It would seem that the New York Islanders have had tonight’s game circled on their calendars. They face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated the Islanders and ended their season the last time they saw one another.
Just like Game 6, tonight’s match will be at UBS Arena, so the ‘Canes will be in their dumb white-jersey-and-red-helmet outfit. Carolina hasn’t looked like themselves through the first month of the season, conceding more than they normally do defensively and getting bad goaltending. It has led to a 6-5-0 record that has them tied with the Islanders in points but with two extra games played.
The Islanders would benefit greatly from a regulation win tonight, both in the standings and in terms of their confidence—not that I think they’re not confident, but more so that a win over the guys that ended their run last year could be quite the boon.
- A preview of tonight’s game. It’s the Isles’ Hockey Fights Cancer Night.
- Adam Pelech was on the ice before morning skate, but he left when the actual skate started, and he is out tonight with a lower-body injury. Sam Bolduc is back.
Pelech out tonight, per Lambert.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 4, 2023
#Isles at morning skate— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 4, 2023
(Extras: Wahlstrom, Gauthier)
- Ethan Sears says they can avenge last year with a statement tonight. [NY Post] Stan Fischler is thinking about revenge. [THN] That seems like the theme tonight.
- They’re back home again for the seventh time (as opposed to just having played their third road game), but here’s how the Isles handle the road and bond while they’re out there. [THN]
- Semyon Varlamov will probably back up tonight, but he has been making the most of his starts. [NY Post]
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: Al Arbour returns to coach his 1,500th game, a comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Only two games last night: The Buffalo Sabres got waxed at home by the Philadelphia Flyers to finish a home-and-home, and the New Jersey Devils dropped the second half of a road back-to-back to the St. Louis Blues.
- More concerning for the Devils, already without captain Nico Hischier, is that Jack Hughes left injured. He crashed into the boards hard, took his next shift and got hit again, and then was done for the night. And the fear is that it’s pretty significant. [NHL]
- Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren is going to miss “significant time” after being tripped by Brad Marchand. [NHL] It’s yet another conspiracy by Wes McCauley against the Leafs, say Leafs fans. [Yahoo]
- The NHL fined Anaheim Ducks and old friend Greg Cronin $25,000 for his tirade directed at the officials on Monday night. [Sportsnet]
- The Edmonton Oilers lost again, this time at home to the Dallas Stars, who played the night before. Evander Kane said they made “too many boo-boos . . . again.” [Sportsnet]
- Tyler Bertuzzi has been a bust so far for the Leafs. Here’s why he might be in the doghouse. [Sportsnet]
- 2022 No. 1 overall pick Juraj Slafskovský has struggled to adapt to the NHL, and it may be time for the Montreal Canadiens to send him to the AHL. [The Athletic] Boy, taking him at No. 1 and leaving Logan Cooley for the Arizona Coyotes at No. 3 doesn’t look too smart right now. And it looked stark when they faced off on Thursday night. [Sportsnet]
- Improvements in goalie leg pads have made a big difference in performance. [NHL]
- Seattle Kraken assistant athletic trainer Justin Rogers discusses being out and working in the NHL. [ESPN]