Tonight, the New York Islanders close out what will be a successful October by hosting the streaky Detroit Red Wings. Fair or not, tonight’s result will determine whether it was a moderately successful or wildly successful first month of the season.
A win would put them at 5-2-1, so that’s what they should aim to achieve. That would be a fantastic start to the season. They’d end the month with 11 points and keep pace in the very strange Metro Division that is only now starting to shake out how many predicted it would—save for the Islanders. On the other hand, while a loss wouldn’t be catastrophic, it would be better to keep Detroit down in the event that they’re battling one another for a Wild Card. Points in October count as much as points in February, March, and April.
No matter what, they have already clinched a better-than-NHL-.500 record for the month of October, which will keep them in the playoff race. That’s about all we could ask for, right?
- Since they got posted late yesterday, I’m incorporating by reference yesterday’s bits. There’s some pretty good stuff in there. [LHH]
- A preview of tonight’s game from the team itself.
- Semyon Varlamov’s performance Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets reminds us that the Islanders have the best goalie tandem in the league—eat it, Boston. [amNY]
- Stefen Rosner, a goalie by trade, broke down Varly’s strong effort on the road. [THN]
- Cory Schneider has transitioned to broadcasting; I saw him on NHL Network last week, and on Saturday night, he subbed in for Thomas Hickey next to Shannon Hogan. He’ll be back on the broadcast Thursday night when the Isles visit the Washington Capitals. [Newsday]
- We’re going to go with me not including this until today because I wanted to get more eyes on it and not because I’m a dope and forgot two days in a row: Weird Islanders is back for a third season, and their first guest was ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski to talk about a decent Devil and forgotten Islander in Alexander Semak. [LHH]
Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Buffalo Sabres being the second team in a row that the Isles will probably have to fight for playoff positioning to shut out the Colorado Avalanche after they dropped seven on the Islanders—very cool—while the New Jersey Devils hung on to earn a home win against the Minnesota Wild. Also, the Edmonton Oilers mostly dominated the Battle of Alberta Heritage Classic, notching a regulation win over the Calgary Flames.
- Connor McDavid did, indeed, return to the lineup, and he snagged a secondary assist. [Sportsnet]
- For increased fun, the Oilers and Flames showed up in matching outfits befitting their city’s heritage: The Oilers dressed as oil workers, and the Flames dressed as shirtless cowboys. Get ready to hear about this for a few days. [NHL]
- The Ottawa Senators are going to be punished, probably sometime this week, for their role in the Evgenii Dadonov no-trade clause fiasco from a couple of seasons ago. Apparently, they’re the offenders here and not the Vegas Golden Knights. [Sportsnet]
- There are 16 games on national TV this week, oh boy! But wait, most of them are on Canadian broadcasts. [NHL]
- Stan Fischler has many hockey thoughts. His main area of intrigue right now: hockey players’ ages. [THN]
- Actor Matthew Perry, best known as Chandler Bing on Friends, died Saturday at age 54 in an apparent drowning. Perry grew up in Ottawa and was a big Ottawa Senators and hockey fan, so the Sens and the league paid tribute. [NHL]