The Islanders are on their second of a two-day gap between games, assuming no more postponements. And as you likely heard or may read about below, tomorrow’s opponent has a whole new management team.
But first: We really only care about ourselves...
Case in point: Pittsburgh’s new GM was one of the worst goalies in Islanders history. I’d argue that it was partly because he was caught between goalie style eras: the stand-up late ‘80s era where he excelled in Philly and the butterfly era that Patrick Roy helped usher in. (Watch highlights of the ‘93 Canadiens-Nordiques series for a study of contrast between two Vezina winners, two goalie ships passing in the night.)
- In the latest episode of PTIsles, Noel and Joe chat with Andrew Gross of Newday about the fourth line, Semyon Varlamov, and more. [LHH]
- Report cards through 11 games. Based on recent comment debates here, I suspect this will strike a (dis)chord: “[Anders Lee is] looking more polished and well-rounded than he has at almost any time during his eight years on the Island.” [Athletic]
- Is Oliver Wahlstrom...gaining Barry Trotz’s trust? He “hasn’t been a liability at all” defensively, so that’s some very Trotzian praise. [Newsday]
- In case we didn’t put this in our daily MDC file: Dal Colle making his case. [Isles] Trotz pushing him “not to settle for average.” [Newsday]
- Got a K through 5th-grade kid? Sign up for the Hicksville Spring Street Hockey program. [Isles]
- Good for spending on things like coaches, GMs, facilities and such: The Islanders continue to leverage their new arena for sponsorships and partnerships and such, like their latest...official residential real estate partner. [Yahoo]
Speaking of which, have we mentioned yet that in 2021-22 Lighthouse Hockey will be the Official Sardine Tin Maker of the New York Islanders? Wait...that’s not how this works, we’d have to pay them rather than the other way around. Okay, no deal, sponsorhip’s off.
Last night’s NHL scores include zero from our division. None. But: More pandemic news...
Here is the low tech version of the graphic we will post in Insider Trading. However, keep in mind, these protocol items are still in discussion between the NHL and NHLPA. Nothing finalized. pic.twitter.com/p4Z7KwuM8s— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 9, 2021
- Bombshell and pugnacious! Imposing Shadow of south-of-border hockey news even Canadian media had to cover: The Penguins have hired Ron Hextall as GM and Brian Burke as president of hockey operations. [NHL | PensBurgh]
- Burke began this process as “a casual advisor” to their GM search. Not sure if he gets a finder’s fee. [NHL]
- The pressure will be on Burke and Hextall to win now, while not emptying the cupboard. [TSN | Sportsnet]
- Man, if this keeps up the Islanders are going to run out of teams to play: The Flyers-Capitals game was postponed #becauseCOVID. [Broad Street Hockey | NHL] Claude Giroux and Justin Braun join the Protocol List. [BSH]
- Meanwhile, the Sabres are rallying as they return to practice from their Covid quarantine. [NHL]
- Mikko Koivu, who played his whole career with the Wild except for a cup of coffee with the Blue Jackets, has retired. He notched a goal and assist in Columbus this season, but we can just go back and pretend that didn’t happen. [NHL]
- Steve Smith’s memorable dynasty interruptus gaffe in ‘86 helped him guide Jeff Petry to an age-defying renaissance. [Sportsnet]