- The unique home situation the Islanders have this season demonstrates two factions of the Isles fanbase, and the players seem to be fine with the split. [New York Times]
- Though they’re definitely happy to take any home playoff games at the Coliseum they can get. It’s funny, too: the Islanders are, at this point, a strong bet to make the playoffs, but the coaches and executives and players always stress “having to get there first” or something of that nature. I love it - they’re not counting their chickens before they’re hatched. A good mentality to have in their perspectives. [Newsday]
- More of the same sentiment, including what many fans may be thinking, in this column from Mark Herrmann. He also suggests that, in his opinion, it is likely this arena arrangement holds until Belmont is complete. [Newsday]
Beyond the Blue and Orange
Last night’s NHL scores include the Blue Jackets topping the Blackhawks in Chicago to pull
even in points with back within two points of the Capitals, five seven back of the Islanders (h/t kevfitz36). Also, the Penguins lost in regulation to the Flames while the Hurricanes defeated the Stars 3-0, putting Carolina in a playoff spot for the time being. Also, the Blues have won 9 straight after beating Colorado.
- The Oilers made another trade before last night’s game, acquiring a former player of theirs in Sam Gagner from the Canucks in exchange for Ryan Spooner, whom they acquired from the Rangers for Ryan Strome, whom they acquired from the Islanders for Jordan Eberle. While Gagner isn’t as good a player as Eberle, he still has some value. [C&B]
- The Gagner gamble is a good one to make, according to Jonathan Willis. There’s not a lot of expectation that a trade between two guys that have been stuck in the minors makes a major impact on their new teams, but Gagner may work out swimmingly in his second stint in Edmonton. [The Athletic]
Speaking of trades, it appears the market may finally be opening up a little bit just over a week before the Trade Deadline, involving a couple players the Isles may target:
Interest has picked up last few days on Johansson. And judging by Ray Shero’s history, he’s not a guy that likes to wait until deadline day. Dealt Boyle already. https://t.co/nkvuWhjb8v— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 16, 2019
OTT and Mark Stone have re-engaged in discussions over the past few days to see if there is common ground on an extension. Meanwhile, the Senators have made Matt Duchene available, and expect those talks to heat up over the next few days.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 17, 2019
- It has yet to be determined whether the Avalanche, still mired in an extended slump, buy or sell at the deadline while clinging desperately to shrinking playoff hopes. [The Athletic]
- In honor of Hockey Week in America, kicked off by Hockey Day in America tomorrow, here are 10 reasons to celebrate hockey in the USA. [ESPN]
- And last but not least, if there is only thing tolerable about the Flyers, from ownership through players and right on through to fans, it is their new mascot, Gritty. The mascot was the answer to a Jeopardy! question this week. [Yahoo]