After much delay, care, angst and negotiation, the NHL 2021-21 season opens tonight, with several games and much hype. The Islanders? They have to wait one more night before getting started against the Smurfs.
Sorokin said he likes Jones Beach. "It's very peaceful."— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) January 12, 2021
He went to Manhattan too. "I don't like -- a lot of people, a lot of stress. I like peaceful."
Spoken like a true Long Islander. #Isles
What #Isles goalie coaches are working on Sorokin with: "A lot of things, small goalie movements, they change it. The new coaches are changing the little details. The focus is on very small parts of the game and through that tweaking, there's always something new."— Joe Pantorno (@JoePantorno) January 12, 2021
- So yeah, Ilya Sorokin had his first media availability via Zoom and “it was hard” but it was a hit. [Isles]
- In print form: Sorokin talks about the decision to make the jump. [Isles | Athletic | Newsday]
- Also: Casey Cizikas was back after his injury scare, and Barry Trotz sang Kieffer Bellows’ praises. [Isles]
- Five keys to the Islanders season. [Newsday]
- Lots to discuss, including the contracts, the “mosquito squad” and swag. [Islanders Anxiety podcast]
- Andy Greene’s contract is league minimum with several games played bonuses that will probably end up on next year’s cap.
- This day in Isles history: Jason Blake feasts on Thrashers with a hat trick. [Isles]
- Prospect Report: The NCAA is back in action. [Isles]
Best media moment of the preseason by far:
Here’s @andreburakovsky crushing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s dreams and telling him that February’s Lake Tahoe game will not be played on the lake. #Avs pic.twitter.com/Umha9Srtpk— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) January 12, 2021
- Bill Daly fields questions on the season, the uncertainty — and promises the funky realignment and taxi squads will not become a permanent fixture. [NHL]
- You know hockey’s back when...31 Thoughts! On pandemic-season issues, on Olli Jokinen, and more. [Sportsnet]
- Old friend Travis Hamonic has officially signed with the Canucks on a one-year deal. [TSN | NHL]
- As agreed in the CBA, the league announced a cumulative total of positive COVID tests at the end of camp. It’s 27, and 17 of them were with the Stars. [NHL | TSN]
- The Bruins will retire the number of Willie O’Ree, the barrier-breaking first Black player in the NHL. [SCOC]
- A random but somewhat fun survey of the Canadian Division. [TSN]
- HAVE YOU HEARD? Auston Matthews is leaner. There have only been 13 stories about it. What can happen when you don’t get drunk and harass female security officers. [TSN | Athletic]