Still on the road is the New York Islanders. They flew over Arkansas to get from Nashville to Dallas to visit the Dallas Stars, who are doing quite well under Peter DeBoer.
Their top line, with grumpy, old man Joe Pavelski hanging out with extremely talented youngsters Roope Hintz and especially Jason Robertson, is perhaps even better than they were last year; Hintz and Robertson are both riding ten-game point streaks. Tyler Seguin seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch next to Mason Marchment to become a good second-line center. And Jamie Benn has had a very hot start as a third-line winger to give them three dangerous lines, plus a decent shutdown fourth line.
To avoid two straight losses, the Islanders will have their work cut out for them. They cannot afford to start slowly. Let’s see if some personal milestones can give them a bit more jump:
For #Isles, Kyle Palmieri expected to play in 700th NHL game tonight and Adam Pelech expected to play in his 400th.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 19, 2022
FIGs go here. Perhaps don’t pick Josh Bailey.
- A preview of tonight’s contest. Both teams are coming off high-scoring games, but both teams will probably start their young, elite goalies. [Islanders]
- The Isles know they can’t start slow. While knowing is half the battle, the other half of the battle is doing something about it. So it will be interesting to see how tonight goes. [NY Post]
- Nikita Soshnikov did report to Bridgeport and expected—maybe even wanted—to go there to get playing time. He’s on a one-way, so he’s still getting paid $750,000. And last night, he lined up next to Simon Holmstrom and Aatu Räty in the B-Isles 4-1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers. [NYI Hockey Now]
- Even after shoulder surgery and countless injuries, Cal Clutterbuck still knows how to throw the body and is on the verge of taking over the all-time hits record from Dustin Brown (they haven’t tracked hits for very long, though). [Islanders]
- In Lane Lambert’s system, the defensemen have been very active in the offensive zone, which suits Sebastian Aho’s game. He’s been a consistent contributor and has improved his defensive game. [Islanders]
- Aho has mostly played with Scott Mayfield, and although he did take a few shifts next to Ryan Pulock last game when Lambert tinkered with his pairs, he put Aho and Mayfield back together while jumbling the other two pairs. [Newsday]
- Alex Romanov and Ilya Sorokin are still learning to speak English, but they aren’t alone in having dealt with language barriers. Anthony Beauvillier and Semyon Varlamov weren’t fluent in English right away, and Noah Dobson had to pick up an ear for French in juniors. [NY Post]
- Mathew Barzal has been getting the opportunities to score with the way he’s been playing: According to this chart, he should have at least five goals, which paired with his assists would mean he’d be at 24 points through 18 games.
Lowest Goals Scored Above Expected - November 19 pic.twitter.com/XfqaIH3v3g— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) November 19, 2022
The NHL’s ever-brilliant scheduling team decided there should be only one game on a Friday night and that it should begin at 10:00 p.m. ET. In it, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 as Thatcher Demko looked like himself again and Brock Boeser got off the schneid with two goals.
- The Minnesota Wild have placed Tyson Jost on waivers. The Islanders do have an open roster spot... but they are a bit down in the waiver order, and it wouldn’t shock me if a team before them claimed him. It also wouldn’t surprise me if no one claimed him. [TSN]
- Having already cleared waivers earlier this week, the Ottawa Senators actually sent Nikita Zaitsev to the AHL. [TSN]
- The Buffalo Sabres will be without goalie Eric Comrie for “multiple weeks,” which means 41-year-old Craig Anderson and oft-injured wunderkind Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen (spelled it right on the first try BAM!) will have to hold down the fort. [NHL]
- More injured goalie news: Marc-André Fleury has an upper-body injury and was placed on IR by the Wild. [NHL]
- Something we love to read: These Toronto Maple Leafs seem worse than years past. Their ceiling is much lower, and they can’t score. [Sportsnet]
- Something we don’t love to read: Joel Quenneville wants to get back behind an NHL bench. Something a little better (for now, and will probably get worse): Gary Bettman still has to approve of his return. It probably won’t happen this year, but next year? [TSN]