We are still five days away from an actual New York Islanders game. This season is almost faker than the last two seasons, which is saying something considering it’s an 82-game season.*
Question of the Day
Since the news remains slow—how many times can you write “the Islanders are working on things during this break”—let’s pose another question. We’ve asked about your favorite goaltenders and favorite defensemen. So who’s your favorite forward?
As has been the case with the previous two questions like this, I don’t think that I could pick just one. But among my favorites over the years, in no particular order: Alexei Yashin, Michael Peca (who makes another appearance below!), Steve Webb, Jason Blake, Mariusz Czerkawski (whose name I spelled correctly on the first try!), Kyle Okposo, John Tavares, Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson, and Mathew Barzal. I’m probably missing some, too. Also, please bear in mind that I did not start watching until the late ‘90s.
Sound off with your favorites!
- One advantage that all these rescheduled games have created for the Islanders is that they’re able to get their lineup back to full health without them missing too many games. [The Athletic]
- But, as Neil Best columnizes, this season has been mind-boggling in every sense of the word. [Newsday]
- Austin Czarnik, described by Lane Lambert as “trustworthy,” has created some internal competition, but he will likely not be in the lineup on Thursday. [Newsday]
- This article is primarily a deep dive on why the Kraken suck, and it’s very interesting. But there’s a line about Jordan Eberle having been critical to the Isles’ counterattack, and his absence is a big reason that it hasn’t been there. I hadn’t considered it, but it makes a lot of sense—there has been significantly less rush offense from the Islanders this season, and rush offense has been their bread and butter (on offense, of course). What do you think?
- The Isles have entered the esports game. [Islanders] And you can sign up to join their team. [Islanders]
- Stan Fischler caught up with Michael Peca to discuss his captaincy and the 2002 playoffs. [Maven’s Memories]
- Happy belated 22nd birthday to Noah Dobson. Keep playing the way you’re playing.
Happy Birthday #⃣8⃣! pic.twitter.com/vNyAU2VdkX— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 7, 2022
Last night’s NHL scores include only two games: The Hurricanes beat the Flames at home, and the Blues extended their home point streak to 11 games by thumping the Capitals.
- Marc-Andre Fleury will return to Las Vegas for the first time since his trade to the Blackhawks. It will be an emotional night for the guy who “built sports in [Vegas].” [NHL]
- Kirill Kaprizov got injured on a hit by Trent Frederic Thursday night and he will not play tonight for the Minnesota Wild. [NHL]
- Some mid-season awards tracking: Alex Ovechkin leads the Hart race while Cale Makar leads the Norris race. [E$PN+]
- The Flames struggled on their southeast swing, but all things considered, this season has been a win. [Sportsnet]
- Why the Maple Leafs waived Nick Ritchie, and why he cleared. I have an answer: He sucks! [Sportsnet]
- Power Rankings that you pay for. The Islanders are still in the 20s. [The Athletic]
- All-Star Voting ends today. Get in your picks! [NHL]
- Tragedy struck the hockey world on Thursday: A 10th-grade hockey player in Connecticut died after he fell to the ice and was cut by a skate blade. Our hearts go out to the player’s family, friends, and teammates. [AP ESPN]