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Islanders Gameday News: Fresh oil in town

Also: Dobson’s development, and at last, a change in Ottawa

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
Mentors, I’ve had a few.
Rich Graessle/Getty Images

When last the Islanders and Oilers met, the Isles did Edmonton the favor of being the sacrificial lamb as they got their new-coach bounce under Kris Knoblauch on Nov. 13. The Oilers have mostly been on a tear since then, and are 8-2 in their last 10 to climb back 13-14-1.

That’s still five points behind the second wild card spot in the West, but they’ve restored hope.

The Islanders, too, have mostly been getting results since that meeting. There were lots of blown third-period leads but also consistently collected points that sure helped once they started putting some wins together. It’s now “points in 14 of their last 16,” which is sub-.500 by today’s NHL accounting, but better than the four-game regulation loss slump they were in as that game concluded in Edmonton.

First Islanders Goal picks for tonight go here.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy Tuesday after Monday’s storm and flooding on Long Island.

Islanders News

  • Previewing tonight: Since Nov. 15, the Islanders have scored three or more goals in 15 of 16 games and their power play is leading the league with a 33.3% conversion rate. [Isles]
  • In the latest Islanders Anxiety podcast, Dan and Mike cover the roller coaster of the first 30 games, plus one more (last?) bout of marvel at the Masterleafs Theatre. [LHH]
  • Noah Dobson has watched a lot of hockey with Dennis Seidenberg (particularly the 2011 playoffs during the pandemic shutdown) and taken lots of notes being around Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara. [NHL]
  • Stan Fischler shares six thoughts on Dobson’s evolution. [THN]
  • Mike Reilly feels he’s fitting in, and Lane Lambert agrees. [Isles]
  • Bo Horvat was at practice yesterday and is ready to go tonight. Kyle Palmieri took a maintenance day but he’s expected to play, too. [Isles]
  • Though he’s been on a career-high 10-game points streak, Horvat is not content. [THN]

Elsewhere

Last night’s scores were plentiful, with blown leads/near-comebacks galore.

  • It finally happened: The Senators fired DJ Smith, his assistant Davis Payne too. Jacques Martin takes over as interim head coach and Daniel Alfredsson joins him on the bench. Martin had been hired as a “senior coaching advisor” just a couple weeks ago. [NHL]
  • Steve Staios feels that old guard will bring consistency back to the Sens. [Sportsnet]
  • The Bruins loaned hotshot young forward Matt Poitras to Team Canada for the WJC. [TSN]
  • Aaron Dell is the latest journeyman goalie to enter Hurricanes camp on a tryout. [TSN]
  • The NHL and some gambling company extended their partnership, so in-game and between-period programming can only continue to improve. ::eye roll:: [NHL]