The New York Islanders wrap up this three-game road swing tonight with a visit to the Florida Panthers. It’s a 6:00 p.m. start, so don’t be late!
After this contest, the Islanders come home for a season-long six-game homestand. But they can’t look too far ahead. The Panthers have been a strong team this season, despite missing their top two defensemen, Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, for the first two months. And hey, they’re back now.
Mike Reilly returns to face the team that waived him, although I imagine there will be no love lost for him since they let him suit up for only two games. I can’t envision a video tribute for that, either.
Let’s see what heartwrenching developments the Islanders have in store for us this evening.
- A preview of tonight’s game.
- They had a very brief morning skate today in which Mathew Barzal did not participate. But Lane Lambert expects him to be ready for tonight. And Ilya Sorokin was in the starter’s net and left the ice first.
#Isles HC Lane Lambert is on the ice, so this isn’t an optional skate.— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) December 2, 2023
Group was also off yesterday.
We will find out what is up with Barzal shortly.
Lane Lambert said Mathew Barzal is expected to play tonight.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 2, 2023
- In his weekly column, Andrew Gross writes that the Islanders keep paying the price for taking untimely penalties. That one is on the players. [Newsday]
- He discusses that and just what this team looks like at the quarter pole in podcast form. He also chats with Reilly and Scott Mayfield. [Island Ice]
- Simon Holmstrom has been a shorthanded goal machine. Of his six goals, three have come down a man. The Isles’ single-season record is seven, held by both Bob Bourne and Frans Nielsen. Good company. [Newsday]
- Stan Fischler chats with Bill Torrey’s son, Rich, who worked with his father in hockey before deciding to step away to focus on his art. Now, he’s marrying his two passions. [THN]
- The Hockey News sat down with newly acquired Tyce Thompson. [THN]
Only two games last night, and they both ended up with rather surprising results that greatly helped the Islanders: Despite going up 2-0, the Ottawa Senators lost 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the New Jersey Devils’ goaltending woes continued, as Akira Schmid gave up five goals on 17 shots to the San Jose Sharks, who added an empty-netter and got their first road win of the season, 6-3.
- More bad news for the Devils: Dougie Hamilton left Tuesday’s game when the Islanders played them, and it turns out he tore his left pectoral. He had surgery and is out “indefinitely”; Google tells me that it entails anywhere from a three-to-six-month rehab. Oof. But now they’ve got $9 million in LTIR space with which to work. [NHL]
- In lighter news for New Jersey, Timo Meier returned last night to face his old team. But the Seattle Kraken will be without Jaden Schwartz for six weeks. [NHL]
- The Montreal Canadiens gave goalie Sam Montembeault a three-year extension. With both him and Cayden Primeau signed, look for them to alleviate their goalie logjam by trading Jake Allen. [Sportsnet]
- The Devils’ Brendan Smith and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny engaged in battle, and they were punished for it: Konecny got a fine, while Smith got suspended for two games. [Sportsnet]
- Since it appears the Calgary Flames are going to trade most of their UFAs, the Toronto Maple Leafs need to be the team that comes away with Chris Tanev, according to LukeFoxJukeBox. [Sportsnet]
- Calgary defenseman Oliver Kylington stepped away more than a year ago to deal with his mental health. He has resumed skating with his teammates, but he is still a ways away. [Sportsnet]
- The Edmonton Oilers are off until Wednesday, and it seems like Jack Campbell might be getting called back up. This time it’ll be different, they swear. [Sportsnet]