The New York Islanders are in Detroit, where the Red Wings have 29 points in 28 games — not gangbusters, but productive enough to be in technical playoff discussion in mid-December in a division that has three bottom-feeders.
However, since they beat the Islanders in a shootout 10 days ago, they’ve lost three in a row — giving up five goals to Nashville (empty net caveat), six to St. Louis (same), and seven to Colorado (again, including an empty netter).
The Isles have 19 points — 21 behind Washington! — from 23 games. They have five games in hand on the Capitals but still, you get the picture.
Now mostly healthy (come back soon, Ryan Pulock), the Islanders just need to get back to their groove, get some more shooting luck, and hope other things work out far better than they have through the first quarter.
- Game preview: A return trip to Detroit, a 7:30 start this time. [Isles]
- For Barry Trotz, a full slate of healthy forwards means he can stoke more competition like Anthony Beauvillier’s scratch. Not that the lineup is usually treated that way. [Newsday]
- In their latest Islanders Anxiety podcast, Dan and Mike discuss the letdown against Nashville, the big first win and Parise goal, Jekyll Bailey and Hyde, and more. [LHH]
- The Isles are maybe not in a goalie rotation at the moment, as Semyon Varlamov has yet to get a win. [Post]
- Prospect Report: Benjamin Mirageas scores twice while Jake Pivonka makes his season debut, and more. [Isles]
- Tonight’s opponent has re-signed pending UFA Robby Fabbri to a three-year, $12 million extension. [NHL | Winging It In Motown]
- Are these Wings underperforming or overperforming? [WIIM]
Last night’s NHL scores include...no one! There was only one game on the schedule, but the Flames had a bunch of positive COVID tests all at once (as opposed to the trickle that dragged things out for the Islanders), so the NHL stepped in and postponed their next three games.
- Details on the Flames postponements: Thus far the six initial positives are asymptomatic. [TSN | NHL | Matchsticks & Gasoline]
- The Hurricanes picked up some COVID cases on their trip out west. [TSN]
- The Blues continue to juggle a mix of injuries and COVID cases, and all the cap hell that entails. [Post-Dispatch]
- New Canucks head Jim Rutherford says he’s in no hurry to make trades, but is eager to overhaul the culture. [TSN | NHL]
- The Rangers are in a rough patch, and could use some statement performances against good teams. [Post]
- Jets defenseman returns from his kneeing suspension expressing remorse, and not touching the topic of Jason Spezza retaliating by kneeing him in the head. [Sportsnet]
- Anton Khudobin, who had the playoff run of his life when the Stars made the finals, has been placed on waivers. [NHL]
- The, um, style/fashion power rankings. [Athletic]
- Performance power rankings: The Canucks jump after a 4-0 Boudreau jolt. [TSN]
- On Laura Schmidlein, the first woman to officiate an ECHL game, a Worcester Railers win. [Telegram]
- On Pat Maroon, who stepped into some serious Cup luck after a tumultuous start to his career. He’s beloved in his hometown suburb, and gives back where he can. [Tampa Bay]
- We’re going to see more of this: Alex Pietrangelo, who has four kids 3 and under, expresses reservations about the quarantine requirements to play in the Winter Olympics. [TSN] Various other Canadian players express the same. [Sportsnet]
NHLPA having calls w/ players this week to gauge Olympic interest. It’s going to be hard to get a consensus..— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 13, 2021
A player explains his locker room dynamic: “I want to go no matter what. The Russians are going no matter what. But two guys already told their federations they’re iffy”