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Islanders Gameday News: From ‘mentally crushing’ to the ‘darkest part’

Starting with the Blue Jackets, the Islanders enter a busy weekend because what else are they gonna do?

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New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets
We agree to contest you in a game of hockey.
Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Islanders begin a home back-to-back and three games in four nights when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. The visitors are still nine points ahead of the Islanders (who have four games in hand), by the way.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here. Keep up with Blue Jackets news at The Cannon.

The Blue Jackets recently retired Rick Nash’s #61 because — to paraphrase David St. Hubbins — “why not?” (He’s actually all over the franchise’s record book, and he stuck it out there quite a while, so I do not question the honor.)

Islanders News

  • Game notes, keys to the game and what-not. Zdeno Chara, on IR, skated in their last practice. [Isles]
  • The story from here on out: With a “mentally crushing” season going downhill, it’s who might the Isles trade and what can they salvage? [Newsday]
  • The “thickest, darkest part of the Milbury era.” Guest Nick Giglia called it “the first live poetry reading in Lighthouse Hockey podcast history. Weird Islanders episode: Sergei Nemchinov. [LHH]
  • Isles beatwriter Kevin Kurz of The Athletic does a “live room” podcast, much focus on the trade deadline. [The Athletic]
  • More podcasting: Time to sell, but who and for what? Andrew Gross solicits E.J. Hradek’s thoughts. [Newsday Island Ice]
  • Bridgeport Report: The baby Isles won 2 of 3 last weekend. [Isles]
  • She was a collegiate golfer, worked in local news in Mississippi, and covered the Beijing Propaganda Games: Isles in-arena host Hailey Hunter. [Talkin’ Isles]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include just two games, both in Canada. Tonight there are 13 games.

  • Nicklas Backstrom scored his 1,000th point but the Oilers kind of ruined it with an OT win. [NHL]
  • 32 Thoughts focuses on the trade deadline, but begins with Nick Shore, one of many non-Russian players (Shane Prince is another) who have fled the KHL after Russia’s leader-for-life decided to bomb the shit out of a “brotherly” neighbor because Russia is a “great power” that should just get to do that sort of thing. [Sportsnet]
  • J.T. Miller, who just scored four points, expects to remain with the Canucks. Also: The Flyers have lots to sell, the Hawks have to decide on Dylan Strome, and the Canadiens totally aren’t trying to trade Shea Weber’s contract. [NHL]
  • Jack Eichel is preparing for what he knows will be an “awkward” return to Buffalo. (Also: The video at the beginning shows the aggravating contact that triggered his neck injury saga, a very mild puck battle with Casey Cizikas behind the net.) [ESPN]
  • The Ducks claimed Andrej Sustr off waivers from the Lightning. [TSN]
  • Crazy story but I love it: Phil Kessel kept his ironman streak alive by doing a 30-second shift, then leaving the game for the birth of his first child. Who says no? [Post]
  • “Play was frenetic, with an emphasis on counterattack. Skaters had no bones about slamming into each other, which would have looked strange to hockey fans back then. To that point, hockey had been a slow and calculated game...” The little known story of the all-black Maritime hockey league that changed the sport. [Defector]