Please note: Because the start time is so early, it doesn’t make much sense to have two separate posts, so this post will serve as today’s game thread, too.
First Islander Goal picks go here.
- Keys to today’s game: Score first, yes? And then don’t give up more goals. [Islanders]
- Kyle Palmieri seems to have found his game. I believe I predicted that now that he was a dad, he was going to go off the way both Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo did after becoming dads. Palmieri and J-G Pageau lend further credence to that theory. [Newsday]
- Reupping Kevin Kurz’s mailbag from yesterday. He is torn as to whether Cal Clutterbuck comes back next season. [The Athletic]
- Stan Fischler loves his blue-collar hockey players, and no one exemplified that better than Wayne Merrick, one of the sixteen that won all four Cups. [Maven’s Memories]
Last night’s NHL scores include two OT winners that capped off hat tricks: one by Jason Robertson to help the Stars knock off the Jets, and one by Viktor Arvidsson to help the Kings defeat the Blue Jackets.
- Don’t enjoy some power rankings that repeat the same things they do every week. Not even sure why I continue to link these! [The Athletic]
- Here’s a better article: Nick Foligno returns to Columbus as a changed player in a reduced role, but he’s settling into it. [The Athletic]
- Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl have each improved their defense measurably this season, which should benefit them come playoff time. [Sportsnet]
- Russian players in the NHL have been targeted with what reasonably could be called national origin discrimination, even though most of them oppose their home country’s assault on Ukraine, according to Ukrainian player agent Dan Milstein, who represents many Russian NHLers (including Ilya Sorokin). [ESPN]
- The legend that is Jaromir Jagr grows even more: The 50-year-old announced that his team’s final home game would actually be played on the road because it would be in a bigger arena in Prague, and all the ticket proceeds are going toward Ukrainian families seeking asylum in Czechia. [ESPN]
- The Blackhawks continue the purge of their old front office, saying goodbye to their VP of Amateur Scouting and Assistant GM. [Second City Hockey]