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Islanders Gameday News: This will be a late one

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Also: Johnny Boychuk skates, one week after receiving 90 stitches.

New York Islanders v Vancouver Canucks
How we’ve been feeling lately. [Postscript: But this one had a happy ending!]
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Islanders are in Vancouver for a 10 p.m. EDT meeting with the Canucks, so it will be very late when we learn whether the have dug their current outside-the-playoff-positions hole deeper.

[Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.]

Although it’ll test many of our sleep and work habits, it should be compelling to watch the Isles try to shake their winless skid. They played much better last game vs. the Hurricanes but had to settle for a point — and that only earned from a late equalizer.

I confess I love the late West Coast games because of their hallucinogenic properties. My favorite road encounter with the Canucks in the current era — which I will selfishly define as the decade-plus(?!) that Lighthouse Hockey has existed — was that stupendous 2014 meeting where the Islanders reversed a 3-0 third-period deficit to win 7-4.

I began the third period that night feeling drowsy and eager for the game to end so I could post a deflated recap and get to bed. I finished it feeling like I’d just chugged another coffee on three hours of sleep.

Better yet, the game didn’t even matter. The Islanders were winding down another last-place season, a regression after finally making the playoffs the season before. Somehow that made the night all the more lovable: Not a legendary or historically significant night, just a really bizarre one that reminded me why staying up late to watch a bad hockey team isn’t always as absurd as it sounds. I mean, still absurd, yes, but with occasional redeeming qualities.

Islanders News

  • Johnny Boychuk is leading “a blessed life,” his coach says, because he’s back skating after 90 stitches to his eyelid. [NHL | Isles | Sportsnet]
  • “This is not fun.” In their latest Islanders Anxiety podcast, Dan and Mike lament this extended downturn while Mike confesses to being very charitable when drunk. [LHH]
  • Despite that late penalty mistake, Mathew Barzal is playing well during the Islanders slump. [Newsday]
  • What on earth can the Islanders do about this? At present, and in the near future. [Athletic]
  • Tough road ahead. But maybe some reasons for hope? [IslesBlog]
  • Prospect Report: Of Felix Bibeau and Ilya Sorokin, playoff shutout king. [Isles]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores included the Capitals picking up a point in a shootout loss and the Panthers winning to pull to a point behind the Islanders. But tonight’s schedule carries much more Metro and wild card action.

  • Start your opposition research for tonight at Nucks Misconduct. The Canucks are in a fierce wild card race out West and begin the day one point out.
  • Coronavirus Daily: The Sharks’ home county has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people so...will they be the first to play in an empty arena? [Fear the Fin | TSN | Sportsnet]
  • The NHL and several pro leagues will limit locker room access as a precaution for the coronavirus, but media availabilities will take place at lecterns from a safe distance. [NHL]
  • The Oilers are “thriving as a statistical outlier,” which is kind of how you’d describe Connor McDavid. [TSN]
  • The NHL is close to finalizing the date of the Draft Lottery (likely April 9) which...shouldn’t concern us but is threatening to. [NHL]