Few New York Islanders' traditions are greater than their annual Thanksgiving Eve home game. They wisely recognize that people are headed home for the holiday from parts unknown and probably push for this one. And this year, they landed a game against the world’s greatest player.
Unfortunately for Connor McDavid, his Edmonton Oilers do not have a ton of talent outside of him and Leon Draisaitl, also arguably a top-five player on the planet, and it has been especially stark with Evander Kane out recovering from his scary skate cut. Their lack of depth at basically every position is why a team many projected as Stanley Cup contenders sit just one game above .500. Boy, I don’t miss the weight of expectations.
Speaking of expectations, the Islanders’ record has certainly met them to this point, but the on-ice play has left a little to be desired. A big win, preferably in regulation, with a 60-minute effort against a depleted team could be the spark they need to start playing more consistently.
Here’s what we can expect them to look like. Despite Semyon Varlamov in the starter’s net, it appears that Ilya Sorokin will get the start, as he was the first goalie off the ice. Also, Kyle Palmieri left after line rushes, though Lane Lambert said that it was just an equipment issue but he’s fine and he’ll play.
#Isles at morning skate— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 23, 2022
D-pairs were rotating, as they did against Leafs.
Semyon Varlamov working in the traditional starter's net
- A preview of tonight’s game. Unlike the photo for this story, the Islanders should be in their normal, much nicer jerseys. [Islanders]
- Bumping it again, but tonight is the Turkey and Trimmings Food Drive. Bring some food, get a ticket voucher. [Islanders]
- On Monday night in his hometown, Cal Clutterbuck became the NHL’s hit king. [Newsday]
- Here we are. It’s the quarter pole and just about American Thanksgiving. If you’re not in a playoff spot now, it’ll be tough sledding to get into one. But the Islanders are currently in there, and they feel good about themselves having won 10 of their last 14. [Newsday]
- The B-Isles took away two wins from last weekend’s three-in-three. William Dufour was scratched for Nikita Soshnikov in the first game, but he dressed and scored in each of the next two games. Also, Aatu Räty scored the overtime winner on Sunday. [Bridgeport Report]
Last night’s NHL scores include only two games. The Sabres emphatically snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 7-2 win in Montreal, and the Rangers erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the Kings 5-3.
- Jakob Chychrun is back on the ice and ready to be traded. Do other people refer to emails and texts as “notes,” or is that a Canadian thing, or is it not even Canadian-wide but truly just a Marek and Friedman thing? My gut tells me it’s the last one. [32 Thoughts]
- Palmieri may have escaped that collision relatively unharmed, but it landed Morgan Rielly on LTIR with a knee injury, meaning he’ll be out at least ten games or I believe four weeks. [NHL]
- Not only is Evander Kane suffering from a bad injury on the ice; he is also buried in debt, way more than I could have imagined. His bankruptcy case is a nightmare—tons of loans and borrowed money, often to pay off bookies and casinos—and one of his top creditors, a bank that says he owes it upwards of $8 million, is trying to block his case so he can’t walk away from the debt. Don’t gamble, kids. [The Athletic]
- After all the hullabaloo about the Ottawa Senators’ offseason, they have lost ten of twelve and cannot keep the puck out of the back of their net. Their latest failure was getting waxed by the lowly San Jose Sharks. [The Athletic]
- Pierre McGuire called him the “Human Eraser” when he was drafted fifth overall in 2008 with what was the Isles’ pick, but Luke Schenn never quite lived up to the pedigree. Still, here is, in the NHL and, frankly, one of the reasons the Vancouver Canucks can’t defend. [The Athletic]
- The Philadelphia Flyers are mired in the losing streak we all thought they’d have, but newbie Kieffer Bellows had a mildly positive game in his seventh Flyers appearance, something they hope he can build on. Sounds familiar—I’m certain he’ll follow it up strongly. [The Athletic]