The Islanders play tonight the middle game of their three-game series with the Devils, but this and tomorrow’s games will be in New Jersey. The Islanders arrive in Newark riding a ten-game point streak, one in which they have gone 9–0–1, including the completion of a perfect 5–0–0 homestand.
Is it greedy to request that the Islanders win both of the next two games, too? The Islanders clearly outmatch the Devils, even if New Jersey does not roll over and die as the Sabres did.
But the schedule becomes much more difficult once this series ends, and points may be even harder to acquire if they will be without their captain for a while. So they need to bank points while they can.
The team site previews the Isles’ first game without Anders Lee since Barry Trotz landed on Long Island.
- As I have hinted, and as you already know, the Isles’ captain has been ruled out “indefinitely” with a lower-body injury. [Isles]
- Without Lee, the Islanders fall firmly under the “Buyers” category at this year’s trade deadline. If he is out long-term, they can move his salary to LTIR and use the extra space to acquire a replacement winger. [Newsday]
- As well they should, given the age of many of the players they have signed to long-term contracts and the potential to lose a good player to Seattle expansion. [LHH | The Athletic]
- Pierre LeBrun poked in to say that pending UFA Kyle Palmieri, one of the names mentioned in both the Newsday and Athletic articles, would be a fit on Long Island. He doesn’t just tweet things out for no reason, usually.
Palmieri would indeed make sense for the Isles if he doesn’t re-sign with the Devils. I would expect the Devils to soon gauge Palmieri’s camp to see if there’s enough common ground on an extension https://t.co/vAdjxP3EVG— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 12, 2021
- The Sound Tigers and Wolf Pack were scheduled to play last Saturday, but it was canceled. They rescheduled for next month.
- For the game on Thursday night, the Islanders welcomed 1,000 healthcare heroes. [Islanders]
- WATCH and READ: A father and son have taken a picture outside Nassau Coliseum each time they visit. Living around the block meant that they could continue their tradition, even when fans weren’t in the building. [Newsday]
- Though there aren’t many, Stan Fischler looks back at some of the highlights of the mid-to-late ‘90s Isles teams. Lots of Ziggy Palffy. [Maven’s Memories]
Last night’s NHL games include only contests out west. But I have been taking more time to watch them because there are some entertaining players out there.
- For example, Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov recorded his first NHL hat trick in the Wild’s victory over the Coyotes. [NHL]
- Also, Connor McDavid hit the fifty points mark in the Oilers’ win over the Senators; Edmonton has beaten Ottawa all seven times they have met so far. [NHL]
- LeBrun puts on his GM speculation hat and predicts six potential matches between contenders and rentals or deadline acquisitions. [The Athletic]
- The Capitals will not rule out Henrik Lundqvist from playing for them this season. He is already skating. But given the ordeal he underwent, I would be shocked. [NHL]
- The Blue Jackets acquired depth defenseman Mikko Lehtonen from the Maple Leafs. [ESPN]
- After he almost certainly benched Patrik Laine in Thursday night’s collapse against the Panthers, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella claims that he did not, in fact, bench Patrik Laine. [NHL]
- This is the second time that I have seen this, and I am starting to believe it: is Tortorella trying to get himself fired so that he gets paid but does not have to coach Columbus? As I said above, LeBrun does not just put things out there for no reason.
And then there’s this.— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) March 12, 2021
Pierre LeBrun on TSN tonight on Torts
“I’m starting to wonder if John Tortorella wants to be fired, believe it or not. I know that’s a crazy thing to say, but he’s done a lot of interesting things this year behind the bench and it just makes you wonder.”