After I railed against them for not beating the Arizona Coyotes, the New York Islanders defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in regulation. As you were.
The Islanders didn’t have their A-game last night, but they did nearly tie the all-situations expected goals game according to Natural Stat Trick. More importantly, they scored more actual goals and took the win.
Good for Hudson Fasching, who can now say most of his career goals came with the Islanders, and Simon Holmstrom, who finally scored his first NHL goal. Both guys were last-minute entries into the lineup for Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri (poor guy, head injuries suck (I’m assuming it’s a head injury)).
Anyway, as Jenny wrote in last night’s recap, the Isles are 1-1-1 so far on this trip, which would have been a reasonable guess (and ask) of this team at this point in the trip; they just took an interesting detour to get to that record.
- How about that: Holmstrom’s first NHL goal turned out to be the game-winner. [LHH] His family back in Sweden didn’t see it because they were fast asleep, but he can’t wait to call them this morning and tell them about his goal. “Unbelievable,” he says. [NY Post]
Welcome to the NHL Simon Holmstrom! #Isles pic.twitter.com/LbpBBtUlmo— Isles Territory (@IslesTerritory) December 18, 2022
- It’s always fun when the surprise guys, like Holmstrom and Fasching, are the ones who lead the way. It’s almost like they play more loosely when they enter the lineup at a moment’s notice. [3 Takeaways]
- As mentioned above, they entered the lineup for Palmieri and Clutterbuck, who are both dealing with upper-body injuries. [Isles DTD]
- I hope Palmieri didn’t sustain another concussion. He was already really prone having just come back from one, and you worry about a guy’s ability to live a normal life with repeat concussions like that. And with Clutterbuck, you never know what part of his body is hurting, but it’s probably all of them, so hopefully, he’s okay, too. [Newsday]
- Semyon Varlamov was excellent, one of the differences in the game. [NHL] But he left with just over six minutes left in the game with an apparent injury. If he’s healthy, though, he’s making a case for more playing time, especially since Ilya Sorokin has struggled a bit of late. [The Athletic]
- Anders Lee had the first goal of the game near the end of the first period. [Rapid Recap]
- Lane Lambert wanted a response from his team after Friday’s mess, and he got it. [Newsday]
- It was Alex Pietrangelo’s first game in a few weeks: It turns out that the personal issue was his daughter’s routine illness progressing into something much more dangerous, but thankfully, a full recovery is expected. [NHL]
- In a season littered with comebacks and blown leads around the league, the Isles have only lost once when leading after one period (8-1-0, with the ‘1’ coming Friday), and still haven’t lost when leading after two (11-0-0). [NYI Skinny]
- Andrew Gross, in his Sunday column, speculates about trade possibilities. There are the obvious names, like Patrick Kane and Bo Horvat. But what about Anthony Duclair? Or James van Riemsdyk? They probably wouldn’t cost as much, and the Islanders aren’t exactly flush with assets at the moment. [Newsday]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils losing their fifth straight to the Panthers, the Rangers doubling up the Flyers, one-time preseason Islander defenseman Erik Gustafsson scoring a hat trick as the Capitals beat the Maple Leafs, and an overtime win for the Hurricanes. At least the Red Wings lost to the Senators.
- The Winnipeg Jets will be without the services of former captain Blake Wheeler for four weeks as he deals with a lower-body injury. [NHL]
- The Vancouver Canucks are picking up their trade talks, and only one player is untouchable: Elias Pettersson. Boy, would I love some Quinn Hughes. [32 Thoughts]
- Lukas Sedlak, who really enjoyed playing the Islanders, was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout. It sounds like he just wants to go back to the Czech Republic more than anything else, and the Flyers were willing to oblige. [NHL]
- The NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program reinstated Detroit Red Wings winger Jakub Vrana after he entered it in October. [TSN]