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Islanders News: Montreal mischief managed, Boychuk ‘to Buffalo’

The Islanders found some surprise cap relief, then took care of business against the Canadiens.

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
“Did we just become best friends?”
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

A very funny thing about last night, or at least last night’s game thread, was the disparity in views of the Islanders’ first-period performance. Butch Goring, who made a point on the MSG broadcast of sharing how he’s said the Islanders have been subpar many times this season — thankfully, the days of dumping Billy Jaffe for such sentiments have passed — called it one of the Isles’ best periods this season.

Others, including many in our live game thread, strongly disagreed. (I was intermittently marching two children through cleanup, baths and homework, so I can’t claim to have an informed opinion. I did see good things. I also saw Great Sorokin things. So goes hockey.)

Anyway, the Isles led 1-0 after one, were up 2-0 late in the second, then exploded for a 5-0 lead by the second intermission. I’m quite ticked off that they blew the shutout against an already humbled Canadiens team. But for posterity my memory will focus on Brock Nelson’s four-goal game.

On a night when Bruins fans overly celebrated a Patrice Bergeron hat trick (his first three goals of the season), Nelson did him one better and is up to six goals on the year. (In truth, Bergeron is a player I admire, but otherwise screw the Bruins, a detestable organization and stain on our otherwise totally perfect North American society.)

It was a good and necessary start to this leg of the road trip, which escalates in difficulty as the squad goes to Winnipeg and then Minnesota on Saturday and Sunday.

Islanders News

About last night:

  • A great night all around for the Isles. [LHH]
  • 3 Takeaways: “Lot of guys going tonight. Team effort.” [Isles]
  • Rapid Recap: That’ll be a six-game points streak (which is still good for...a tie for 7th in the division). [Isles]
  • Nelson on his 4-goal game: “I thought our line played well.” [NHL]
  • A career first for Nelson, but a big night for Anthony Beauvillier too. [Newsday]
  • “Nelson is only the 7th player in club history to score four times in a road game, joining Moulson, Viktor Kozlov, Alexi Yashin, Ray Ferraro, Patrick Flatley and Bossy.” [NYI Skinny]
  • For the reeling Canadiens, it was another new low. [Eyes on the Prize]
  • For the home team, a nightmarish second period. [Montreal Gazette]
  • And “Mistakes were made.” [Montreal Gazette]
  • Somehow, Dominique Ducharme is keeping his calm amid all of this. [Sportsnet]

The Shell of Johnny Boychuk Traded to Sabres:

  • Thanks to the Sabres needing to reach stay flexibly above the cap floor after trading Jack Eichel, the Isles were able to move Johnny Boychuk’s contract! It’s not a lot of money (most of it was already paid out in signing bonus), but it matters to the cap. We shall remember it as a one-player blockbuster. [LHH]
  • Lou Lamoriello was uncharacteristically transparent: “In our situation, it gives ourselves the ability to take ourselves out of long term injury, which allows us, with the cap space we have now, to accumulate as the season progresses.” [Isles | Newsday]
  • It gives the Sabres flexibility, so that they can offload more contracts later! [Die By the Blade]

Elsewhere

Last night’s other NHL scores include the Penguins beating the Flyers in OT, and the Capitals falling to the Panthers in OT.

  • So the Sabres traded Jack Eichel to Vegas. An era ends with lessons about hope. [Die By The Blade]
  • The NHLPA authorizes an independent review of how it handled Kyle Beach’s case. [TSN]
  • Coach Mike Sullivan is the latest Penguin out on COVID protocol. [TSN]
  • The Coyotes are so desperate for goaltending they reclaimed Scott Wedgewood off waivers from the Devils. [TSN]

Whoopsie Wilson: