The Islanders wrap up a three-game Western Canadian swing tonight when they visit the Vancouver Canucks, Mathew Barzal’s childhood team. The Islanders badly need this win tonight to maintain their lead in the Metro Division and for this trip to be a wash, having already amassed an 0-1-1 record for it.
Leave your FIGs here; puck drop isn’t until 10:00 p.m. ET.
- Vancouver is also the home area of Devon Toews, and he returns home this season as a key contributor to his team in the NHL. [Islanders]
- The other teams in the Metro Division competing for playoff spots have all made moves to improve — including the Blue Jackets reeling in one of the big fish in Matt Duchene yesterday. The Penguins added Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad a while back, the Hurricanes Nino Niederreiter, and the Capitals Carl Hagelin and, yesterday, defenseman Nick Jensen. What’s left out there for the Islanders and do they have to make a move now? [LHH]
- Dan and Dom join other Metro writers to discuss what their teams could be up to at the deadline. [BSB]
- Barry Trotz was the right man for the job of coaching the Islanders. [Edmonton Sun]
- He spoke with Eric Duhatschek about the importance of the Stanley Cup and of the Islanders’ historic turnaround. [The Athletic]
- Butch Goring explains what he thinks has happened to bring the Islanders together to form a first place team this season. [NY Post]
- The Sound Tigers won a wild back-and-forth road game against the Providence Bruins in OT. Josh Ho-Sang had three assists, including on Mitchell Vande Sompel’s OT winner. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Sound Tigers postgame]
- If Belmont falls through, the uncertainty of where they’ll eventually play returns, because the Coliseum, as is, won’t be feasible long-term. [Newsday]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Blue Jackets beating the Senators in Matt Duchene’s Columbus debut — he’s been traded twice in his career, and both times, his first game with his new team was against the team that just traded him — and then a bunch of other crap that doesn’t affect the Islanders.
It’s Dzingel day in Ottawa. Senators will get and should get quality return. Hard to say what it is...ranging for multiple picks to a top prospect. Boston and CBJ among the suitors.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 23, 2019
- The other night, a massive line brawl broke out between the Penguins and Sharks after San Jose forward Evander Kane glanced at Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan’s whiteboard. Six players and Sullivan were tossed and there was a guy wearing a Lemieux jersey and Luchador mask! [Deadspin]
- Flyers forward Jori Lehtera faces charges for buying cocaine in his native Finland.
- Before there were the Flyers, there were the Philadelphia Quakers, who played one season and went 4-36-4 in 1930-31. [NHL]
- Speaking of awful teams, how bad will the Rangers be after teams snatch away their few good players? [Blueshirt Banter]
- Mike Sillinger, who was traded a record nine times during his career, discusses what it’s like to be moved at the deadline and become a nomad. [The Athletic]