The New York Islanders probably did not deserve the win last night, based on the play of the skaters. The work of their goaltender, though, tipped the scales in their favor.
The Philadelphia Flyers threw 37 shots at Ilya Sorokin. The only one that beat him caromed into the net off the skate of Oskar Lindblom. Not a bad way to make a strong impression starting consecutive games for the first time in his NHL career. And the coach noticed that he stole the game for his team.
Trotz on the level of theft from Ilya Sorokin tonight: "That's larceny. You'd get 5-to-10 for that." #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 23, 2021
Tonight should have been a game night—it would have been a traveling back-to-back—but the Boston Bruins have five players on the COVID-19 protocol list. Their next game should be Thursday night in Boston, but that will depend on whether the Bruins have been cleared to play.
What that means is that after a busy March, the Islanders have two straight off-days for the first time since February 23 and 24. February 25, the night on which the Isles smacked Boston around to the tune of 7–2, began this stretch in which they were supposed to play at least every other day all the way through to March 30 and March 31.
Now, they can rest a little earlier. And they may end up not playing until Saturday on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Recaps from Sorokin’s “larceny”: Jenny for us at LHH | Isles 5 Takeaways, including Sorokin, Anthony Beauvillier, and Oliver Wahlstrom | Newsday | NHL | NYI Skinny, which notes that Sorokin has only allowed 11 goals over his last eight starts, all victories
- Hear from Barry Trotz, who complimented his team for knowing that they had not been their best but framed it so that they could have a chance. He also made at least two funny comments: the one above, and the one below.
“We’ve got a really good group, a mature group, that just said - if we win the period, we get points. I’m all about collecting points. We were able to get it to one and then we were fortunate to get the second one.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 23, 2021
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/DZwqgeahSE
- Wahlstrom, who tallied the tying marker, continues to score big goals. More importantly, he was caught, for the second time this season, singing on the bench after scoring one of those big goals. And Trotz loves it.
Trotz on the camera catching Wahlstrom singing on the bench tonight: "I love that. It shows the moment's not getting to him... I just don't know if he's a good singer or not." #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 23, 2021
- Beauvillier’s gorgeous wraparound stood as his second goal in as many games. Maybe this streaky scorer is headed for another hot streak. [Newsday]
- Having appeared on the COVID-19 protocol list for the ninth straight day, Noah Dobson’s return continues to be an unknown. [Newsday]
- Trotz is not worried about Josh Bailey’s and Brock Nelson’s lowered point totals—as he often notes, they receive the toughest defensive match-ups, a challenge the duo appreciates. [Newsday]
- According to their GM, Don Sweeney, the Bruins hope to practice Wednesday. We shall find out. [NHL]
- Arthur Staple updated us about what he has heard regarding the Isles’ Trade Deadline plans. Reportedly, the Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs lead the buyers’ market. Taylor Hall remains a target and Derick Brassard may be an option, as well. But Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets back in the playoff race) and Tanner Pearson (injury) may be out of the picture. [The Athletic]
- The Islanders, according to Adam Gretz, are a contender that falls just below the top contenders. Scoring can still be a question. [NBC Sports]
- Reece Newkirk has started his season well and Collin Adams helped North Dakota earn the no. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. [Islanders Prospect Report]
- The 1980–81 Islanders do not get enough coverage. IslesBlog sought to change that; here is The Prelude (Part 1) to their series on the team that proved 1980 was not a fluke.
Last night’s NHL scores include the New York Rangers handing the Buffalo Sabres their fourteenth loss in a row (oof) and Dougie Hamilton extending his point streak to 12 games the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Blue Jackets. Also, the Winnipeg Jets shut out the Vancouver Canucks as Paul Stastny tied his father, Peter Stastny, in games played.
- The Montreal Canadiens were scheduled to host the Edmonton Oilers, too. But due to two Habs finding themselves on the COVID-19 protocol list, the game was postponed. It was the first North Division game to be postponed this season. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- This year’s Trade Deadline poses challenges unlike any previous year, given the quarantine protocols and the flat salary cap. [NHL]
- Patrick Marleau is apparently open to a trade from the San Jose Sharks. Not sure who would want him at this point, though. [NHL]
- The Hurricanes and Hamilton, a pending UFA, have tabled contract discussions until the end of the season. [NHL]
- Top prospect Luke Hughes, younger brother of Quinn and Jack Hughes, will be out for the season with a lower-body injury. [The Athletic]