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.
- 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.
Isles Nation - We are the world!— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 1, 2021
Throughout this week, we will be celebrating #Isles fans around the globe. Be on the lookout to learn about fan stories and fun ways to show your #Isles pride from wherever you call home. pic.twitter.com/FUrJu58Pxe
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]