The Islanders got off to a good start on their second Western trip of the month with a smooth win in Seattle, where the Kraken are playing like a traditional expansion team.
Now it gets harder with three games in four nights starting tonight in San Jose before a weekend swing through SoCal. The Sharks are at NHL .500, but the Kings and Ducks are each entrenched in the wild card race.
Chances are, this night will mostly be remembered for the date where Zdeno Chara passed Chris Chelios to claim the NHL record for most games played by a defenseman. It will be 1,652 (*regular season) games when he hits the ice tonight.
(*I hate how we are taught to prioritize playoffs as Most Meaningful, yet all these career stats only count regular season. Chara has played 200(!) NHL playoff games. Mike Bossy had 573 regular season goals in 10 seasons...plus 85 kind of important playoff goals.)
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here.
- This is a great “long read” feature on Chara, with quotes from all kinds of former teammates across his career. [Isles]
- Not as long but also with some fun observations on Chara’s career. [Athletic]
- Chelios on Chara: “He’s just a class act. It’s a good thing he wasn’t a real mean guy — he could do a lot of damage out there.” [Post]
- A preview and some keys to the game: Will that crazy line of Parise-Barzal-Palmieri stick together, or was that a brief (and productive) fluke? [Isles]
- Even if it’s in a lost cause, there could be some benefits to both Parise and Palmieri finally starting to produce. [Newsday]
- For Palmieri, it was an unprecedented scoring slump. [Post]
- Bridgeport Report: The B-Isles won the “Battle of Connecticut” last week. [Isles] But they lost to Springfield last night. [Bridgeport]
- Island Ice Podcast: Andrew Gross takes reader questions and discusses whether the Isles are buyers or sellers. [Newsday]
- Podcast: Olympic gold medalist and 4-Cup dynasty member Ken Morrow reflects. [Talkin’ Isles]
- About Tuesday’s 5-2 win in Seattle: LHH recap | The Skinny | Some big saves in the third for Sorokin. [Newsday] | And beforehand, Barzal spoke about returning to Seattle as a pro. [Isles]
Last night’s NHL scores included the Canadiens winning their fourth in a row, this time shutting out the Sabres. There now, we’re not so bad...
- Rodion Amirov, the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (Toronto), has a brain tumor and will be out the rest of the KHL season receiving treatment. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- In the latest “what’s wrong with the OIlers,” a renewed focus on goaltending. [Sportsnet]
- Something that might come in handy as the Isles season stays stuck in neutral: The stages of rooting against your own team. [Down Goes Brown @ Athletic]
- Hmmm, looks like officials are noticing penalties committed against Connor McDavid again. [TSN]
- JT Miller’s name is high on the rumor mill but the Canucks could sure use him still. [Sportsnet]
- The Leafs placed Jake Muzzin on LTIR after a couple of recent head injuries. [TSN | Sportsnet]
- The Canadiens lost Josh Anderson (puck) and Paul Byron (check) to head injuries, but both are recovering after brief visits to the hospital. [Sportsnet]
- Brad Treliving “went with his gut” in hiring former Ducks GM Bob Murray as a scout. Murray and Darryl Sutter were Blackhawks together back in the day, and both had outstanding 1985-86 hockey cards. [TSN]
- Justin Bourne on reinforcing a team’s identity at the trade deadline rather than trying to be something different. [Sportsnet]
- The PHF is slightly increasing team salary caps for the rest of the season. [ESPN]