We apologize for the lack of Bits yesterday, folks. Sometimes, life gets in the way. But we have in store for you today some Mega Bits. Two days of Bits rolled into one! There are going to be so many Bits that... well, you get the point. There are a lot of them.
Anyway, I think that it is fair to say that the New York Islanders need to win tonight. They will visit the Washington Capitals to close out a three-game series and their season series, both of which they have already lost.
They need, at least, to salvage two points from this game to have come away from the three-game series with three points and a record of 1-1-1. It won’t feel like it, but they will have made it respectable. And if they could do it in regulation, well, that would be just swell.
- The team site previews tonight’s game. It will be on national TV. Make us proud, boys!
- The “disconnected” Islanders need to repair some faulty connections ahead of tonight’s tilt. [Newsday]
- Barry Trotz promised to change up the lines tonight. Laura Albanese asked if Leo Komarov would return to the top line, but he would not confirm. Maybe we’ll see a real first line tonight? [Newsday]
- WATCH: You can listen to Trotz’s media availability yourself! He also talked about what input he had toward UBS Arena. [Islanders]
- In fact, this piece has Trotz’s availability, as well as the availabilities of the players that spoke yesterday.
- Both Alex Ovechkin and Justin Schultz missed practice yesterday for the Capitals. [Washington Post]
- Ovechkin might miss tonight’s game, but coach Peter Laviolette does not foresee it as a long-term issue. [NHL]
- Over these last eight games, the Islanders must prepare to push hard toward the playoffs. [NY Sports Day]
- It would take a major collapse to miss the postseason at this point. But if the Isles cannot get it together, it will be a short trip to the playoffs. [IslesBlog]
- You cannot blame us for worrying after last week’s highs and lows, says Dan in this week’s Back & Forth.
- LISTEN: Dan and Mike chat about the recent games; Mike isn’t as worried as Dan is. Also, they also talk about what sports Martin Scorsese pretends to watch. [LHH]
- Looking back at some of GM Lou Lamoriello’s most successful trade deadlines, even if the players he acquired have not made a huge difference in the regular season, they help with the playoff run. Other former GMs can attest to having the same experience. [The Athletic]
- The Sound Tigers have managed to put together a season-long win-streak of three games. There you go, fellas. [Bridgeport Report]
- Meanwhile, Reece Newkirk continues to pile up points in the WHL and both Ruslan Iskahkov’s and Robin Salo’s teams advanced in their leagues’ playoffs. [Prospect Report]
- This (yester)day in Isles history: Ed Westfall broke a 0–0 tie with five minutes left in Game 7 to propel the Islanders to a 1–0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins and to complete a 0–3 series comeback.
- LOOK: Take a virtual tour of UBS Arena and find your seat. [Islanders]
- The arena is getting closer to completion, so start your horse-racing puns now. [amNY]
Let’s get back to looking like this, shall we?
Sunday’s NHL scores include the Penguins beating the Boston Bruins 1–0, the New York Rangers doubling up the Buffalo Sabres, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeating the New Jersey Devils in a shootout. Last night’s NHL scores include the Carolina Hurricanes losing an overtime game to the Dallas Stars, but still clinching a playoff berth with the point.
- It appears that NBC will no longer cover hockey after this season as the NHL secured its second TV partner; TNT will join ESPN in national hockey coverage. [NY Post | amNY | Newsday]
- Andrew Shaw has ended his playing career at age 29 on the advice of his doctors. He has suffered one too many concussions, it seems. [NHL]
- The Colorado Avalanche lost Brandon Saad for the next couple of weeks. [NHL]
- The Flyers will not have available Shayne Gostisbehere for at least a week due to a knee injury. [NHL]
- David Backes may retire when this season ends. I forgot that he plays for the Anaheim Ducks. [NHL]
- Larry Brooks says Robin Lehner’s version of the NHL saying protocol would ease up after teams were vaccinated doesn’t add up. He also seems to make a case for Pierre Turgeon in the Hall of Fame, amid a rambling thing about the WHA and other topics. [NY Post]
- As the Arizona Coyotes have learned, it pays to have your AHL affiliate nearby. For so long, their affiliates were all the way in the northeast. But the move to Tucson has been better for all involved. [AZ Coyotes Insider]