That sucked. Games like that can happen—that’s hockey, Brendan—but I still don’t have to like it. I can still be mad about it.
The New York Islanders spent most of that game against the Pittsburgh Penguins looking like they were still on the couch watching their kids open presents on Christmas morning. It didn’t bite them in the first, but it certainly did in the second.
As a fan, staying mad isn’t going to do anything but annoy me, so I need to move on. In the grand scheme of things, a 2-0 loss or a 7-0 loss count the same: only one regulation loss. It’s only the third regulation loss the Islanders have suffered since November 14, 20 games’ worth.
But still, it would have been nice for last night’s sold-out crowd full of impressionable young students—potential new fans—off from school and thus able to be in attendance to have seen something of an effort from the home team.
#Isles haven't had their top-pair defenseman for a month, their second-pair guy for nine games and their top PK D-man (such as it is) for seven. You're gonna have some stinkers in there.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) December 28, 2023
Of course, this is why you can't blow leads when everyone's healthy.
- On opening night for The Park, too. [Islanders] Denis Potvin was there to celebrate it, joining NHL Network, who set up shop at The Park. [Islanders]
- Ilya Sorokin wasn’t at fault for most of those goals, but giving up six in 10:29 just isn’t good. However, Lane Lambert isn’t worried about him. [Newsday]
- A story going into the game was that the Islanders wanted to shore up the defense. Good work, everyone. [Newsday]
- But Lambert did also say postgame that everything they just watched was “fixable.” [NY Post]
- And like Stan Fischler said, every team gets blown out once in a while. [THN]
- Scott Mayfield was a full participant in the morning skate but didn’t play. [Isles DTD]
- Arthur Staple’s latest mailbag featured answers to questions about who comes out if/when all nine defensemen are healthy and where Oliver Wahlstrom goes from here. [The Athletic]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers crushing the Capitals 5-1, the Devils coming back to beat the Blue Jackets in OT, and the Hurricanes topping the Predators. Also, the Coyotes came down from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Avalanche in OT, among other comebacks.
- Projecting Team USA 2025 and leaving off Brock Nelson, who is among the leading goal-scorers of the last few seasons. These guys are immensely stupid. [The Athletic]
- At least Mathew Barzal, Bo Horvat, and Noah Dobson make some of these Team Canada rosters. [The Athletic]
- You almost wouldn't know it because the NHL has done very little to promote it, but the Winter Classic is coming up on New Year’s Day. Here’s a history of the first one. [ESPN]