Is there a light up ahead?
I can’t hold on very long
Forgive me, pretty baby, but I always take the long way home
>>”Long Way Home,” Tom Waits
The New York Islanders have completed the first, fairly grueling six-game portion of their 13-game road sentence to open the 2021-22 season as they wait for their new arena to open. The next seven games of the schedule are not exactly easy — there are two back-to-backs, and they revisit both Florida teams for the second of those — but it won’t have quite the zig-zag, cross-country, Central-to-East-to-Pacific time travel that this first six-game portion did.
I wouldn’t blame the Islanders’ inconsistent performance thus far on that travel, but it is nice to get that part out of the way. And as the entire Metro has burst out of the gates to start the season, it’s very helpful that the Isles emerge from this part of the trip at 3-2-1.
Huge credit, of course, goes to Ilya Sorokin for pulling off a rare feat: Back-to-back shutouts on the road (just the 22nd time in NHL history a goalie’s done that), and on consecutive days. Last night he was massive in keeping the 1-0 lead alive until the Isles could finally get an insurance goal and some breathing room.
Now after a long trip, the Isles get to change, say hello to family, practice at home, and get some down time before they’re back at it in Nashville on Saturday.
About last night, a 2-0 victory in Vegas:
- Rapid Recap [Isles] Three takeaways: Sorokin, stable lineup, much-needed rest [Isles]
- A big win. And fun to see some tinkering with forward pairings last night. [LHH]
- All hail Sorokin, without whom this trip could’ve been very, very different. [AM NY]
- Staying with the hot hand in goal paid off. [Newsday]
- More Sorokin trivia, plus Josh Bailey passes Bobby Nystrom for 10th on the all-time points list. [NYI Skinny]
- Four losses in a row for Vegas. [Knights on Ice | Review Journal]
- DeBoer: “It is what it is.” Trotz: You forget we spent the preseason on the road, too. [AP]
- Barry reflects:
Trotz Media Availability pic.twitter.com/9blFzIpvfn— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 25, 2021
- It’s a theory: All of last season’s final four are off to a slow start. [Newsday]
- It was a reunion of sorts with old friend Robin Lehner. [Newsday]
- Bridgeport picked up their second, via Jakub Skarek shutout (37 saves), and Anatolii Golyshev had two goals. [Bridgeport Isles]
Here’s Golyshev connecting with Robin Salo:
...and here’s Golyshev’s other goal:
Remember When? LaFontaine-Turgeon Trade
I have so many thoughts and memories from this day and the weeks preceding it. The beginning of the season, with Pat LaFontaine (and Brent Sutter) wanting out. So many big centers were on the rumor mill (Craig Janney, Adam Oates, Steve Yzerman even). This was a huge trade, and a balanced one, as the Isles brought back multiple contributing pieces in addition to Pierre Turgeon.
As a teen, this was heartbreaking, but it was such a relief that the key piece coming back turned out to be so good. And Hogue and Krupp also ended up playing key roles for Arbour’s final Isles squads.
On this day in 1991, the Islanders traded Pat LaFontaine, Randy Hillier, and Randy Wood to Buffalo for Pierre Turgeon, Benoit Hogue, Uwe Krupp, and Dave McLlwain. pic.twitter.com/Z1WopKK91C— Vintage Ice Hockey (@vintageicehky) October 25, 2021
Last night’s NHL scores were light and mostly in the West (the Blackhawks remain winless), but the Bruins won again over the previously undefeated Sharks.
- The big highlight of the Wings dumping the Hawks was 19-year-old rookie Lucas Raymond notching a hat trick in his sixth NHL game. [ESPN]
- Ryan Getzlaf was fined $1,000 for “a dangerous trip,” which is maybe not what you initially thought if you’re a Deadhead/Phish type of person. [NHL]
- Clipped this yesterday but it remains funny, ICYMI: The Leafs questioning their belief after a 7-1 loss in Pittsburgh. [Sportsnet]
- Jeremy Colliton’s Blackhawks continue to struggle, and have now set a record for the longest stretch to start a season without ever having a lead. [Second City Hockey]
- The Hawks were without four players (including Patrick Kane) due to Covid testing protocols. [Sportsnet]
- The death of Jimmy Hayes spurred Colin Wilson to open up about his addiction, after previously detailing his OCD. (Wilson, by the way, was selected a couple slots before Bailey in the 2008 draft. The twists of fate and time.) [Players Tribune]
- Seems like Matt Murray is always hurt, but he’s on IR again. This was after a collision with Chris Kreider that — shockingly! — was not actually from Kreider running the goalie. [TSN]