Every team has a string of bad games in an 82-game season. It’s just bound to happen, that’s how life goes. When you’re supposed to be a good team, as the Islanders are, playing a bottom-feeder, like the Senators, should be a guaranteed two points, a game that should pick you up out of that slump.
That it wasn’t last night, that it took a shootout to beat this team, is concerning, especially in the context of their recent play. The second period was tremendous, which makes that third period all the more disappointing, horrendous goaltender interference determination aside. (And by the way, it was probably the worst reviewed call I’ve seen since they implemented the coach’s challenge; Brock Nelson hardly touched Brady Tkachuk, not nearly enough to send him into Robin Lehner with such speed and force not seen since Chris Kreider stopped being that kind of asshole.)
Correct me if I’m wrong — I believe it was commenter Rollie the Goalie that said the other day they’re not ready to hit the panic button yet, but they’re taking it out of storage for easy access. That sounds about right.
The coach speaks on his milestone win:
- Hopefully, Robin Lehner is okay after that collision. [Newsday]
- Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle were called up on emergency for this game. Only Dal Colle played (in the above video, Trotz said he loved his game and he’s a big MDC fan), and he’s been killing it in the AHL as well. [Newsday | Elite Prospects]
- Michael Fornabaio addresses the emergency call-ups, as well as the Sound Tigers not making any moves at the AHL Trade Deadline. [Soundin’ Off]
- Ho-Sang is happy to be a part of the organization, but is hopeful he doesn’t have to go back to Bridgeport any time soon. [Newsday | NY Post]
- The developers have scaled back the size of the proposed arena in Ronkonkoma, from over 17,000 seats to about 7,500. [Newsday]
- Pat LaFontaine has joined the development team to help bring the Ronkonkoma arena to life; his task is to find an AHL team to anchor the downsized arena. How convenient would it be to have the Isles’ minor-league team right down the Island? It would only be like a 40 minute ride down the LIE at like 11:00 a.m. for an emergency call-up! [LI Business News]
- A new episode of Islanders Anxiety dropped yesterday; listen to Mike and Dan discuss John Tavares’ return to the Coliseum, as well as the three other losses that happened in the last week. [LHH]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Hurricanes, dressed in Whalers garb, losing in OT to the Bruins; the Blue Jackets defeated the Devils in a shootout; the Penguins beat the Panthers in OT; and the Canadiens took a late regulation win from the Kings.
The standings beneath the Isles and Capitals remains the same. The Islanders are currently seeded first in the Metro and the Caps second, despite having identical records and ROWs. According to their own tiebreaking procedure, the Caps should be in first, given that they’ve taken more points in head-to-head games with the Islanders, but maybe they don’t look at that until the end of the season and they’re going on goal differential. Or, it’s a mistake. Who knows? Doesn’t really matter today.
[UPDATE: Eric Hornick explained this...due to the uneven schedule, the first game against the Caps is tossed out in the tiebreaking H2H calculations.]
- The Hurricanes are riding a surge toward the playoffs, where they haven’t been in nine seasons. [Canes Country]
- Part of their recent success is due to the goaltenders; for years, Carolina has struggled with getting even average goaltending. They were 29th in save percentage over the last four years, and they’re 12th this season. [ESPN]
- The Blue Jackets shouldn’t feel pressure from all the deadline acquisitions and the weight of those expectations. “No fear,” like the GM showed. [NHL]
- The Rangers visited the Stars last night, which would’ve been a rematch for Mats Zuccarello had he not broken his arm. Zucc says Mika Zibanejad misses him “like a boyfriend.” [NY Post]
- Alex Radulov showed up late in the morning before last night’s game and coach Jim Montgomery did not let him play, either. Dallas went with 11F/7D, instead.
- Brent Sutter will miss the rest of the season for the Canucks. [NHL]
- Ryan Kesler played in his 1,000th game last night against the Coyotes, due in large part to his dedication to getting there, given how bad his hips are. I was going to make a crass comment because it’s Ryan Kesler and he can be a turd, but this is a great story, and really well-written. [SI.com]
- This week’s “Five Questions With...” features Brianna Decker, star of the US Women’s National Team. [NHL]
- Black History Month showed that hockey has come a long way in terms of diversity and inclusion, but that there is also plenty more work to be done. [The Color of Hockey]