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Islanders Gameday News: Wahlstrom might be the scoring winger that Isles have long required

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Watching him develop has been a pleasure. He grows every game.

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NHL: JAN 24 Islanders at Devils
Tonight ought to be a good game.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Devils welcome the Islanders back to Newark and the Rock tonight in what will be the Isles’ only road game until revisiting New Jersey in a week-and-a-half. We won’t have to see the Penguins for a while, but we will see a lot of the Devils—and the Sabres, for that matter.

Look out for a new episode of Islanders Anxiety later this morning. In the meantime, enjoy a mountain of bits.

FIGs go here.

Islanders News

  • The team site previews tonight’s tilt in New Jersey.
  • Oliver Wahlstrom might be just the spark that the Isles’ offense craved for so long. [amNY]
  • He has made their power play lethal. Along with their strong penalty kill, special teams play a vital role for the Islanders in 2021. [Newsday]
  • Wahlstrom’s emergence obviates the need to acquire more scoring at next month’s trade deadline. GM Lou Lamoriello can focus on adding defensive depth if anything. [The Athletic]
  • Between Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, and Ilya Sorokin, the Isles proved that patience works with their young stars. [NYI Hockey Now]
  • These rookies have made a real impact this season. [THW]
  • Let’s check in on the pipeline to see who else might be able to step into the lineup and make an impact in the future. [Islanders Prospect Report]
  • Meanwhile, the Sound Tigers have played only six games through four weeks. What a strange season. [Bridgeport Report]
  • Nick Leddy took over Devon Toews’ role in the lineup and has performed admirably. That and more in this Isles Notebook. [Newsday]
  • In this week’s Back & Forth, Dan reflects on the anniversary of the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade and the Canadiens’ firing of Claude Julien. [LHH]
  • Now in the Alumni Corner is Graeme Townshend, the Isles’ first Black player, and the NHL’s first Jamaican-born player. [Islanders]
  • This (leap) day in Isles history: the Islanders raise to the rafters Butch Goring’s no. 91 (2020). I was there! Don’t look up the box score, they played the Bruins.
  • And this (yester)day in Isles history: a week after participating in the Miracle on Ice and winning gold at Lake Placid, defenseman Ken Morrow made his NHL debut (1980).
  • We all have occasional questions about Barry Trotz’s lineup decisions. But every fan that responded to this survey said that they remain confident in him because he’s the best! [LHH]

Pretty cool: the Isles will highlight some of their fans from around the globe. Which reminds me: I know that we have quite a few international fans that read our little blog and we appreciate you and the fact that you root for a team on an island far away from you. Thank you.

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores featured no East Division games—because I believe they all played both Saturday and Sunday—but did include comeback wins for the Golden Knights over the Wild and the Sharks over the Avalanche.

  • Six weeks out from the trade deadline, The Athletic posted its NHL Trade Deadline Big Board, featuring Mattias Ekholm, Jack Eichel, and quite a few more Predators and Sabres.
  • However, Pierre LeBrun warns us that the deadline might be a dud. It usually is, anyway. But one need look no further than CapFriendly to understand why this year’s deadline, in particular, may suck. [The Athletic]
  • Get ready to read quite a few of these this season: Buffalo, despite having missed the playoffs ten seasons running, needs to tear it all down again. That likely involves moving Eichel before his no-trade clause kicks in ahead of the 2022–23 season. [Yahoo]
  • Eichel would reportedly be interested in a move to his hometown team, the Boston Bruins. He grew up about 45 minutes north of the Massachusetts capital. He cannot yet control his destination, though. [The Athletic]
  • Another area of interest would be, of course, New York. And one NHL executive predicts that the Rangers will acquire him; he just does not know when that would be. [Yahoo]
  • Whatever the Sabres do, they need to decide on it and act now. [Die by the Blade]
  • Patrick Kane struck the 400-goal mark. His drive to learn and improve helped him reach it. [NHL]
  • The Oilers claimed goalie Alex Stalock off of waivers from the Wild. He will report to Edmonton. [NHL]
  • ‘Tis the season: here are the top free agents in college hockey and Europe, according to Corey Pronman. [The Athletic]
  • The Blue Jackets continue to struggle this season, but coach John Tortorella is not worried about his job. Famous last words? [NHL]
  • Unfortunate news: Todd Bertuzzi was arrested for drunk driving over the weekend. [Yahoo]
  • Flyers goalie Carter Hart and Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry wagered a week of driving a Lamborghini to add a personal element to the Battle of Pennsylvania. Oh, to be rich. [NHL]