I’m mad for a couple of reasons. I’m mad because the Islanders lost a game that they should’ve won and deserved to win, and I’m mad because I wasted “Luck of the NYIrish” on the headline from yesterday’s recap. It was fitting for what happened in the game, but today is actually St. Patrick’s Day!
Anyway, the Islanders are in Minnesota today to play the Wild, who are fighting for their playoff lives to make good on coach Bruce Boudreau’s promise that they qualify. Leave your FIGs for tonight here. It’s a 6:00 p.m. ET start.
- Casey Cizikas was a late scratch before yesterday’s game with a lower-body strain. Coach Barry Trotz said he’s been “pretty beat up” and didn’t rule him out for tonight. Robin Lehner is a strong possibility to start tonight, and Johnny Boychuk is available for service, as he was yesterday. They don’t seem to be rushing anyone back too quickly, which is a good thing this time of the season. [Newsday]
Trotz liked what he saw from his team yesterday, emphasizing process over results in some late-season situations:
"I've said all along, sometimes you don't worry necessarily about the results, but the process, the effort and how you're playing. If you're playing well you'll get the results." #Isles pic.twitter.com/mtyC3pgCPs— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 16, 2019
- Larry Brooks sounds like a man not totally thrilled about having to drive out to Long Island and the Coliseum to watch the only decent team in New York this season, but he’s right in that the Islanders need to revive and add to the Hall of Fame banner they hung a decade ago and haven’t touched in seven years. [NY Post]
- The Sound Tigers were blown out tonight in Hershey by the Bears, losing 5-1 to close out their five-game road trip and allowing the Bears to pull within two points of the second place Tigers. They return home tomorrow to play the Springfield Thunderbirds at 5:00 p.m., the first in an eight-game homestand. [Soundin’ Off pregame | Sound Tigers postgame | CT Post postgame]
Beyond the Blue and Orange
Yesterday and last night’s NHL scores include the Blues doing the Islanders a huge favor by battering the Penguins 5-1, and the Lightning did a similar solid by knocking down the Capitals 6-3. Also, the Bruins beat the Blue Jackets in overtime, while the Hurricanes beat the Sabres in regulation.
The hockey gods, despite robbing the Islanders of probably 5 goals, were fairly kind to them yesterday. The standings remained the same, other than Carolina and Columbus swapping wild card spots.
- VIDEO: The other day, we linked a video about Trotz naming Jon Cooper his choice for the Jack Adams Award. Here’s that segment from the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading, with notes on Taylor Hall and the Devils and Connor McDavid’s level of commitment to the Oilers. (Spoiler alert: it’s still very high right now.)
- According to the numbers of all kinds, the Lightning are the best assembled squad in the salary cap era, topping a few Red Wings, Capitals, and Bruins iterations, as well as the lockout Blackhawks and Canada’s greatest Stanley Cup hope in the cap era, the 2010-11 Canucks. [The Athletic]
- David Krejci has been on all of those dominant Bruins teams throughout the years and has some thoughts on the current playoff format, David Pastrnak, and the time Johnny Boychuk returned his tooth to him. [ESPN]