The Islanders are in Winnipeg tonight. Both coach Barry Trotz and defenseman Ryan Pulock return to their home province of Manitoba for the only time this season, as far as Islanders hockey goes anyway. It would have been a return to the Jets for Andrew Ladd, who spent five seasons as captain with the team (six with the franchise overall, if you include the last season they were the Atlanta Thrashers), but his ACL has said otherwise.
Their opponent, the hosting Jets, have already clinched a playoff spot and are in decent position to win the Central Division, though they actually have fewer points than the Islanders — in one fewer game, though, and in the Worstern Conference. Leave your FIG picks here. 8:00 p.m. EST start time tonight.
- Pierre LeBrun reports that talks between the Islanders and Anders Lee are stalling on term — he wants seven or eight years, the Islanders fewer than that. [TSN]
- Anthony Beauvillier has struggled all season to stay consistent, but he likes his play of late, even if he hasn’t scored in 10 games. [Newsday]
- The case for — and against — extending Brock Nelson, a center thriving under Barry Trotz’s system. [LHH]
- As you may know, the Isles’ top forward prospect and the no. 11 overall pick in the 2018 Draft Oliver Wahlstrom is leaving Boston College for either the AHL or Europe. [BC Interruption]
- Arthur Staple updates us on all the Islanders’ prospects, including more on Wahlstrom and his decision. [The Athletic]
- The Sound Tigers went into last night’s game against the Charlotte Checkers missing Kyle Burroughs and John Stevens, and lost 4-0 to the best team in the AHL. [Soundin’ Off pregame | CT Post on “playoff-style tests” | CT Post postgame | Sound Tigers postgame]
- Worcester Railers forward Yanick Turcotte gets into a lot of fights — more than anyone else in the ECHL. [Telegram]
- Mike and Dan discuss the highs and lows of the last four games and worry about what they mean as the playoffs approach. [Islanders Anxiety]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Bruins thumping the Rangers 6-3, featuring a hat trick and 5-point night for David Pastrnak, but nothing of note to the Islanders.
- The Code is treated as too important in the game of hockey. It was so important that 5’9” 153 lb. Canadiens forward Paul Byron felt he had to Answer the Bell for his check to the head of 6’1” 212 lb. Panthers forward MacKenzie Weegar back in January, for which he was suspended three games and for which he publicly apologized, even as his Habs are engulfed in a desperate playoff race. And he got his Bell rung by the much larger Weegar. So much so that he literally stumbled getting off the ice. Weegar, upon viewing the replay of Byron’s stumble, looked visibly distraught. Why did this need to happen? [The Athletic]
- Byron’s agent, JP Barry, ripped The Code, as well. [Yahoo!]
- Former Flyers captain Keith Primeau had four documented concussions in his career, and probably more than ten, he estimates. The last one ended his career, and he felt symptoms for more than six years. He opens up about getting close to “the breaking point.” [The Athletic]
- A prospect I’ve heard a lot about over the last few years, defenseman Dante Fabbro, has left college and signed his ELC with the Predators; he could make his NHL debut Friday against the Penguins. [NHL]
- Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov says that his team should’ve made the playoffs. Everyone else thought so, too, when the season started. [NHL]
- LISTEN: In the inaugural episode of “1-on-1 with Matt Leon,” he hosts Steph Driver, the hockey editorial manager for SB Nation, the co-host of “Broad Street Hockey Radio,” and a stroke survivor at age 31. [KYW]
- Wild goalie coach Bob Mason lost his wife, Victoria, to cancer this month. He remembers fondly the “one-of-a-kind” love of his life. [The Athletic]