The Islanders probably did not deserve to win last night’s game. They didn’t really wake up until the end of the second period. But Semyon Varlamov held off the Sabres’ pushes long enough for the Islanders to take the lead, and then take it again.
When Barry Trotz speaks, we listen:
“I thought that Varlamov was huge for us tonight. He made some huge saves off the powerplay, he made some huge saves towards the end.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 23, 2021
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/9kqKsIbd4G
- The win moved them to 5–0–1 at home. They play well at the Coliseum even without the fans to boost them. [Newsday]
- In this week’s Back & Forth, Dan is sick of the Penguins. Understandably so. Also, he dug up a bench-clearing brawl between the Bruins and Isles from 1980. [LHH]
- With the schedule tightening, the Isles will turn to Ilya Sorokin more in March than they have through January and February. [Newsday]
- William Dufour’s point streak ended but he is still playing well. And Collin Adams had four points for North Dakota this weekend. [Islanders Prospect Report]
- A running list of every major New York team’s plans to allow fans back in the building. [Newsday]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Panthers firing 52 shots on goal en route to a 3–1 win over the Stars and no other East Division games.
- Artemi Panarin took a leave of absence from the Rangers and denied the Russian report of an alleged altercation with a teen girl in 2011. Wild story. [NHL]
- WATCH: Elliotte Friedman breaks down the Panarin situation. [Sportsnet]
- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger healthy-scratched Jeff Skinner last night for his dreadful performance this season. [NHL | Yahoo]
- But part of it is that he has been playing with some weak linemates. [Buffalo News]
- Buffalo lost one of its better defensemen, Jake McCabe, to a torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus. An unrestricted free agent this summer, his recovery timeline takes him through the beginning of next season.
- Evgeni Malkin has struggled mightily thus far. Might he be over the hill? [The Athletic]
- The Lake Tahoe games attracted fans by boat. [ESPN]
- The Seattle Kraken is in the market for their first head coach. Bruce Boudreau tossed his hat into the ring. [The Athletic]
- The Kraken already has a strength and conditioning program. [ESPN]
- And finally, an excellent interactive timeline concerning the integration of every professional sports franchise. [The Undefeated]