Last night was one of those this-is-why-we-asterisk-shootouts nights. Both goalies get a shutout, one team gets a bonus point and “win,” no one scored an actual goal, but one guy doubled his team’s take-home by potting a breakaway drill.
It’s how the NHL does things now, because The People Demand A Winner, but it makes stats and describing what happened a little complicated.
Anyway, the Islanders head back to New York after a long and winding stretch across America, officially going 1-1-2 (4 points from 4 games, NHL .500, more asterisk work) on their trip...which (one more asterisk here) in road schedule terms doesn’t technically end until after their meeting with the Rangers on Thursday.
- Big night for Ilya Sorokin, who stopped all 46 shots in regulation and OT and earned the Isles a precious point. [Newsday | LHH]
- Three Takeaways: Take the point, accept the asterisk’d shutout. [Isles]
- This was highlighted in our very abridged recap, but Cale Makar essentially waved off a penalty call on Mathew Barzal, but he won’t be doing that again. [Sportsnet]
- Cory Schneider is up with the Isles while Semyon Varlamov is “day to day,” but he and Jakub Skarek have solidified the Bridgeport crease. [Isles]
- Ahead of the holiday roster freeze, looking like a hostage, Lou Lamoriello spoke with media before the game for 10 minutes. As usual, he shared oodles of riveting and revealing information (“No comment on that,” all injured players are “day to day”...he has “no concern” about this or that, etc.) It’s pretty impressive to say this much nothing, although there is some chuckling banter with reporters about the nothingness of it all and the existential emptiness of trying to learn more about the inner workings and conversations of a hockey team (I may be reading into that...just a tad):
- One of the things Lou answered is that he’d like more divisional games, and the proposed increase to 84 games is fine “if it’s good for the game.” [Newsday]
In last night’s other NHL scores, the darn Capitals won again (over Detroit), and the Sabres won in Vegas, so maybe that’s not such a big deal.
Flyers leading scorer Kevin Hayes says he doesn’t think he should have been scratched — this, after being benched in the third period in multiple games — but this Bill Lindsay breakdown of his recent play is pretty damning:
Kevin Hayes was a healthy scratch for the Philadelphia Flyers over the weekend.— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 19, 2022
What led up to the decision being made? #FueledByPhilly @EJHradek_NHL | @Hartsy43 | @LindsayBHockey | #NHLNow pic.twitter.com/WxS8cSHaM3
- Meanwhile, Cam Atkinson, who hasn’t played since preseason, gets neck surgery and is shut down for the year. [NHL]
- The Canucks got torched (and booed) again at home, and pending UFA Bo Horvat is out of ideas of what to say. Bruce Bordreau, who may not outlast Horvat in Vancouver, used words like “fragile” and “Groundhog Day” again. [TSN | Sportsnet]
- The latest Oilers hope in net, Stuart Skinner, signs a big three-year contract. [NHL] That totally makes sense for the Oilers to spend yet more on goaltending. [Sportsnet]
- In another blow for the Blue Jackets, Boone Jenner will miss four weeks to heal a broken thumb. [NHL]
- The Hamburglar is done: An ankle injury forces Andrew Hammond to retire. [NHL | TSN]