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Islanders News: Incredibly frustrating loss to welcome back fans and begin the Lee-less era

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There are still four points up for grabs in this series, though. The Isles need all four and to prevent Philly from getting any.

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Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
The second Isles goal, Aho’s. Oh, we were so young.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

What a frustrating way to lose. You love to see the comeback—it shows that they can turn it on even when it is not their night—but the way that the Islanders wasted the comeback stings, especially because they failed to earn a point.

It would have been arguably less disappointing to watch a third period that was similar to the first two periods. Then, at least, our hopes would not have risen. But I was happy to see Michael Dal Colle and Sebastian Aho record goals. And, of course, Oliver Wahlstrom continues to hit the net, now up to seven tallies.

Oh, well. Time to move on and prepare for Saturday’s game. The Isles again host the Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s hope for a better start and a consistent, 60-minute effort.

Islanders News

Recaps: Isles avenge an awful start, blow it heartbreakingly anyway. [LHH | Isles 5 Takeaways, including Nick Leddy’s three-assist effort | Newsday | NHL | NYI Skinny says that was Dal Colle’s first goal since February 2020, and Aho’s first NHL goal since January 2018]

  • Listen to Barry Trotz in his post-game presser, who sounded like a parent of a teenager: he wasn’t mad, just disappointed with their effort before the third period.
  • Both the Isles players and their fans felt excited that the Coliseum could host spectators. Unfortunately, as Trotz noted, the team did not give the fans much to cheer about until the third period. [Newsday]
  • WATCH: Newsday spoke with some pumped fans on their way into the building.
  • Last night’s game also began an “uncertain future.” Anders Lee, of course, missed the previous three games. But Thursday marked the first game the Isles played after finding out that their captain would not return to the lineup this season. [Newsday]
  • Some good news: Cory Schneider returned to the ice yesterday, on his birthday, for the first time since his family’s tragedy. Glad to have him back. [Newsday]
  • As we all know, the Islanders will look to fill Lee’s void. Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri highlight the most likely candidates to don orange-and-blue this spring and summer.
  • Among five potential destinations for Hall, according to this author: your New York Islanders. [Sportsnet]
  • And what might such a trade look like? Sean Leahy says something like this year’s first-rounder, one of next year’s second-rounder, and Dal Colle. [Yahoo]
  • LISTEN: Unfortunately, this is a Rangers podcast, but The Broadway Hat hosted Rich Pilon to discuss his time with both the Islanders and the Rangers. [The Broadway Hat]
  • The Sound Tigers actually won yesterday! Otto Koivula netted the overtime winner, his first of the season, to defeat the Wolf Pack. Prospects Simon Holmstrom and Samuel Bolduc also scored for Bridgeport.
  • Sign up for the Islanders’ Girls Hockey Weekend on Saturday, March 27. [Islanders]
  • Huntington’s Blue Line Deli opened one year ago. It has managed to stay kicking, despite its opening coinciding with a pandemic, and combines two of my favorites: the Islanders and sandwiches. I need to take a ride out there. [Huntington Patch]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils doing us a huge favor by beating the Penguins in regulation, while the Bruins took their first chance to take two points from the Sabres and ran with it. Buffalo, which played its first game for its new coach, has now lost 13 straight.

  • Evgeni Malkin, who left the Penguins’ game Tuesday night in the first period, was placed on injured reserve and missed Pittsburgh’s loss to New Jersey. [NHL]
  • Also, one Devils -wood goalie, Mackenzie Blackwood, had been scheduled to start, but New Jersey scratched him late due to undisclosed but non-COVID-19 reasons. The Devs’ other -wood goalie, Scott Wedgewood manned the crease in his stead.
  • When the Ducks hosted the Coyotes late last night, D Jamie Drysdale, the 2020 no. 6 overall pick, made his NHL debut and notched his first NHL goal. 2019 first-rounder and American World Juniors stud Trevor Zegras had been playing in the NHL for a few weeks, but he too scored his first NHL goal with some beautiful moves.
  • The Sabres players took some blame for Ralph Krueger’s ouster. [NHL]
  • Old friend Robin Lehner spoke for the first time in nearly a month to confirm that he has been absent from the Golden Knights because of a concussion, not his mental health. He does not appreciate the “stigma,” either. I don’t blame him. [The Athletic]
  • The Rangers’ main coaching staff will be unavailable this weekend, due to COVID-19 protocols, when they visit the Capitals on Friday and Saturday. The same crew that presided over Wednesday’s beatdown will remain behind the bench. [NHL]
  • Many, myself included, wondered aloud whether the Lightning planned to attempt some pretty blatant cap circumvention since Nikita Kucherov already began skating. But skating already is a pretty common portion of the rehab for his hip surgery and he’s still a ways away from being cleared to play. [The Athletic]
  • Joel Ward retired last April, but quickly found work as an assistant coach for Vegas’ AHL team. He wants to make it known that a Black person can attain these positions, and his hiring signifies an important step toward increased representation in the game. [Yahoo]