I hope everyone had a nice American Thanksgiving, the Real Thanksgiving™. Today, we shop and then watch hockey.
The New York Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight to wrap up their arena-opening four-game homestand. They have yet to win a game at the new arena, but they have yet to ice anything close to a full lineup in it, as well. Tonight figures not to be too different.
But it is Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) Night at Belmont Park, always a good reason to attend. And, of course, in this wild game of hockey, You Just Never Know.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.
Skating this morning ahead of tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/vRJoqSHJV3— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 26, 2021
- A preview of tonight’s game. [Islanders]
- Barry Trotz says that the Islanders need a win for the fans and themselves. [Newsday]
- On Tap knows the Islanders need a win. Fortunately, they face yet another red-hot team in the Penguins. Things are always looking up. [NHL]
- Elliotte Friedman is still doing 32 Thoughts, thankfully. He writes on, in part, the Islanders’ COVID outbreak and why they haven’t postponed the games. He also covers the sheer awkwardness that has gripped the Vancouver Canucks over its lame-duck coach and GM.
- In honor of the first Isles-Rangers game at UBS Arena, Stan Fischler tells the tale of the first-ever Isles-Rangers game. [Maven’s Memories]
- Dom L. notes that his model has the Isles at only 17% to make the playoffs. But he points out that it’s not 100% of teams in a playoff spot at Thanksgiving that makes the playoffs; it’s about 80%. Every year, at least one or two teams fall out and the same amount climbs back up, and he likes the Islanders as a team to climb back up, possibly at the expense of the Rangers, whose weak process has been covered up by some guys on heaters and Igor Shesterkin. He also notes that Mathew Barzal and the fourth line have struggled mightily. [The Athletic 16 Stats]
Last night’s NHL scores include nothing. There were no games last night in the NHL. Fooled ya!
- The New York Rangers visit the Boston Bruins this afternoon on ABC. Of course, it is a match-up between elite defensemen and long-time Long Island friends Adam Fox and Charlie McAvoy. [NHL]
- That’s occasion to rank American defensemen and talk about Olympic team candidates and jerseys and such. [ESPN]
- Former no. 1 overall and current bust Alexis Lafrenière’s fight with Jean-Gabriel Pageau really stuck with his Ranger teammates. [NY Post]
- I talk about it all the time, and so does everyone in the hockey world at this time of year. But if you need a primer on the Thanksgiving Rule, here it is. [Sportsnet]
- Matt Murray has zero wins and Senators coach DJ Smith says they need a goalie to steal a win for them. [TSN]
- The Devils have claimed Seattle’s expansion draft pick back, off of waivers. Nathan Bastian back to the Devils. It’s weird how some teams lost basically nothing to the Kraken while other teams lost one or even two (via pre-draft free agent flirtation). [TSN]