If last night was unpleasant for those of us who watched, it was even worse for Kieffer Bellows (who also, come to think of it, had to watch a lot). The Islanders rookie returned to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 30 and was minus-2 and limited to under eight minutes of ice time.
Barry Trotz said no excuses, “missed opportunity” for the young winger. Soooo, you can probably count him out of the rematch, as Michael Dal Colle did nothing to deserve being removed, and Leo Komarov always lurks with Most Favored Veteran status.
Coach Trotz: Not so pleased with Bellows despite his long time out of the lineup (“He’s been in every meeting, every practice so there’s no excuses.”) ... but pretty happy with Oliver Wahlstrom (“I think Wally’s done a really good job [on the power play], good shot, really strong on the puck” while Beauvillier works his way back).
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/OOuSTbuINx— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 19, 2021
- Odd headline of the week: “Anthony Beauvillier was highly aware of his nine-game absence.” [Newsday]
- On the latest Islanders Anxiety podcast, Dan and Mike shared the joy of the points streak, riffed on Canadian hockey media, talked to the Barzal Bubble hockey Bobblehead guy, and asked: Who was the last trigger-happy Islander before Wahlstrom? [LHH]
- We can blame last night on the Islanders cracking the top 10 of the NHL’s power rankings. [NHL]
- Andrew Gross asks Martin Biron about Ilya Sorokin. [Island Ice podcast]
- Prospect Kyle MacLean has an Islanders ethos and his father’s NHL genes. [Athletic]
- Also part of last night’s curse: “Varlamov putting together a Vezina-worthy season.” [Empire Sports]
- Wahlstrom should get a chance at first-line minutes. (Ed. Not on Trotz’s watch.) [IslesBlog]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils beating the Bruins in regulation, the Flyers losing a shootout to the Rangers, and the Capitals beating the sad Sabres.
- Trends from the NHL’s first quarter: A refreshingly thorough, league-wide overview. [Sportsnet]
- The league moved up the start of this weekend’s Lake Tahoe games due to expected bright sunshine. [Sportsnet] Alas, Robin Lehner will likely be unavailable to play. [NHL]
- What does the future hold for Taylor Hall? For Ryan Getzlaf? The Insiders are sad to say they’re not on the trade block. [TSN]
- What drives the modern defenseman? Interesting discussion of the skillset of the new crop. [Score]