The New York Islanders have a beautiful opportunity before them.
Rather than have to wait a month until seeing them again, they have a chance to almost immediately avenge a 7-0 loss against the team that tagged them for it, and they were able to earn a dominant win in between to go in with more confidence.
But make no mistake: Despite Friday night’s victory over the Washington Capitals, the Islanders probably aren’t complacent and still want a piece of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I am certain that they will come out looking for goals and bruises against a Penguins team that had to play last night. I can think of no better way to kick off a four-game, Pittsburgh-and-the-Western-Four-Corners road trip.
FIG Picks go here. Remember friends, it’s a 6:00 p.m. puck drop. Happy New Year.
- A preview of tonight’s game, the first of a four-game swing that takes the Isles out west after they finish up in Western Pennsylvania.
- They’re ready to give the Pens a taste of their own medicine. [Newsday]
- Adam Pelech joined the fellas at morning skate today, and Scott Mayfield did again, as well. [Isles DTD]
- The Islanders made a pair of roster moves yesterday, moving Ryan Pulock from IR to LTIR (for cap wiggle room) and returning Ken Appleby to Bridgeport. [Isles DTD] Regarding the former, they’re close to ready to activate Mayfield or Pelech (or both), but hopefully, Pulock hasn’t suffered a setback. Stefen Rosner explains what LTIR can do. [THN] UPDATE:
And iIndeed, Mayfield and Casey Cizikas are game-time decisions, and Mayfield has been activated off IR, which would signal to me that he is in tonight.
Per #Isles Lane Lambert, both Casey Cizikas and D Scott Mayfield (still on IR) are game-time decisions.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 31, 2023
#Isles Transaction: Scott Mayfield has been removed from the team’s IR list.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 31, 2023
- Regarding the latter, I think Lane Lambert said Semyon Varlamov wouldn’t make the trip at least to start, but I guess he is fine because he’s there.
Semyon Varlamov participating in #Isles morning skate. He was unavailable for the last game because of maintenance. So he’s on the trip.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 31, 2023
- In the latest Question and Isles, the Islanders pick one teammate they’d take on a road trip. I guess Brock Nelson is the savant. [Islanders]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils blowing a 2-0 to the Bruins, who scored five unanswered to win in regulation. Also, the Rangers beat the Lightning in regulation, and the Predators got the Caps in the shootout, but the Penguins and Hurricanes both won in regulation over the Blues and Maple Leafs, respectively.
- Lots of goaltending rumors floating around, although the Maple Leafs seem disinclined from making a move there, which is pretty shocking. [32 Thoughts Headlines]
- Former NHLer Reggie Savage, who spent time with the Nordiques and Capitals, passed away at age 53. [TSN]
- Radek Bonk is optimistic about his Ottawa Senators, though one must wonder why. [TSN]
- UPDATE: Two goalies on waivers today in Buffalo’s Eric Comrie and Toronto’s Ilya Samsonov.