The New York Islanders limp into Pittsburgh, accumulating injuries at forward and insults in the standings.
But because of how equally meh-verage the Capitals, Penguins and Panthers have been, the Islanders enter the night holding the second wild card spot. They’re tied on points with the Penguins (who still have those four games in hand) and one point ahead of the Capitals and Penguins.
If the East is dominated by six teams having great seasons (and currently the top six teams in the league), the rest of the conference consists of teams actively trying to push their fans into madness.
Things begin at roughly 7:00 EST tonight. First Islanders Goal picks go here.
- UPDATED: Mathew Barzal, who left the Bruins game early with an injury,
maywill definitely remain out tonight. He was declared “indefinite” (later reported as “week to week”). Already missing J-G Pageau and Josh Bailey, the Isles placed an emergency recall on Arnaud Durandeau, who could make his NHL debut amid a strong season in Bridgeport. [Newsday | Post | Isles]
- Losing Barzal could hurt the Isles in multiple ways. [Newsday]
- Previewing tonight: It’s kind of a big deal. [Isles]
- In their latest Islanders Anxiety episode, Mike and Dan discuss a down week, the comeback win over the Penguins, and the state of our anxiety. [LHH]
- Those Isles, they could be in real trouble with this whole playing like crap thing. [Athletic]
- Yesterday in Isles history: Mike Bossy reaches 100 goals in his 129th game. [Isles]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Devils winning and the Leafs hilariously losing to the Blackhawks, who were powered by a Patrick Kane hat trick.
- The big night from Patrick Kane allowed the home fans to give him a standing ovation and toss lots of hats. [Sportsnet]
- The defensively deficient Oilers won’t get near the Cup playing like this. Also: The Oilers won’t get near the Cup, period. [Sportsnet]
- In his Sunday column, Brooks opines on what the union needs, and how the Coyotes and Blue Jackets are boosting their tanking by sitting trade candidates indefinitely (although the Coyotes are on a nine-game points streak, so...). [Post]
- The Blackhawks would love to get assets for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but Toews is out with health issues and the options for Kane are narrowing. [Sportsnet]