The Islanders have a game tonight. A real one—one that has not been postponed and has no apparent reason to be postponed. If anything, the Penguins may experience some difficulty in trying to leave Long Island after the game, what with this new snowstorm, but we will deal with that when it comes.
FIGs go here. Hopefully, the offense comes alive this evening.
A preview of the first time this season that the Isles face Pittsburgh.
Before we go any further, the NHL announced its updated schedule of games for the East Division, and here are the changes to the Isles schedule (click on the tweet to open it in a new tab if you cannot see the image within the article):
- The last time that the Islanders played a game was Sunday. Thanks, COVID-19. [Newsday]
- The Isles, between poor play and lack of play, currently occupy last place in the East Division. So as they return from a week off, they know they face a climb. [Newsday]
- One can assume fairly that Mathew Barzal will lead that charge up the mountain. He has evolved rapidly as his leadership skills inch closer toward matching his puck skills. [The Athletic]
- The Sound Tigers season opened yesterday in Providence. The mini-Bruins knocked off Bridgeport 4–1. Interestingly, D prospect Bode Wilde did not dress. [CT Post | Sound Tigers]
- Fellow D prospect Samuel Bolduc dressed, though. At age 20, the large 2019 second-round pick opened some eyes in training camp. But the current and former NHLers with whom he has crossed paths knew already that he has the juice. [The Athletic]
Also, a bit unfortunate of an update on old Sound Tigers friend Michael Fornabaio:
I had not realized that he made this announcement a few weeks ago. But he intimated that he missed not being there to cover yesterday’s game. We’ll miss him too; hopefully, not for long.
- LISTEN: On the 69th episode of Island Ice, Newsday’s Andrew Gross and Colin Stephenson talk the upcoming Isles–Rangers game and the new COVID-19 protocols. [Newsday]
- In this edition of Maven’s Memories, Stan Fischler recalled the battle between the Isles and Rangers for the final playoff spot in the East in 2002-03.
- Not since the Giants won Super XLIV on February 5, 2012 has New York won a championship. The writer that surveyed the landscape this time, for some belief that a title was imminent, did not like the view. However, the Islanders received credit for coming the closest in a while. Small miracles.
Beyond Long Island
Last night’s NHL scores include the Bruins topping the Flyers, the Lightning extending their home-unbeaten streak against the Red Wings, and the Panthers, in defeating the Predators, stretching their season-opening point streak to eight games.
- Under the updated COVID-19 protocols, the Avalanche will not play through February 11.
- Despite his trade request going public, and amid rumors that this request may soon be granted, Flames F Sam Bennett felt surprised to learn his coach scratched him on Thursday night. [Sportsnet]
- Bennett hopes to be in the lineup tonight against the Oilers in the first Battle of Alberta of the season. [NHL]
- The Hurricanes hired Justin Williams as Special Advisor to the GM. He is eager to learn.
- When news leaked that Florida wanted to dump D Keith Yandle, the rumored justifications included poor character. Many of his teammates over the years disagreed with that notion.