We are to that stage of training camp.
The Islanders finish their preseason schedule with back-to-back games, the road game last night in Philly followed by a home game against the Devils tonight.
So last night drew the more “inexperienced” (read: mostly not making the team) lineup, while tonight will presumably have a more crowd-pleasing crew of mostly NHL regulars.
Results were predictable, especially with the Flyers dressing most of their anticipated opening night lineup. This built-in excuse was even baked into the official site’s recap.
Tonight may be a little more telling — who slots at left wing on line 1? What does the bottom six look like? And are these previews for opening night, or last auditions before Lane Lambert has a week to adjust?
- Three Takeaways: Nice opportunistic breakaway goal from Karson Kuhlman. Sebastian Aho and Samuel Bolduc each got looks in their battle for the 6th spot. But overall: “Far too often tonight when we were in on the forecheck we turned off people and we’re guessing,” Lane Lambert said. “That’s not our hockey.” [Isles]
- Kyle Palmieri is skating with the team and aims to be available for opening night. [Post]
- We repeat: Aho and Bolduc battle for the 6th D spot. [Newsday]
- Mathew Barzal discusses his move to the wing: He knows he still needs to use his skating and fly “all over the ice,” and he doesn’t mind the role change — anything to win. [Athletic]
- Here are new food items at the arena in Elmont this year, the kinds of things that sound delicious and “Sure, why not? It’s only $23!” when you’re tipsy and happy during the second intermission of a blowout victory. There are special cocktails and keepsake mugs that probably run even more than that. (This will shock you, but prices aren’t listed in the article.) [Isles]
- [couple days ago in] Isles History: Anders Lee named captain. He’s a couple seasons short of tying Denis Potvin for the longest tenure with the “C” in franchise history. [Isles]
- A handful of updates from the owners/governors meeting, including a cap that is tentatively expected to go up to $77-78 million next season. Also: expansion isn’t here yet, but it will come, and fees will be “a lot.” And Bally’s meltdown continues, now affecting the Coyotes. [32 Thoughts | Athletic]
- Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist in a Sens preseason win. We may be closer to seeing him not be a one-team guy. [TSN]
- Coaches asked me, “Are you even going to go to the minors? Are you going to retire?” NHL players who survived it discuss the harsh reality of being demoted. [Athletic]
- The Flames have plans for their new arena, and it’s something the team and city should love. [Sportsnet]
- The Ducks agreed to a three-year deal with Jamie Drysdale, after squeezing him when an injury kept him further away from reaching arbitration eligibility. [TSN]
- Alex “Don’t Call Me Daigle...Yet” Lafreniere has had a bad camp with the Smurfs. [Post]
- When are young, exciting teams like the Sabres and Senators finally ready to turn the corner? [Sportsnet]
- Could next year’s NHL draft be at “the Sphere” in Las Vegas (and are you one of those people who would give a shit)? [TSN]
- Longtime Canucks legend Stan Smyl, who played back in the Flying V and flying skate Canucks era, is transitioning away from hockey ops. [TSN]