The season isn’t over yet, folks. It has been a hellish November so far, and lately, an awful road trip to be sure. But a win tonight would mean the New York Islanders finished their trip to the northwest with a .500 record—perhaps the ugliest version of it at 1-1-2, to say nothing of the on-ice product, but .500 nonetheless. Less than .500 may not tank the season as I feared on Sunday, but let’s avoid finding that out the hard way.
They visit the Calgary Flames to close out this trip, and the Flames have fallen far below expectations this season, too.
- A preview of tonight’s game.
- Ethan Sears notes what I did, that the playoffs are far from out of the question because other than the Rangers, the Metro has been middling. [NY Post]
- Andrew Gross asks the question many in the comments have wondered about: Should Lou Lamoriello be allowed to hire another full-time coach, or should he be feeling the heat for his roster, too? [Newsday]
- If he does get to pick a new coach—interim or otherwise—here are the candidates he might consider. God, I will be so disappointed if it’s John Hynes, who has never won anywhere. [NY Post]
- In any event, some kind of change does feel inevitable, so says Stefen Rosner in this mailbag. [THN]
- But maybe the change is a shake-up trade, perhaps with tonight’s opponent, who has some good defensemen for sale. And Elliotte Friedman speculated about the Islanders after pointing out that Lamoriello had been pretty active at the GM meetings earlier this week. [THN]
- Happy birthday, Cal.
Yesterday’s NHL scores include, out in Sweden, the Detroit Red Wings blowing a 2-0 third-period lead to lose 3-2 in regulation to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Also, the Winnipeg Jets held off the Buffalo Sabres for a regulation win.
- The Leafs’ comeback was engineered by William Nylander, who extended his season-opening point streak to 16 games and did it in front of adoring Swedish fans. [NHL] It was a special moment for him, but I’m mostly linking this Luke Fox Juke Box piece because I speculate that it may be the next piece for Master Leaf Theater. [Sportsnet]
- The Pittsburgh Penguins sent goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to the AHL on a conditioning assignment, and in his first game, he scored a goal—his second career goal in the A. [NHL]
- The New Jersey Devils are calling Jack Hughes a “game-time decision” tonight against the New York Rangers, but let’s be real. [NHL]
- Elias Pettersson is up for a contract extension, but he may opt for a short-term deal like Auston Matthews. [Sportsnet]
- Where does the greatest goal scorer of all time, Alex Ovechkin, rank among the all-time greatest players in the game? He never did much besides score goals and only got past the second round once in his career, although that did result in a Stanley Cup—and goals are the most important part of the game, after all. [DFO]