The Islanders finish their two-game set with the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh. The game also happens to be the 1000th game of Sidney Crosby’s illustrious career. That portends bad outcomes for the Islanders.
But I think they will capture or harness their frustration from the other night and translate it into a bruising victory. And I imagine Mike Matheson will have a target on his back tonight.
- The team site previews this evening’s game.
- The Islanders spent too much of their offensive possession on the perimeter. Barry Trotz stressed the need for them to get to the net. [Newsday]
- Further to the Matheson quip above: bad blood has been brewing between these two teams. This was the second time, across two teams, that Matheson questionably hit an Islander. [NYI Hockey Now]
- Kieffer Bellows had a rough outing Thursday night in his rare return to the lineup. [Newsday]
- Arthur Staple touches on Matheson in this article. But he mostly wrote about Trotz’s lack of trust in Bellows, which means that Bellows will likely be eating tacos for the foreseeable future. [The Athletic]
- Also playing a role in Bellows’ likely “demotion” is GM Lou Lamoriello’s fear of rushing young players. [Newsday]
- Some new faces, including one behind the bench, fueled the Islanders’ run to the playoffs in 2003-04. [Maven’s Memories]
- This (yester)day in Islanders history (1979): Mike Bossy scored his 100th career goal in his 129th game, setting a record for the fewest games to reach 100 goals—a record that still stands today.
"What 'Islanders' means to me is part of home."— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 20, 2021
In this episode of Built For Fans By Fans, we meet @UBSArena crane operator George Gould, who is excited to be a part of #Isles history. ️ ♂️
: https://t.co/kNmfaIgJzb pic.twitter.com/MK7MrWyBEg
- The first of two Lake Tahoe NHL Outdoor Games occurs today between the Avalanche and the Golden Knights. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog will play. [NHL]
- Normally, the NHL has more than a year to plan its outdoor games; they had to figure out the Lake Tahoe games in two months. But they did it. [The Athletic]
- Crosby claims that he wants to remain a Penguin for the rest of his career. I cannot really picture him in another NHL team’s duds, to be honest. [NHL]
- He further claims that he is as hungry as he has ever been to win in this league. [Newsday]
- The Sabres have new players in new uniforms, but they still play like the Same Old Sabres, and they are sending out the SOS. [The Athletic]
- Each loss magnifies a little more the lens on Jack Eichel, whose name continues to dominate trade rumors. [The Athletic]
- Speaking of teams falling apart, I cannot believe what has happened to the Predators. As they consider a full-scale rebuild, Pierre LeBrun identifies four teams that could make a run at D Mattias Ekholm.
- An excellent story about Donald Brashear’s decline after the end of his career and, subsequently, his inspiring redemption. [The Athletic]
- Someone inserted Predators into a WWE Royal Rumble script. Great stuff here; it’s times like these that I wish I followed wrestling. [On the Forecheck]