Nassau Coliseum always looks lovely in the afternoon sun. Over the next two days, both the Islanders and the Sabres—as well as both the local and NBC broadcasts—will get a big, bright look at it.
The Islanders thoroughly dominated Buffalo in Thursday night’s series opener. The Isles sat back a little bit in the second period. But, characteristic of them, New York hardly ever conceded the high-danger areas.
The Sabres look broken right now. One cannot help but feel bad for their fans. The team has a wealth of talent, but none of it has come together. The dejection reminds me of the darkest years of being an Islanders fan—the only reason for someone to watch is if they really enjoy hockey.
- The team site previews the match-up this afternoon. I believe, based on the color scheme adopted for this article and the team logo in its Twitter avatar, that today will be the debut of the reverse retros.
- Captain Anders Lee always challenges himself to be better. It’s working this year. [Newsday]
- Ryan Pulock said the long playoff run in the bubble brought the Isles closer together. Of note, it helped Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Andy Greene assimilate. [Newsday]
- Newly signed 2017 draft pick Robin Salo continues to excel in the Swedish Hockey League. Could he be ready for the NHL next season? [The Athletic]
The Booster Club remains strong (though if that image of them all together is current, it’s a rough look):
Last night’s NHL scores include the Bruins beating up on the Capitals and a slew of overtime games in the West Division.
- In that Boston–Washington game, Tom Wilson reminded everyone what kind of a player he really is, despite all his efforts to “change” his game. He sent Brandon Carlo to the hospital with this headhunting hit:
Tom Wilson hits Brandon Carlo up high.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 6, 2021
Carlo needs help getting off the ice. pic.twitter.com/RgACye1H7l
- TSN’s Frank Seravalli, normally a level-headed reporter and strong insider, tried to lean on the fact that the “initial” point of contact was Carlo’s chest. Yeah, I suppose the first point where Wilson made contact was Carlo’s chest. But I think people are a bit more concerned that Wilson put his full body weight, with force, into Carlo’s skull, crushing it into the glass. I wouldn’t choose this hit, in particular, to start drawing formalistic lines, Frank; especially to defend a guy that has done this so many times that I have lost count.
- Five former Sabres captains shared their thoughts on the current team. Here’s a pull quote for you: “a whole new kind of unwatchable.” Oof. [The Athletic]
- GM Kevyn Adams held a late-Friday-news-dump press conference yesterday in which he addressed questions of his team’s competitiveness. [NHL]
- Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle, ironman streak still intact, should play in his 1,000th career game on Sunday. [NHL]
- Long-time Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook announced that he is unable to play anymore, owing to his hip injury. Seems like he’s doing the Johnny Boychuk/Chris Pronger thing and not filing his retirement paperwork until his contract ends, though. [Blackhawks | NHL]
- Milan Lucic and the Flames hope that new coach Darryl Sutter’s demanding style pays dividends. [NHL]
- The Hurricanes team doctor published a study involving athletes suffering heart issues stemming from COVID-19. [Raleigh News & Observer]
- 1980 Team USA gold medalist and former Ranger Mark Pavelich was found dead in a treatment facility. Our condolences go out to his family. [Star Tribune]
- And finally, Scott Burnside listed twelve more players, not on The Athletic’s big board, that could be dealt at the deadline, including Ryan Getzlaf, Johnny Gaudreau, and Max Domi (again).