The New York Islanders are back in action tonight against the Dallas Stars, and not a moment too soon: They woke up this morning in the second wild card spot. Yes, they have three games in hand on both the Flyers and Blue Jackets — each of which passed them in points over the last two days — but it’s a jarring picture after spending much of the first half in a home-ice seeding.
They now average a game every other night for the rest of the regular season, so those games in hand will come with their own pressure and stress.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here.
Quoth the Lou: “He’s played well. He deserves this opportunity.”
Lou Lamoriello on Kieffer Bellows:— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 3, 2020
“He’s played well. He went 20 games with only three goals and now has 13 in the last 20-plus, so he deserves an opportunity."
Hear more pic.twitter.com/miHFlN4wL3
- Meanwhile, in his scrum Barry Trotz talked about Bellows, the line he’s tried to get going all season, and more. [@NYIslanders]
- Some Belmont lease details are in. Randi Marshall has lots in a Newsday editorial roundup, and Dan summarized here.
- Dan’s fantastic podcast series Islanders Award Winners continues with Bryan Berard, Calder winner. [LHH]
- Frederik Andersen left the Leafs game with an upper body (head) injury but initial concussion tests were promising. [NHL]
- Speaking of head injuries, pretty cool story as Steve Johns’ long road back included a goal last night, his first in two years. [NHL]
- It sounds like the Jets and Dustin Byfuglien are heading toward a resolution to their stalemate, to mutually terminate his contract. [Sportsnet]
- Make no mistake: Martin Brodeur knows all about Henrik Lundqvist’s struggle with getting old, because Brodeur once got really old too. [Post]
- A “hockey romance writer,” which is a thing, has received crappy internet harassment because she trademarked Seattle Sockeyes for her book series and some fans apparently think she’s wrongfully standing in the way of the NHL expansion team’s name search. [Athletic]
- 10 spicy storylines for the rest of the NHL season. [ESPN]
- PK Subban feels like he hasn’t shown the Devils his best. [NHL]
- Good news for mascots everywhere, as Gritty has been cleared of charges. [SB Nation]