A winless road trip concluded with a thud in Denver as the New York Islanders were peppered by the Avalanche early and only managed one goal — their second of the four-game trip — in the dying minutes of regulation with goalie Semyon Varlamov pulled. The 3-1 loss made them 0-4 on the trip, outscored by a total 11-2, and extending their longest winless streak of Barry Trotz’s tenure.
Adding insult, Drick Brassard left the game in the first period after a Ryan Pulock shot took an odd deflection and hit the center in the side of the face.
The timing for all of it is accentuated by the approaching trade deadline, the continuing offensive struggles and the existing injury to Casey Cizikas, whose absence exposes their seasonlong quest to have more than three regular centers Totz can count on.
About last night: [LHH | Newsday | Isles | NHL]
"Not everything is going to come easy. This league tests you every night. If you fight through adversity you'll come out stronger and better on the other side." - Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/UKOV9q3tgb— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 20, 2020
- Barry Trotz says the Andy Greene acquisition is important not so much to have regular pairs as to have regular roles (e.g. PK, where Nick Leddy was forced to carry more in Adam Pelech’s absence). [Newsday]
- Cal Clutterbuck is close to returning to practice. [Newsday]
- Lots of goals as Bridgeport lost, 8-5. [Sound Tigers]
What a weird Sound Tiger game. No power plays against, second time this year, and they lose 8-5. Relievers give up seven goals plus an empty-netter. Berube gets the win, then gets traded. Hutton had two points and was minus-4 (on for 8 of 13 goals: 2F, 6A).— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) February 20, 2020
- Lots of goals against as Worcester also lost, 5-1. [Railers]
- Prospect Report: Reece Newkirk with the hat trick, and Bode Wilde reaaclimates to the OHL. [Isles]
- On their latest No Sleep Till Belmont podcast, Arthur Staple and Mark Parrish discuss the Greene trade, the losing streak, and what other trade possibilities lie ahead. [Apple]
Last night’s other NHL scores include a bunch of games that don’t affect the Islanders, really.
- As widely reported the night before, the Kings and Vegas completed the Alec Martinez trade. [NHL]
- Really fun piece: Reviewing the Miracle on Ice game from a blended modern stats and coaching approach standpoint: Yes, USA was outchanced — badly — but they knew their only hope was to use their speed while taking a rather Trotzian damage-limiting approach, and hope for some luck. [ESPN]
- Here is a look at the varying strengths of the different offensive forwards presumably available on the trade market. [Sportsnet]
- The Capitals will not trade pending UFA Braden Holtby, in case you were wondering. [NHL]
- How the Blues approach the trade deadline depends on the health (and cap) of Vladimir Tarasenko, who has resumed skating with the team. [NHL]
- Being unused gives Henrik Lundqvist lots of time to think. [Post]
- In hockey, you need talent to be able to get away with high-reward/glaring-risk play, but sometimes those players or teams look really bad when the risks don’t pan out. [Athletic]
- Jim Benning chose his Tyler Toffoli trade presser to drop news bomb after news bomb. [Sportsnet]
- The Senators and Leafs completed a minor swap. [Sens]
- More teams are locating their AHL affiliates closer to home, allowing for more communication/direct monitoring and of course the occasional speedy callup. [NBC Sports]