The Islanders have a busy weekend ahead of them with two afternoon back-to-back games. They’re home, but they’re at Barclays Center, so they’re not around the block as they would be from Coliseum games. Which really doesn’t make a huge difference and they’re not going to be traveling home around midnight because they’re afternoon games - really, the fact that they’re playing twice in a row is the larger issue to wade through, especially since they won’t get more than one day off in a row until after next Saturday. But they seem to do better when they have to play a lot, so perhaps this sets them off on a roll. And they’ve performed superbly in the second half of back-to-backs.
Today, they tackle the first half of it, hosting the Avalanche at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. Last time they played was in Denver, and the Islanders shut down a team that was red hot at the time. It was the second game of the 15-3-1 run that carried the Isles to the All-Star Break, while the loss was the beginning of a tailspin that knocked the Avs out of a playoff spot. Leave your FIGs here.
- The injury Cal Clutterbuck suffered the other night was not serious, according to coach Barry Trotz. Unclear if he’ll play today. [Newsday]
- Tom Kuhnhackl’s dad, Erich, was voted the best German hockey player of the 20th century. Tom is following in his dad’s footsteps in the NHL. [Islanders]
- The Sound Tigers are busy this weekend as well, as they must navigate a 3-in-3: they were on the road in Providence last night, but they’ll be home today and tomorrow. [Sound Tigers]
- They fell to the Providence Bruins last night, unfortunately, but they’ll try to avenge the loss today. [CT Post]
- In his column this week, Stan Fischler remembers a couple important Islanders firsts: their first ever draft pick, Billy Harris, and the first player they had from Long Island, Richie Hansen. [Maven’s Memories]
The coach spaketh on Clutterbuck, Thomas Hickey, and the upcoming schedule:
Trotz gives injury updates on Clutterbuck and Hickey and discusses the upcoming schedule in today’s #Isles practice updates: pic.twitter.com/sOKkk9KfPz— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 8, 2019
Last night’s NHL score was the Rangers getting shut out on home ice by the Hurricanes on their 25th Anniversary celebration of 1994, where nothing happened.
- The GM that built that 1994 team, one-time Isles GM Big Deal Neil Smith, reflects on the trades that got them where they got, which was nowhere. [The Athletic]
- Many franchises, when they play as dreadfully as the Ducks have of late, will at least come out and explain to the fans what their thought process is. Anaheim has remained silent, aside from a foolish vote of confidence for coach Randy Carlyle, and the fans are growing angry. [Anaheim Calling]
- This was sad to read, but it happens to everyone at some point: Sabres’ forward and former Islander Kyle Okposo should play less or start getting healthy scratched. His play has declined rather rapidly this season. [Die by the Blade]
- This is even more sad to read: former Minnesota hockey star and current Wild AGM Tom Kurvers prepares for his toughest battle yet as he was diagnosed with lung cancer. [The Athletic]