The New York Islanders opened 2022 in style, winning their first overtime game of the season and winning on New Year’s Day for the first time ever.
It’s a good thing that they won because they’re not scheduled to play again until January 13 at home against the New Jersey Devils. It’ll come up more below, but the Isles’ next four games, a road swing through Seattle and Western Canada, have been postponed. And as of now, the NHL has no plans to fill the empty dates with other postponed Isles’ games.
So the Isles will have played only three games in 25 days by the time they play their next one. But if the NHL still wants to end the season on time—and they claim that they do—the Islanders will have to play 54 games over 106 days, which is more than one game every other day. That’s a lot of three-in-fours, fours-in-sixes, and fives-in-sevens (all this math from Kevin Kurz’s article below). Frankly, it’s bullshit!
But what else is new?
About yesterday afternoon:
- Noah Dobson had the OT winner, continuing his December heat. [LHH]
“Bring it in, fam!” - Dobson, probably. pic.twitter.com/yYFm0NZ9oN— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 1, 2022
- He has been a force since Barry Trotz healthy-scratched him in November. [3 Takeaways]
- The Islanders led 1-0, then fell behind 2-1, but they tied it in the third on Anthony Beauvillier’s goal to send it to overtime. [NHL]
- Anders Lee had the Isles’ first goal. [Rapid Recap]
- It was Dobson’s first-ever overtime goal. [Newsday]
- And it was a big win over a good, if struggling, team in the Edmonton Oilers. [NY Post]
- Trotz had a personal matter and was not behind the bench; additionally, two other coaches entered COVID protocol. So it was Lane Lambert running the show yesterday with Jim Hillier assisting him, and that was it. [Newsday]
- Listen to Bar-... er... listen to Lane! He’s right, the players were really focused yesterday—at least in the first and third periods.
“I’ll give our guys credit. They knew what was going on as well, there was only 2 of us behind the bench, they were dialed in. It’s really about the players and what they did today.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 1, 2022
Lambert ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fc38GdI6Bw
Onward and upward:
- The Isles admit that it’s tough to keep pausing the season like this, especially since they seem to be building the momentum they have sought all season. [Kurz @ The Athletic]
- But the postponements are necessary evils in today’s world. Also, Brooksie says Ryan Pulock’s game-saving save in Game 4 was the play of the year 2021. [NY Post]
- The Islanders yesterday debuted their third jerseys for the first time this season. They’ll wear them nine more times this year. [Islanders]
- This Day in Isles History: Mike Bossy scores his 500th career goal (1986); the Islanders record their first win in what would become a 14-game home win streak (1982).
- The St. Louis Blues jumped out to 5-1 and 6-2 leads to defeat the Minnesota Wild, who tried to make it interesting at the end of the game, in the coldest Winter Classic in history—and the third-coldest sporting event on record. It was officially -6°F at puck drop and was -10°F by the end of the night, with wind chills in the mid- -20s °F. [NHL]
- It was so cold that even the ice needed to be heated! [CNN]
- It didn’t bother the Blues, though. They showed up in beachwear. [NHL]
Yesterday’s other NHL scores include the Hurricanes coming back from being down 4-0 to beat the Blue Jackets, 7-4, on the road in regulation, which works out well for the Islanders.
- The Seattle Kraken hired the organist from Slap Shot. No, really. [Seattle Times] And he was a hit! [NHL]
- How about this: An assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks got a message from a fan in Seattle about a mole on his neck. Turns out that she was right and it was cancerous. So he found her last night to thank her. [ESPN | NHL]
- The Oilers are struggling mightily, but they need continuity more than they need to oust Dave Tippett. [Sportsnet]
- The Montreal Canadiens’ season is over already, so they were fine playing with a skeleton crew to finish off a road trip. But now they get to pause fully to recover. [Sportsnet]
- Some players are looking for loopholes to be able to play in the Olympics, according to Elliotte Friedman. [Sportsnet]