I guess we’re doing this? This is the most reasonable solution, in your eyes? Thanks, NHL.
The New York Islanders tonight are supposed to host the New York Rangers in their new home for the first time. The problem is that it would actually be the Bridgeport Islanders hosting the Rangers, as more than a third of the Isles’ normal lineup is in COVID-19 protocol, and two others are out longish-term with an injury. The injury part is something that all teams must deal with, and that should not be part of the league’s calculus.
However, seven out of eighteen players in protocol are too many to field a competitive roster. Yes, they can dress eighteen skaters tonight. But they’re going to get waxed by a team of all NHL skaters.
If I was in charge of the Isles, I’d fake a few more positive or “inconclusive” tests and force the league’s hand—it took the Ottawa Senators losing ten players and a coach before the league called their games, so the Isles would need to feign only four more tests. Do it, Lou.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.
Also, look out for a new Islanders Anxiety, with extra anxiety!
Also also, things aren’t all bad.
- Assuming the game goes on, here’s a preview of tonight’s 7:30 p.m. start. [Isles]
- The Rangers will not adjust their game even though the Islanders aren’t the Islanders. [Newsday]
- Brock Nelson will miss two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. The hits keep coming. [Isles DTD]
- On top of that, Zdeno Chara joined the protocol list. [Newsday] So the Isles called up Thomas Hickey and Anatolii Golyshev. [LHH]
- The kind of article I feared when Arthur Staple changed his title: The Isles-Rangers rivalry feels different this year. [The Athletic]
- What ails the Islanders, other than the actual ailments from which they may be suffering? Bad luck and a tough schedule, primarily, and somewhat relatedly, weak offense. [Deadspin]
- Also, a bad power play that does not get many opportunities anyway. [Newsday]
- Worcester Railers goalie Ken Appleby, last seen being exposed by the Islanders in the expansion draft, was named the ECHL Goalie of the Week. [RailersHC]
- Aatu Räty, William Dufour, and Cameron Berg have been racking up points. [Islanders Prospect Report]
The Podcast Section
- Staple hosts Denis Potvin for the final time, and they chat about the new arena, the old team, and more. I guess Staple can get some sleep now. [No Sleep Til Belmont]
- Chris Botta—yes, that one—interviewed Tim Leiweke, who handled both the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and UBS Arena at Belmont Park. [Hockey Press Pass]
- Part of the reason that the Flames have been so good is three of Darryl Sutter’s former Los Angeles Kings on the fourth line. [Sportsnet]
- Martin Brodeur was the architect behind the New Jersey Devils’ hideous new third Jersey. For his next project, he will build a house that says “House” on it. [ESPN]
- The Vancouver Canucks suck again. Here’s a short list of guys they probably wouldn’t trade. [Nucks Misconduct]
- The NHL going to the Olympics faces new hurdles, including some self-inflicted wounds in the form of brilliantly scheduling the All-Star Game, bringing players and their families together from around the country, right before the Olympics. [The Athletic]
- Kyle Beach’s attorney has agreed to mediate Beach’s and John Doe 2’s cases with the Chicago Blackhawks. [CBC Sports]
- The Athletic drafted the best alternate jersey for each team of all time. The Islanders’ 2008-10 alternate, which is now their home jersey, was no. 10. [The Athletic]