Well well well, just when a quorum of the fanbase is ready to throw in the towel on the season and take the keys away from the GM’s office, the Islanders go and finally win again.
They still only managed two goals, they still needed a shutout performance from Ilya Sorokin to keep things from spiraling away, but they got the two points. A surprise win over the fellow slumping Golden Knights tonight could further deceive (especially if the Penguins and Sabres both lose tonight), but this is pretty much how things look going into the break:
#Isles jump back to 10th in Eastern Conference with 2-0 win over Red Wings.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) January 28, 2023
Four points behind Pens for second wild-card spot.
But Pens and Sabres, in ninth, two points ahead of Isles, have both played three fewer games.
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here.
- At last, an end to the six-game losing streak. [Newsday]
- Ugly win, but you’ll take it. Palmieri: “I’ve been on bad teams before. It’s not that feeling here.” [Post]
- Familiar frustrations — a terrible power play — but some nice moments (and Brendan Burke enjoying the game as a dad and fan) as the Isles finally get a win. [LHH]
- Three Takeaways from last night: It’s nice when the captain and Brock Nelson scores and Ilya allows nothing. Also: Kyle Palmieri has four points since his return. [Isles]
- Josh Bailey was dropped to the fourth line in an effort to shake things up and resuscitate a pulse. He put a happy spin on it. [Newsday | Post]
- Not unexpected, but: Noah Dobson and Hudson Fasching are both out until after the break. [Newsday]
- Game preview at the official site [Isles]
- The Knights are struggling, losing last night at the Garden for their third in a row, sixth in their last seven. [Knights On Ice]
- According to Jesse Granger, covering the Knights for the Athletic: Three very different coaches have pleaded for the Knights to get to the inside on offense, but do they have the personnel? [Athletic]
The Golden Knights top 4 goal scorers (not including Mark Stone) are ice cold.— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) January 28, 2023
Stephenson: 0 goals in last 8 games
Eichel: 0 goals in last 6 games
Smith: 0 goals in last 10 games
Marchessault: 0 goals in last 7 games
Lots of games last night (the Senators torched the Leafs in Toronto, which is always funny) and tonight as the league crams games in before the All-Star and bye week break.
- Celebrating some of the league’s “glue guys.” [ESPN]
- Auston Matthews is out three weeks with a knee injury. [NHL]
- In Matthews’ place, Aleksander Barkov will head to, er stay around for, the All-Star Game. [TSN]
- Both teams are underperforming, but how have the big pieces in last summers Flames-Panthers trade performed? [Sportsnet]
- Matt Murray was hurt before last night’s game, now have the Leafs lost their other goalie too? [TSN]
- Or is Ilya Samsonov just resting because Murray’s pre-game injury put Samsonov in a “terrible spot,” according to the coach. [Sportsnet]
- Ilya Mikheyev of the Canucks wanted to try to play through an ACL injury, but he’s now out for the season and will have surgery. [NHL]
- Chris Tanev of the Flames go on IR. [TSN]
- If you really wanna hear about it, Cole Caufield discusses why he went with surgery, totally not about tanking. [NHL]
- In today’s episode of But How Does This Affect the Leafs, should they trade for Jake McCabe? [Sportsnet]