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Islanders News: Can this team figure it out?

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A week in which they went an extremely unconvincing 2-2 follows a month of mediocre-at-best play at one of the worst times of the season for it.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
You and me. 3:00, after school. Out by the jungle gym. Be there.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Sorry for the delay in this morning’s Bits, folks. They’re more like Brunch Bits today because of a combination of archaic daylight savings and my still recovering from a long Friday night. Am I getting old? I can’t afford to lose an hour like this!

Anyway, getting down to brass tacks, what the hell is going on with the Islanders? Is it just that the Flyers, like the Flames before them, have their number? Or is something functionally wrong with this team? Given they barely beat the Senators this week, I’d lean toward the latter. They really need to figure this out before they lose home ice in the playoffs. A good way to begin remedying this would be an utter beatdown of a team chasing them in the Blue Jackets tomorrow night.

Islanders News

Recaps from a game that just flew away from them early: LHH | Newsday | Islanders | NHL | NYI Skinny

  • The Islanders are, rightfully, angry at Jakub Voracek for shouldering the skull of Johnny Boychuk. Voracek, for his part, claimed he was just bracing himself for the hit Boychuk was about to throw on him, and wasn’t a fan of Boychuk pointing at him as he left the ice. (I was.) Also, no update on Robin Lehner, yet. Christopher Gibson was solid, if untested, in third period relief of Thomas Greiss last night. Greiss, shall we say, struggled. [Newsday]

Boychuk is not practicing today with the rest of the team:

Voracek will have a hearing for his head contact received a two-game suspension for his actions. (If you want to see how true idiots think, click on that tweet and the hearing announcement tweet and read the Flyers fan replies; relatedly, I was at the game yesterday, and Philly fans are absolutely grimiest, scummiest bastards in hockey.):

  • VIDEO: Coach Barry Trotz was displeased with the game the Islanders played last night, feeling they gave way too much to the Flyers. [Trotz Postgame]
  • He is also displeased with the little amount of practice the Islanders are able to get in with the packed schedule and CBA regulations. [Newsday]

They are practicing today, though and for what it’s worth, new lines. Michael Dal Colle is an extra (he didn’t have a great game last night, but is this the over-reliance on veterans we were warned about by Capitals fans?):

  • The Islanders honored Bill Torrey and his contributions to the team by naming their practice rink after him. A shame they didn’t honor him with their play last night! [Newsday | Islanders]
  • But it was a nice celebration of his life and his four sons were there to join in the festivities and drop the ceremonial puck. [Newsday]
  • Anders Lee’s counting stats are down this season after scoring 40 goals last season playing with John Tavares, but he’s still been an effective player on a team that has seen all of its scoring decrease this season and doesn’t think it will have an effect on his negotiating stance. [NY Post]
  • Trotz and former Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula praised the career and efforts of Ted Lindsay. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Blue Jackets defeating the Penguins 4-1 and the Hurricanes taking down the Predators 5-3. The win puts Columbus back in the second wild card behind Pittsburgh; the Canadiens are tied in points with the Jackets, but have played one more game. The ‘Canes are third in the Metro and tied in points and games played with the Pens, but have one more ROW. Both teams have 81 points, four back of the Islanders. *tugs collar*

  • Sabres star Jack Eichel will also have a hearing with NHL Player Safety today for his check to the head of Avalanche center Carl Soderberg. [NHL]
  • The Bruins’ point streak is now at 19 after another last-second victory last night, taking the lead over Ottawa with 45 seconds remaining in the game. [NHL Facts and Figures]