Last night’s game wasn’t the best one this iteration of the franchise, led by hustle, grit, goaltending, and Barry Trotz, ever played. It wasn’t even the best of these stretch of home games, though I think the game against the Maple Leafs should be categorized on its own. But it was, absolutely, the game this team needed to play. It was Trotz hockey almost the way he likes it; it wasn’t exactly the way he likes it, though.
And perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps the Islanders needed an imperfect game rife with hustle, grit, goaltending, and Barry Trotz, one they can point to as a confidence booster, clamping down on a desperate team, while also emphasizing the importance of smoothing out the creases in their game en route to the playoffs.
Here’s what Trotz had to say about the game:
- The loss to the Islanders is an especially painful one for Columbus, who hasn’t taken the league by storm as expected after all their deadline acquisitions. They’re gonna need all the points they can get. [PHT]
- This time of year, you take the points however you can get them. Even if that means just surviving the onslaught, as the Islanders did a bit last night. [Newsday]
- Cal Clutterbuck was back, which meant the chemistry was back for TBFLIH. Also, injury updates on Lehner (skating) and Boychuk (not skating). [Post]
- You know who else is a fan of Barry Trotz? John Tortorella, who wasn’t happy with how his friend left Washington. [Newsday]
- Flyers fans are, uh, unhappy with the Jakub Voracek suspension for his hit on Johnny Boychuk, despite acknowledging there’s head contact and how far away the puck is from the hit. They’re mad it’s two games instead of one. Sure, Jan. (Voracek is also appealing the suspension.) [BSH]
- Arnaud Durandeau has a nine-game point streak, Blade Jenkins scored his 100th OHL point, Ilya Sorokin and Anatoly Golyshev are in the second round of the KHL playoffs with their teams, and Noah Dobson is up to 34 points in 25 games played with his new team. [Islanders Prospect Report]
- As the Islanders find themselves in a familiar place, unsure of where they’ll play in the future, it begs the question: where do they belong? [Deadspin]
- Newsday’s Randi Marshall joined Sean Cuthbert on the Hockey Night in NY podcast. Haven’t gotten a chance to listen yet but I presume it concerns the arena situation, since she’s been covering it heavily.
Last night’s NHL scores include the Flyers defeating the Senators to move within three points of a playoff spot, though they’re probably competing for one spot with Columbus and the Canadiens (the Penguins seem to be pulling away from that pack, as do the Hurricanes).
Speaking of Carolina, they shutout the Avalanche last night to keep pace in the race; they now sit in third in the Metro, tied with Pittsburgh at 83 points but with one more ROW. The Isles are two points back of the Capitals for the lead and four points up on the Pens and ‘Canes.
- During the Lightning’s 6-2 beatdown of the Maple Leafs last night in Toronto, the mics picked up the use of a homophobic slur on the ice; presumably, it was Morgan Rielly yelling it toward a ref, and he is under investigation by the NHL. NSFW clip of the play in the article. [SI.com] The league is investigating, the Leafs management is aware.
- Senators forward Brady Tkachuk is skating right into the void left by his mentor, Mark Stone. Oh no, he’s not stopping or veering off — Tkachuk has just barreled over the void! [TSN]
- Sharks broadcaster and former NHLer Jamie Baker opened up about the terribly dark place he was in last season and is grateful to be alive. Very moving story from Katie Strang that I encourage you to read if you have the subscription; it may even be available without one, I’m not sure. [The Athletic]