The very busy, COVID-compressed Islanders schedule had a rare two-day break this week on their way between Dallas and Raleigh, where they’ll take on the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night.
That game will be the first of a back-to-back — followed by their final two-day gap of the season — before they finish with 11 games in the final 18 days of the season, including three more back-to-back sets.
If there was a general thought that the Isles looked tired during Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Stars, we can expect to see more of that over the next three weeks.
- No practice for the team yesterday, so great time to sink into a Frans Nielsen interview. He talks about watching the 2002 series with Toronto as a teenager, watching the 2007 series as a Black Ace and feeling the Coliseum, the emergence of the Backhand of Judgment (PxP guy: “Great prospect, no idea what this guy’s shootout move is”), the outdoor game (His dad afterward: “That wasn’t fun.”), twinning with Valtteri Filppula, and more. [Talkin’ Isles]
- Trotz on the rare day off: “We’ll just have to get as fresh as we can.” [Newsday]
- With Butch Goring still recovering from shoulder surgery and Brendan Burke doing some more TNT duties, the Isles booth will have some rotation, including Alan Fuehring and Joe Micheletti. [Newsday]
- Samuel Bolduc showed such promise in last year’s training camp; missing both camps this year slowed him down but he’s made strides this season. [Athletic]
- (Yester)day in Isles history: Gillies is born, Palmieri acquired, Anders Lee reaches 40 goals. [Isles]
Last night’s NHL scores included the Capitals beating the Lightning in regulation, which further dents the Isles’ Impossible April Dream.
- Notes from Donald Fehr’s first in-person meeting with agents in two years, including attempts to protect players from revenue loss by the Coyotes situation. [Sportsnet]
- Be kind to Sabres fans, their franchise just missed the playoffs for a record 11th consecutive time. [NHL]
- Sam Gagner, still in the league, reaches 500 points. [CP]
- The best and worst at coming from behind or retaining a lead this season. [Sportsnet]
- Speaking of, can an offense-happy team like the Leafs succeed in the playoffs? [Sportsnet]
- And Jason Spezza on the Leafs’ collapse against the Panthers: ‘Have to learn from it.’ [TSN]