As starts to the season go, it does not get much better than last night. The Islanders thoroughly dominated the Rangers, pretty much from beginning-to-end.
I do not expect such a lopsided affair on Saturday night when these two rivals meet again. But I felt the same confidence watching the Isles last night as I did watching them in the bubble.
Hear from Barry Trotz, who liked everything except that little stretch in the second where the Islanders fell asleep a little bit:
“We know how important points are in a shortened season. We wanted to come out and play well.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 15, 2021
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/FUPoZ3H8ol
- Neil Best is right—Islanders vs. Rangers lands among the NHL’s best rivalries. [Newsday]
- Among the five takeaways from last night that the team site identified: fast start, special teams, and Semyon Varlamov in mid-season form. [Islanders]
- Anders Lee claims that the Isles’ focus is peaking right now. [Newsday]
- Not so coincidentally, the top line played like a top line. They completely controlled the ice when they stepped onto it. [Islanders]
- Meanwhile, the team’s two youngest players, Kieffer Bellows and Noah Dobson, looked like veterans; like they belonged. [Newsday]
- They began the new season in style. But they cannot expect the Rangers to roll over and die again on Saturday. They must remain prepared. [The Athletic]
- AJ Mleczko spoke with IslesBlog to discuss the Islanders ahead of this wacky season.
- On this (yester)day in Isles history: Denis Potvin became the first defenseman to tally 300 goals (1988) and goalie Evgeni Nabokov notches his 300th career win (2012).
Waking up that way, too!
- The Blues’ Sammy Blais had a hearing for his head shot of our old pal Devon Toews, who was in the middle of his first shift as an Avalanche. [NHL] Blais got two games. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Scott Burnside has some bold predictions for this season, including that the Kings will find a taker for Jonathan Quick. I guess we can call that bold, politely. [The Athletic]