The New York Islanders are in Buffalo tonight, because the schedule says they must play the Sabres. The Isles don’t beat playoff teams, but the Sabres are even lower in the standings, so that means we might have some fun!
Granted, the Isles have five games in hand, but Buffalo is just two points (38) behind the Isles and they have stunk less-ish lately, going 4-4-2 in their last 10. They also have Alex Tuch, who is better for a lineup than an injured/holding out Jack Eichel.
- Barry Trotz gives his roster the old vote of confidence, but the team is clearly uncomfortable fighting an uphill battle game after game. [Newsday]
- Preview/notes for tonight... [Isles]
- Weird to be back in this position after a few years of playoff runs, but: The Isles are trying to push away thoughts of if any of them will be sold at the trade deadline. [AM NY]
- Will they make trades? League sources don’t know what Lou will do of course, but they think the next week and a half will be critical in making that decision. [Athletic]
- Prospect Report: Updates on Alex Jefferies, Aatu Raty, Cameron Berg and Henrik Tikkanen, plus William Dufour is QMJHL Player of the Week. [Isles]
Will Klyle Palmieri or Kieffer Bellows get back in? Didn’t look likely during yesterday’s practice in Buffalo, but we’ll see...
Only change - it appears - to #Isles lines is Beauvillier is back with Nelson and Bailey. Johnston skating with Martin and Cizikas. D-pairs remain the same and Ilya Sorokin, as is to be expected, is working in the starter’s net.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 14, 2022
Palmieri is rotating in on fourth line and Bellows rotated in on the odd rush on the top line. But both seem to be skating as extras at #Isles practice— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 14, 2022
- ICYMI: Jiggs McDonald goes over old times in a talk with Chris Botta. [Hockey Press Pass podcast]
- Yesterday in Isles history: Bill Torrey was hired as GM. That was kind of a big deal. [Isles]
- Follow Sabres updates at Die By The Blade...
- TRADE: Montreal ships Tyler Toffoli to the Flames. [NHL] The former King should fit right in with Darryl Sutter.
- One of the prospects acquired in the trade “has a really good offensive mind,” so he’s got that going for him...which is nice. [HEOTP]
- What the not-quite-robust return on Toffoli says about the market right now. [Athletic]
- Meanwhile Ben Chiarot, also seen as a likely trade deadline target for teams, is on IR for at least a week. [TSN]
- Count Brooksie as among those scratching their head at the Canadiens’ new management and coaching approach. [Post]
- Jacob Markstrom, who stopped the Isles among other wins, is the NHL’s First Star of the Week. [NHL]
- Sure, Jay Woodcroft had his Oilers beat the Islanders in his debut as head coach, but they still have their work cut out for them. [TSN]
Lots of NHLers involved in this video tribute to Jaromir Jagr, still playing for his hometown Kladno (and trying to stave off relegation) at age 50: