Every time someone hollers that the Islanders’ perch atop the East Division is fueled by victories over the sad-sack Buffalo Sabres, a bemused party guest observes that they’ve done pretty well against the NBC Approved Contender Boston Bruins, too.
So it continued again last night, as the Islanders notched their fourth, hard-fought win over the Bruins in four tries.
By the scoreboard, this was the closest meeting yet, with the Islanders only getting a second standings point via shootout skills contest. But all of them have been tied going into the third, and this one reached that state when the Isles cashed in on a late second period power play thanks to Brad Marchand misunderstanding and jumping Oliver Wahlstrom, or just being Brad Marchand.
As the shortened season’s midpoint approaches, the Islanders remain in first place thanks to their current six-game win streak. Their schedule should only get harder, so bank those points, baby.
- About last night: A disciplined effort, and finally an extra-time game goes their way. [LHH | Newsday | NHL | Isles]
- Shhhh: Entering last night, the Isles were the only team with five nine-goal scorers. [Newsday]
- Ryan Pulock: “They’re hard and physical on their forecheck and we like to play that way too. It was tight all game, especially in the third. We like being in those games, those playoff type games and we’re comfortable there and that’s how it’s going to be...”
- Barry Trotz explained that Michael Dal Colle has been fine, he just wanted Leo Komarov’s particular experience in dealing with garbage: ”Leo and Marchand have had a lot of battles. I thought that Leo was a guy that loves these games and performs really well in these games.”
- More Groundhog Day in Bridgeport: The week ahead includes...Providence. [Isles]
That Varly Save
We know most games can turn either way based on a few close calls. Jordan Eberle’s post on a wide-open net could’ve proven costly. This Semyon Varlamov save was pretty big:
Semyon Varlamov on his big save on Krejci in the second: "That was a big save in the right moment. A key save, I would say... The net was wide-open so the guy was shooting on an empty net. I had a chance to stop it with my stick and it was kind of a lucky play." #Isles— Joe Pantorno (@JoePantorno) March 10, 2021
Next Game Will Have Witnesses
“It [having fans next game] will be great. Gives some energy. It’ll be open for first responders, which will be nice. Giving back a bit to what they’ve been doing for everyone in the community. It’ll be fun.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 10, 2021
Nelson & Varlamov ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/QGPslevgIh
- The NHL and ESPN are “believed to have” reached a seven-year rights deal. [Sportsnet]
- That and other 31 Thoughts, including the situation in Buffalo, many pending free agents around the league, and the draft staying as scheduled. [Sportsnet]
- Insider Trading covering the same. [TSN]
- Darcy Kuemper is out injured, return unknown for the Coyotes. [NHL]
- The Flames felt alright after their first practice with Darryl Sutter. [Sportsnet]
- But they’re still one of the five most disappointing teams so far this season. [Sportsnet]
- Mailbag: Do the Capitals need another goalie? Would the Sabres be better off if they weren’t in this murderous division? [NHL]
This is very Czech: