Three full days into the Islanders season and it’s already been a Dickens. Thursday night, the Rangers sucked and the Islanders were an Experienced Playoff Team. Saturday night, the Islanders sucked and the Rangers were a budding powerhouse.
Sunday morning, both teams woke up 1-1 on the season.
- About last night: A 5-0 thumping that erased the opening night 4-0 win and spoiled a rookie debut. [LHH | Isles | NYI Skinny]
- The broader context: Ilya Sorokin forced to make his NHL debut after Semyon Varlamov was hit in the neck by a shot (reportedly from Cal Clutterbuck) in pre-game warmups. Barry Trotz was none too pleased, comparing it to “running over your quarterback in warmups,” and reflecting on what that meant for Sorokin: “We hung him out to dry. ... We put him in a bad circumstance. ... Guys not thinking. ... We were junk.” [NYI Hockey Now | NHL | Athletic | Newsday | Post | MSG video]
- Trotz was also irritated by Mathew Barzal’s penalties. [Newsday]
- From what they did and said between games to how they executed on the ice, the Rangers got exactly the performance and redemption they were looking for. [Post] If that was a truer glimpse of the Rangers, Larry Brooks sounds giddy about their potential. [Post]
- All of these openers in front of no fans is just weird. [Best @ Newsday]
Last night’s scores included the Devils beating the Bruins (our Monday opponent) in overtime, and Vegas beating the Ducks with a goal just 7 seconds into OT.
- “Our players [and spouses] are filled with anguish and anxiety.” The AHL’s truncated season and uncertain financial situation puts many players in a bind. [Post]
- Varlamov’s injury made the Isles glad to have an experienced Cory Schneider as third string. The Oilers may go with amateurs for that role thanks to quarantines. [Sportsnet]
- Keith Yandle’s 866-games streak may not be over just yet. [NHL | TSN]
- Sean Couturier will miss at least two weeks for the Flyers. [BSH]
- Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is retiring. [Sportsnet]