As has been typical throughout this pandemic, the days inch along and the weeks and months leap forward. It seems like it has been ages since we last watched Islanders hockey. And yet, this summer’s Eastern Conference Final run remains plainly in our rear-view.
All this is to say that Islanders hockey is only a week away, with NHL hockey even sooner.
- Day 3 involved the Isles’ first Blue-and-White scrimmage. Team Blue, powered by Anthony Beauvillier’s pair of goals, won 4-2. [Islanders]
Josh Bailey scored, too:
HEYYYY JOSHH BAILEYYY pic.twitter.com/Ora9sPTdQY— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 6, 2021
- Beauvillier wants to become a consistent offensive threat. Coach Barry Trotz also confirmed his intention to keep Beauvillier, Bailey, and Brock Nelson together all season long. [Newsday]
- Trotz also noted, without mentioning the still-unsigned Mathew Barzal by name, the importance of getting some game-type action before the season starts. [Newsday]
- Arthur Staple mentions the same and makes note of the negotiation, in which both sides seem set on a three-year deal that would leave Barzal one year of RFA. [The Athletic]
- This (yester)day in Isles history: 40 years ago from last night, John Tonelli scored five goals in a 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs. Mike Bossy assisted on all six goals. [Islanders]
- The spoils of an Eastern Conference Final run: seven (7) Islanders games this season will be broadcast on national TV; an eighth of their 56-game season. More than I can ever remember for the Isles in a regular season. [Islanders]
- Have a look-see at the full season schedule for NBC’s national games. The last few days of the season are TBD, likely reserved for games of great playoff implication. [NBCSN]
- The Blue Jackets signed young forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to a five-year, $27 million extension. Not everyone wants to leave Columbus! [Sportsnet]
- Zdeno Chara, 43, has been slowly adjusting to his new team, learning the Capitals system and meeting some of his new Washington teammates. [NHL]
- Good news in Buffalo: Jack Eichel finally hit the ice at Sabres camp and they received a preview of his connection with Taylor Hall, who is in Western New York on a one-year deal. (That and more news and notes around training camps.) [Sportsnet]
- Bad news in Buffalo: forward Zemgus Girgensons will be out for the season after undergoing successful hamstring surgery. Tough break for our new division rivals. [NHL]
- Team USA brought out a barrel for their gold medal picture that many Canadians thought was a trash can and to which they took great umbrage. But American coach Nate Leaman explained the significance of the barrel. [Sporting News]