Really hope this isn’t our last gameday bits piece of 2020. No matter how much this year has been a drag, the Islanders’ run and the success of the NHL bubble has provided the advertised relief.
No what would make it better though? A memorable comeback on the way to a Cup. In case you hadn’t already thought of that, I mean.
- Dan and Mike check in on how they’re feeling after Game 4’s blunt 42-second trauma. [Islanders Anxiety podcast] (Bonus: They may add to your vocabulary.)
- Will Barry Trotz shake up his top line, which has struggled to convert against Tampa? It’s an option. “One of the things they have to understand too, and this is part of growth of a young player, and even that line, there’s times when if it’s not going your way, then there’s so many other ways that you can contribute, just in the details and the focus that you have...” [NHL | Newsday | Post]
- Rallying for hope: The Isles have made the most of this bubble so far, and they’re not done yet. [Newsday]
“If you think of it as three games it seems like a lot. But if you just think about hey, we just have to win a game tomorrow, it doesn’t seem as big. And that mentality has to be there.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 14, 2020
Watch the full interview with Trotz here: https://t.co/eTYqPzplju pic.twitter.com/yh9ALX7s8r
- A reporter’s look at — and Myers-Brigg projection upon — the four conference finalist head coaches, including Barry Trotz. Perhaps Jon Cooper and I are similar. [Athletic]
- One more from ‘93, kind of: The Ray and Dregs podcast with Travis Green wasn’t all that interesting, actually, but about two-thirds of the way through they get into some razzing and references to ‘93. They both hated when Al Arbour would wind Rick Pilon up in practice. (“Richie are you ever gonna finish a check?”) [YouTube]
- The official NHL site gives former Lightning GM Brian Lawton a lengthy platform to say how right he was about picking Victor Hedman in the draft, and how he wouldn’t have selected John Tavares even if he had the first pick in 2009. Think that draft worked out as well as expected for all the top three picks and teams. [NHL]
Whatever happens tonight, or in two or four nights, I’m going to enjoy the ho-hum nature of this headline:
Like...it’s nothing, but it’s kind of a fun milestone: There are only two choices left for Stanley Cup finalist, and one of them is the NYI. It’s been too long.
Rick Bowness and the Stars did it, coming back to defeat the Knights in overtime and punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final. You have to feel good for the Islanders bench boss.
Quick Recap of the Stars season so far:— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) September 15, 2020
1) Begin the year 1-7-1
2) Go on a 14-1-1 run
3) Fire Jim Montgomery and replace him with Rick Bowness
4) Winter Classic
5) Dominant Jan-Feb
5) Go 0-4-2 in March
6) Five month break due to Coronavirus
7) Advance to the Stanley Cup Final
- In other good news for interims, Geoff Ward had his temporary tag removed from his role as Flames head coach. [Sportsnet | NHL]
- A little dive into the second period in these playoffs and how the “long change” creates opportunities for mismatches and offense. [TSN]
- It’s seven straight weeks without a positive COVID test in the NHL bubbles. [Sportsnet]
- Several PHWA writers who put Auston Matthews atop their Lady Bing ballot (that’s the “gentlemanly, sportsmanship” award) respond to criticism that they overlooked last summer’s damned ungentlemanly off-ice incident. [Themelissaverse]
- The Canadiens’ trade for pending free agent Joel Edmundson’s rights opens up possibilities. [Sportsnet]
- They also need to make long-term plans with Brendan Gallagher, who will be looking for more than just money when he hits free agency next year. [NHL]
- That goes for every GM though. In March they thought the cap would be $84 million, and now each is dealing with a daunting and unprecedented reality, with “low liquidity in the system” and RFAs perhaps allowed to walk rather than receive qualifiers. [Sportsnet]
- The “sounds” and “chirps” of the game, easier to hear when there are no fans, are exceedingly dull. [Athletic]
- Back story for the “girl hockey player” from Dallas who is mother to the NHL’s Hughes brothers. [Oak Cliff]
I’m not sure whether Gary Bettman is truly a fan of “Jump Around” or if he’s just resigned to acceptance since he’s probably heard it at all 4,639 NHL games he’s attended.