The New York Islanders face the prospect of their latest, and most fatal season-killing loss when they host the Boston Bruins tonight. The Bruins are currently in the second wild card spot, so in theory when the Islanders’ much-awaited “we finally have our healthy lineup” surge comes, the Bruins would be their target.
That dream has, of course, gone from “you never know” to “really now, let’s prep the 2022-23 roster” status. The Bruins have stalled lately, but the Isles have failed to gain any ground, having lost three straight to close out their road trip. So they’re still 18 points behind with only four games in hand. If the Isles pull off the win tonight, perhaps there will still be some believers given the “four-point game” swing, but...yeah.
The good news is we aren’t supposed to see Brad Marchand, since the recidivist weasel got himself suspended yet again, though he is three games into that six-game punishment and he accompanied the team to New York to appeal. As always, though, we must remember he’s the real victim here. It’s unfair to expect someone to be all grown up by age 33.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here.
- We’re gonna see this a lot: Islanders likely sellers at the deadline, with people deducing that Cal Clutterbuck could at least fetch a little something. [Fourth Period]
- The bigger question: If the Isles are committed to the core that took them to the past two conference finals, they don’t have a lot of deadline maneuvering options. [Post]
- Previewing tonight: The Isles know they keep coming up short. [Isles]
- The road trip showed Isles’ struggles in multiple areas. [Newsday]
- Is the grind getting to Ilya Sorokin? Or is the team just kind of listing. [Athletic]
- Dylan Cozens received a fine for his brutal crosscheck on Brock Nelson. [TSN]
- Brent Rossi has resigned as president of business operations in Bridgeport. [CT Post]
In a cosmic coincidence, today you can say Happy Birthday to the GOAT in the NFL, NBA and NHL:
Last night’s NHL scores included a couple of big tilts, including the Panthers tying the Hurricanes in the last minute and then winning 16 seconds into OT.
- At the Olympics, Canada ran the table to take gold over the U.S. in women’s hockey. [TSN]
- Don’t feel so bad for losing to them: The Flames rolled to their eighth win in a row. [NHL]
- In a Western showdown, Jack Eichel made his Vegas debut as the Knights lost to the Avalanche. [NHL]
- The Canadiens will totally trade Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot, don’t act like it’s a conditional thing. [NHL | TSN]
- Marc-Andre Fleury would like to play one more NHL season and has time to discuss a deadline trade from Chicago. [NHL]
- Meanwhile, the Canucks are trying to block the “white noise” of trade rumors. [Sportsnet]
- Talking to Emily Kaplan, who is all over ESPN’s NHL coverage. [Hockey Press Pass podcast]