Tonight the Islanders host the Minnesota Wild, who are 7th in the Central, but that’s not so bad because they’re 4-5-2, and like half of this shootout-plagued league is 4-5-2 or 5-4-1 or some such .500-hovering madness.
The Islanders are 5-2-3, but their performance feels like 5-4-1 too.
Anyway, FIG Picks for tonight go here.
- From yesterday’s practice: Adam Pelech skated, Scott Mayfield took a maintenance day, and Bo Horvat sat out (“day to day”), which means Mat Barzal could slide back to center if Horvat isn’t ready to go tonight. [Isles]
- Alas, it wasn’t known whether Horvat or Pelech will be available tonight. [Newsday | AM NY]
- Prospect Report: A couple goals for Alex Jefferies and a milestone point for Justin Gill. [Isles]
- “A confusing time to be optimistic.” The latest Islanders Anxiety podcast includes frustration with the blown leads of the past week, while also enjoying more Leafs self-loathing. [LHH]
- Oliver Wahlstrom on missing shots: “I’m a sharpshooter, man. Those corners are really small. So obviously, I’m going to miss a few because I take those chances. I know I can pick those corners, so that’s that’s my game.” [THN]
- Newsflash: Bottom-six forwards are important. The Islanders have some who have done alright over the years. [NHL]
Last night’s scores include the Leafs winning a comeback, shootout (not a “shootout” though) over the Lightning in overtime, and the Canucks spanking the reeling Oilers.
- Have the Wild solved their skid, just in time to meet the Isles? [Hockey Wilderness]
- The Oilers lost their cool, coach got ejected, good times. [Sportsnet]
- Jaroslav Halak may be back in the NHL! With Freddy Andersen out due to a blood clotting issue, the Hurricanes have brought the 38-year-old former Islander (and Sound Tiger, and Canadien, and Blue, and Capital, and Ranger, and Bruin, and Canuck, and Sabre-except-don’t-use-him-in-Puckdoku-because-he-didn’t-play-before-being-flipped) in on a free agent tryout. [NHL]
- The Flames are in some hell but Craig Conroy has delivered on the promise to inject youth into the lineup. [Sportsnet]
- Meanwhile, Nick Backstrom is unlikely to play again this season. [NHL | TSN]
- Stan Fischler talks with Paul Maurice about his long and wild coaching career, and how much the game, the players, the role and technology has changed. [THN]
- The Lightning expect Andrei Vasilevskiy to return this month. [TSN]
- GM Mike Grier has let the Sharks know that their, um, 0-10-1 record is, um, unacceptable. [Sportsnet]