The Islanders did not play last night. For the second game in a row, they will face a team that was involved in a blowout the previous evening. This time, however, they will take on the team that received the beating. And what a beating it was.
The Flyers trailed the Rangers by a score of 9–0(!) before the end of the second period. They felt “embarrassed,” as you might imagine. So tonight can go one of two ways: (1) the Flyers are so ashamed of themselves for last night’s [air quotes] effort that they hardly even bother showing up tonight; or more likely (2) they rage onto the scene, eyes on fire, ready to erase any memory of last night’s game. Almost assuredly, it will be the latter.
- The team site previews tonight’s game against Philadelphia, the first in which non-healthcare hero fans will be allowed to attend.
- GM Lou Lamoriello met with the media yesterday to announce that Anders Lee will undergo surgery to repair his torn ACL and will not return this season. The team expects him to make a full recovery in time for next season. [LHH | Isles | NHL] To salvage this season, Lamoriello expects to add at the trade deadline. [Newsday | Isles 5 Takeaways | VIDEO]
- Whether you watch it through the Tweet below or through the link to the Isles site in the last bit, you should check Lamoriello’s unusually direct media availability.
Hear from President and GM Lou Lamoriello as he addresses the media.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 17, 2021
Watch the full availability: https://t.co/uMZBi8mnS5 pic.twitter.com/h5nzt3QHnf
- Five things to know after Lamoriello’s media availability include that the Isles would happily move their 2021 first-round pick, they want to act fast, and they would be open to any rental option, be they forwards or depth defensemen. [The Athletic]
- NEW! The Athletic’s Arthur Staple and Scott Powers (Blackhawks writer) collaborate about the Isles acquiring from Chicago Mattias Janmark, an interesting depth option on the wings. I was just thinking to myself that I could see Janmark in an Isles uniform, too. And, no joke, Chicago may be willing to take on Andrew Ladd’s contract for the right price.
- Lamoriello is excited for fans to return to the Coliseum. He still had trouble last Thursday discerning them from the cut-outs, though. [Newsday]
- Among the many unique qualities of Lee’s game that the Islanders will miss is his leadership. But Mathew Barzal may take on a larger role in that department. [Empire]
- Unfortunately, there are not too many positives in the latest Bridgeport Report. But Tom Kuhnhackl and Cole Bardreau have scored recently. [Islanders | Sound Tigers]
Last night’s NHL scores featured only one East Division game, the aforementioned destruction of the Flyers by the Rangers. Also, the Golden Knights came back from down 3–1 in the third period to beat the Sharks, 5–4.
- Interestingly, the entire Rangers’ coaching staff missed the game due to COVID-19 protocols. Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch replaced David Quinn. [BSB]
- The Sabres mercifully fired coach Ralph Krueger and assistant coach Steve Smith. (Hey, wait a minute, I’m fired, too?!) Assistant coach Don Granato will take over on an interim basis, joined by new assistants, including Dan Girardi. [NHL | Die by the Blade] For the NHL’s laughingstock, it was inevitable. [The Athletic]
- Buffalo’s GM, Kevyn Adams, is “open to anything and everything.” So it is probably a matter of when, not if, they will trade Taylor Hall. Taylor, how do you feel about Long Island?
- The Blackhawks will not be trading for rentals this season. They would rather take on someone with some term left on his contract. [NHL]
- The asset each team will be most likely to trade this season. For the Isles and their “not patient” GM, as hinted above, it’s this year’s first-round pick. [The Athletic]
- If you like buttressing your knowledge of the game with statistics, see how the available players at this year’s deadline stack up. [The Athletic]
- Scott Burnside revisited his Bold Predictions from the beginning of the season.
- Sidney Crosby, the game’s Great Protector, failed to understand why Brandon Tanev received a major and game misconduct for boarding Jarrod Tinordi. Translation: he didn’t get why his team didn’t get the break this time. [TribLIVE]