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Islanders News: Barzal repents, prepares to speed, and not a new contract (yet)

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Mathew Barzal will compete in the fastest skater competition, which will be over before you can blink.

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2020 NHL All-Star - Media Day
“What’s it like to be a hero to so many Lighthouse Hockey readers?”
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the All-Star Break! One of the festivities things takes place tonight, with many events, each named after a corporate sponsor. Mathew Barzal will compete in the fastest skater competition. See the full lineup here.

Islanders News

  • Barzal on that third-period benching: “I was in the wrong. ... We were up 3-0 and we were stressing getting pucks in deep and I had a bit of a mental lapse and then turned the puck over and it almost resulted in a goal against.” [Newsday]
  • He’s also in no rush to discuss his contract: “We want to make the playoffs, take a run at the Stanley Cup,” Barzal said, “and after that we’ll figure [the contract] out.” [NHL]
  • I asked Bryan Trottier about Barzal’s skills, Mike Bossy’s shooting and the impact of specialized skill coaching in today’s game. [LHH]
  • We have more podcasts on the way this week as the league and the Islanders take a break. Yesterday, Joe Buono and Christian Arnold discussed the week that was, and what Lou could do next. [PTIsles Podcast]
  • With that all done, once the dust settles, February is going to be...kind of a big deal. [Newsday]
  • 16 thoughts on various league topics, including how the Islanders have struggled since Adam Pelech’s injury — but it’s the drop in timely scoring and game-saving goaltending that has hurt. [Athletic]

The Sound Tigers still have two more games before the AHL All-Star break, tonight in Hartford and tomorrow in Springfield.

Elsewhere

There were no NHL games last night, only travel to vacation spots, home visits and — for the select few — to St. Louis for the All-Star festivities that begin with tonight’s Skills Competition Sponsored By Someone Surely.

  • Speaking of which, the Tkachuk brothers grew up — at that arena, essentially — in St. Louis while their dad played for the Blues and made multiple all-star selections. So it’s surreal for them to be back there, competing against each other, on the same stage. [NHL]
  • Why John Tortorella is a Jack Adams candidate. [TSN]
  • Ryan Johansen is on pace for his worst season since his rookie year. Blip, or trend? [Athletic]
  • The Canadiens have some good underlying indicators but the results aren’t reflecting that. Where is the disconnect? [Athletic]
  • Look out behind you: Doug Wilson has received a vote of confidence from ownership in San Jose. [AP]
  • Did he or didn’t he? The Gritty Watch continues. [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Well that’s cool: Hockey Wilderness welcomes NWHL pro, Detroit native, Wisconsin Badger alum, and current Riveter Madison Packer to write for the site.