The New York Islanders, winless in nine and with just one paltry point over this disastrous and potentially season-killing run, visit Detroit tonight in hopes of turning things around.
Their streak of regulation losses ended Thursday at home to the Sharks, but they still managed only one goal in that one, and they remain without leading goalscorer Brock Nelson, among others.
There aren’t a lot of reasons for hope tonight other than: 1) everybody wins a game, sometimes, and 2) maybe the guys returning from Covid protocol and the pause will have a little more of their legs under them.
The Wings have some handsome rookies in Rookie of the Month Lucas Raymond and defenseman Moritz Seider. Tyler Bertuzzi is still out because of COVID. We’ll learn later in the day if there’s anymore exciting COVID news for the Isles.
Game time is 7 p.m. EST on MSG+. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.
- Game preview from the official site. [Isles]
- The goals, they have not come for the 32nd-ranked offense. [Newsday]
- With the Isles in this big hole, a chat with Michael Peca on how the 2002-03 squad dug out. (Alas, that was before the shootout era.) [Post]
- Catching up with Stan Fischler, who’s retired and enjoying Israel, while staying tapped into hockey and continuing to write. [Newsday]
- Bridgeport has back-to-back afternoon home games this weekend vs. Utica and Charlotte. [CT Post | BP Isles]
- The Isles miss Nick Leddy and Jordan Eberle, of course, but issues go beyond those absences. [The Hockey Writers]
- St. John’s University has partnered with the Isles and the new arena on stuff. [Isles]
Alright let's talk about false hopes here:— Carey (@habermetrics) December 4, 2021
In order to reach 95 points, the Isles need to play at a 105 point pace over the next 64.
It's a 109 point pace to reach 98.
It's a 103 point pace to reach 93.
Either way the hill is steep, but 93-95 still seems BARELY attainable.
- Nick Leddy is logging 22 minutes a game, providing steady defense, puck movement and “veteran presence” for the Wings, which makes him the perfect trade target for a team that lost a key left defenseman over the summer. [Detroit Free Press]
- Indeed, Leddy is one of four prime trade candidates on the Wings this season. [Winging It In Motown]
- This was fun: Dangle and the ol’ Backhand of Judgment from Frans in Germany (2:40 mark):
Nick Leddy says he met up with some of his "good buddies" on #Isles last night. "That's a good group there. They know how to win." Said it was a "bit of a scare" watching ex-teammates go through COVID-19 outbreak.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 4, 2021
Sounds like Thomas Greiss will not face his former team, however, unless the Isles score lots (ha) and chase Alex Nedelijkovic.
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers beating those Sharks, 1-0, and the Devils getting stomped by the Jets.
- Jeff Gorton’s patience, which contributed to his firing from the Smurfs, will serve him well in resurrecting the Canadiens. [Sportsnet] Highlights from his first talk with Montreal press on Friday. [HEOTP]
- Groundhog Day: The Coyotes deny the newest report about them wanting to sell for relocation to Houston. [Five For Howling]
- Unfortunately Auston Matthews may have learned some things and adapted his game to a more playoff-friendly style. [Sportsnet]
- Pretty entertaining power rankings discussion. [Athletic]
- Mitch Marner collided with Muzzin in practice and was not happy about it, thus creating multiple stories because #Torontomedia. [TSN]
- Justin Faulk of the Blues enters COVID protocol. [TSN]
- This is from 11 months ago, but it’s a cool look at some jersey and logo prototypes that weren’t used over the years. I’m always amazed that the Quebec Nordiques were seriously going to do that. [Icethetics on YouTube]
- Good stuff, Flyers zeitgeist-style: The Flyers have developed an AI-based coach combining all the learnings of previous coaches: C.H.I.E.F. [BSH]