The Islanders will try to get back on the horse tonight against the Senators. I’ve mentioned it quite a bit because I feel obligated, but it’ll only be Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s fifth game as an Islander and he’s already facing his old team. I’m sure he’ll get a nice tribute video and standing ovation—they love him up in Ottawa.
Hopefully, the Islanders come out pissed from last game and let Pageau walk away the victor, because on top of wanting to make the new guy feel important, tonight is a must-win, full stop.
FIG Picks can go here. You get an extra half hour to make your picks today: it’s a 7:30 start.
- So, it was confirmed Johnny Boychuk’s eye was okay and the blade just caught the lid. He required 90 stitches from a plastic surgeon. Noah Dobson is going to get an opportunity to play his normal right side. [LHH | Islanders | Newsday]
- It brought back some frightening memories, including Boychuk taking Mitch Marner’s skate to his neck just over a year ago. Also, Tuesday night against the Canadiens was the second time in three starts Thomas Greiss got yanked. [NY Post]
Boychuk wants you to know that your well wishes did not go unread:
Thank you to everyone for the positive messages and thoughts! I am extremely grateful. Please know they did not go unheard. Luckily for me the skate only cut my eyelid. Sorry for the late response...facial recognition wasn’t working... thank you again my friends. Johnny B— Johnny Boychuk (@joboych) March 4, 2020
- In which Elliotte Friedman suggests the Islanders asked the Sharks about Joe Thornton. I laid out the pipe dream a month or two ago somewhere. Doesn’t sound like anything was close, though. Wonder if he would’ve waived his NTC if it was his only option at 2:59 p.m. ET last Monday. [31 Thoughts]
- The Sound Tigers looked good in the first game of their 3-in-3 this weekend—Kieffer Bellows scored twice and Thomas Hickey had three assists—but they didn’t play well in the next two. They have an all-Pennsylvania three-in-three this weekend, and Sunday afternoon’s game in Lehigh Valley will be on NHL Network. [Bridgeport Report]
- LISTEN: Dan’s latest Islanders Award Winners podcast episode talks about the Lady Byng and its two Islanders winners, Mike Bossy (thrice!) and Pierre Turgeon. [LHH]
- I hadn’t noticed it but now I can’t unsee it: the latest artists’ renderings of the Belmont arena look like a fancy wine bar.
Last night’s NHL scores include the Flyers beating the Capitals in regulation, their seventh consecutive win, to move within a point of the Metro Division lead; and the Blue Jackets imploded against the Flames, in nearly identical fashion to the Islanders’ collapse against the Blues last week, to lose in OT. The Islanders are in the second wild card spot, one point behind Columbus with three games in hand. Gotta win ‘em, though.
- It wasn’t all good news for Philadelphia, though: James van Riemsdyk took a shot that broke his hand last night in Washington. [NHL]
- And it was confirmed that Chris Kreider broke his ankle and the Rangers will be without his services for the next 4-6 weeks. [NHL]
- The Senators fired CEO Jim Little, just two months after they hired him, for “conduct inconsistent with the values of the Senators and the [NHL].” He later clarified that he cursed out Eugene Melnyk, probably, and probably fairly, and that it likely led to his firing. [ESPN]
- Columbus defenseman Ryan Murray has had chronic back issues since he went second overall back in 2012. Stretches and core work will help manage them. [The Athletic]
- Three of the four greatest moments on the Mount Rushmore of Canadian hockey are, apparently, obvious. What would the fourth be? [The Athletic]