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Islanders Back-to-Back News: Back on the road

The still-hot Islanders finished a 4-0-2 homestand last night and are in French Canada tonight.

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Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
It was a really critical game for the Islanders the last time these two teams saw one another.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I don’t think anyone can call the Islanders boring anymore.

The New York Islanders nearly beat—and should’ve beaten, frankly—the top team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins, in the final game of their season-long homestand. However, they secured another critical point, finishing the home swing 4-0-2, earning ten out of 12 possible points. That’s huge, about as well as we could ask for.

They’re now 6-0-2 on this eight-game point streak and have earned points in 14 of their last 15 games dating back exactly one month ago from yesterday, November 15 in Vancouver. Banking all these points is something they’ve failed to do the last couple of seasons, and it’s nice to see them taking care of business while hot.

But perhaps even more encouragingly, they’re getting better. They’re getting more confident—you can see it in their play. They’re gelling right now. They still can’t hold a lead, but they’ve improvised and gotten more comfortable when that happens: getting comfortable in uncomfortable situations, as they like to say. And they’re doing it all with a skeleton crew on the backend.

Tonight, the Islanders visit our friends, the Montreal Canadiens. Kindred spirits of bygone dynasties and island-dwellers, the connections are numerous.

This iteration of the Habs plays hard for coach Martin St. Louis, and they haven’t played since Wednesday, while the Isles will be playing their third in four nights. But at least it’s a short flight; hopefully, they have some sort of expedited customs process.

FIGs go here.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • If nothing else, that was an extremely entertaining hockey game, and the Islanders looked good against one of the league’s best squads. [LHH]
  • A successful homestand overall indeed, but the PK and the late goals continue to plague them. [3 Takeaways]
  • It’s another point and capped off a stretch where they did exactly what they needed to do. [Newsday]
  • But it’s also a game where they held the lead three separate times, including a multi-goal lead. It’s the 15th game of the 29 they’ve played where they’ve blown a lead. [NY Post]
  • A back-and-forth affair it was. [THN]
  • Good news: Not just the team, but Bo Horvat also extended his point streak. Bad news: “The Isles allowed at least three power play goals for the fourth time this season, after not allowing it to happen once in the prior five seasons.” Oof. [NYI Skinny]
Moving on:
  • A preview of tonight’s game.
  • And another! From Stefen Rosner.
  • This strong homestand and run of play overall has propelled the Islanders up the standings: They’re now in second place in the Metro and are a few points clear of the cut line. [Newsday]
  • The Isles placed Scott Mayfield on IR. This one’s an upper-body injury, different from the lower-body injury that first kept him out this season, but it’s clear the lower-body one never fully healed. We have reinforcements now, Scotty. Take your time, please. Playing hurt isn’t helping. [Isles DTD]
  • Meanwhile, Adam Pelech would be eligible to come off LTIR on Tuesday, but it sounds like it may be a long while before we actually see him return. [Newsday]
  • Are we going to break out the “Sorry Lambert” chants? I don’t know if I’m there yet, but if he can clean up the fixable problems, I may be. Either way, not canning Lane Lambert or Lou Lamoriello seems to have been the right call. [Newsday]
  • Noah Dobson is fourth among defensemen in points, playing at a point-per-game pace.

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers topping the Ducks, the Predators beating the Hurricanes in overtime, and the Sabres defeating the Golden Knights on the road.

  • After signing there this summer, Tomas Tatar was not working out with the Colorado Avalanche, so they dumped him on the Seattle Kraken for a late pick. [NHL]
  • Patrik Laine suffered a broken clavicle and will miss the next six weeks for the Columbus Blue Jackets. [NHL]
  • Jordan Kyrou was terse when asked about the firing of St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube, with whom he had a tense relationship, and he got booed by the St. Louis faithful for his comments about the only coach to bring them a Stanley Cup. He tearfully apologized. But here’s the backstory on how it got there. [The Athletic]
  • The Vancouver Canucks chose not to retire Roberto Luongo’s No. 1, and it diminished the whole celebration on Thursday night. [The Athletic]