After a couple of nice showings against Metro foes in a back-to-back, where they gained four points and conceded zero, the Islanders now head out on the third of their four extended Western Conference trips of the season, this one primarily through the south and west.
But tonight, they return to Barry Trotz’s first NHL home, where he spent 16 seasons, starting with their inauguration. The Nashville Predators just haven’t been able to keep it rolling this season long enough to contend for a playoff spot—they’ve already fired Peter Laviolette and replaced him with John Hynes—but they’re still a talented team.
It’s tough for any team to make up a five-point difference and hop three teams (though they have as many as four games in hand on the teams in front of them) just to get into the last wild card spot. But if anyone can do it, it’s them.
And that’s how the Islanders need to approach this game. Because last time they played the Predators, it looked like they took them a little lightly, and they got whooped 8-3. If the Islanders play like they have over the last few games, they should win.
- Let’s preview this square dance, shall we?
- The Islanders confirmed yesterday that Casey Cizikas’ injury is a leg laceration and that he’ll be out 3-4 weeks. Not season-ending, thankfully, but not great, either. Cole Bardreau was recalled in his stead. [LHH | Islanders]
- It’s yet another freaky injury, the second skate laceration of the season, to a key player to Barry Trotz’s system. It will probably affect how the Islanders approach the deadline. [The Athletic]
Speaking of which, Pierre LeBrun essentially confirms the Isles are on the hunt for a forward.
tough injury for the Isles, who were already on the lookout for a top-9 F on the trade market, preferably a C https://t.co/dA13USymtG— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 12, 2020
- As the Isles Buzz podcast notes, it’s been a week of hell for the Islanders, between the injuries and the tough schedule. Resiliency! [LHH Podcasts]
- The people have spoken, and 95% you think the Islanders ought to buy at this deadline. I concur. [LHH]
- Bridgeport has been dealing with a rash of injuries this season, too, and the Sound Tigers can’t get into any sort of rhythm. [CT Insider]
- PHOTOS: The Isles wives and girlfriends paid a visit to the Ronald McDonald House. [Islanders]
- LHHer Onethirtyeight is making the trip from Michigan to New York for the first time in his life to watch his beloved Islanders on February 21. (Ironically, they’re playing the Red Wings that night.) He picked a good night, since it’ll be John Tonelli retirement night. But he needs some recommendations on what to do around here. Give him some help! [LHH]
- Blues GM Doug Armstrong said that he’s undergoing a battery of tests but that things are looking positive for Jay Bouwmeester. Also confirmed they needed the AED to revive him. [NHL]
The Islanders did a classy thing regarding Bouwmeester.
Sending our thoughts and prayers to Jay Bouwmeester, his family and the @StLouisBlues.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 12, 2020
- The Canadiens will be without Shea Weber for 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Probably better for their tanking efforts. [EOTP]
- Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts has some deadline buzz—nothing on the Isles, from my quick skim—but also discusses the increasing possibility the NHL goes to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. That would be fun.
- New Senators CEO Jim Little’s big task (not my joke, theirs) is filling the seats in Kanata, a suburb a half hour outside of Ottawa, for a bad team. [TSN]
- Holy hell, Mike Keenan is hosting a podcast now? And his guest, in Episode 2, is Brett Hull?! Haven’t listened yet, but I assume they’re just yelling at each other. [Iron Mike Keenan Podcast]