Still holding onto the top wild card in the East by points but sitting tenth in the conference by points percentage, the New York Islanders need to make like they did on Wednesday and earn another win over the Winnipeg Jets, but this time on the road.
The Jets lost 5-1 to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in what was probably their most important game in a while, so they’ll be looking to make up for that, surely. Meanwhile, the Islanders are also coming off a frustrating regulation loss and need two points to keep pace with the gauntlet around the cut line.
FIGs go here. It’s a 3:30 p.m. ET start time.
- A preview of today’s game. The Jets have lost two straight, including Wednesday against the Islanders.
- When the Jets are on, they play a tough checking game not unlike the Los Angeles Kings did on Friday. The Islanders need to figure out a way to adapt. [Newsday]
- Arnaud Durandeau? Arnaud Durandeau. He could help bolster the forward depth, which has taken a beating. [The Athletic]
- It’s the last week for the Islanders to show Lou they’re worthy of more deadline help, although they did make their big move already. [NY Post]
- Nino Niederreiter got traded by the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick to the Isles’ opponent today, the Jets, which is how I learned that Nino Niederreiter is 30 years old. Good lord. At least he won’t yet be in the lineup; he always scores against the Islanders. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Also, the New York Rangers dumped former ninth-overall pick Vitaly Kravstov on the Vancouver Canucks for a nothing return. But it’s setting them up to acquire Patrick Kane, so I guess it works. [NHL] The Chicago Blackhawks held Kane out of the lineup last night and sent him back to Chicago. [NHL]
- Someone actually did the Penguins a favor and took Kasperi Kapanen off their hands. It was the St. Louis Blues, who were above the Isles in the pecking order, so who knows whether Lou put in a claim. Anyway, now Pittsburgh has a little bit of cap space. [NHL]
- Much of the action has been in the East, but here are three Western Conference teams with varying plans at the deadline. [NHL]
- The Hockey Night in Canada Saturday version of 32 Thoughts has more on the Kane deal and Timo Meier sweepstakes. [32 Thoughts] On the latter, it appears it’s down to the New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights, with the Carolina Hurricanes out of the running.
I believe the Sharks are down to 2 teams in the Timo Meier trade talks and my sense is those 2 teams are New Jersey and Vegas. So, still work to be done. Obviously a fluid situation, but I think that's where things are at right now.@TSNHockey @TheAthleticNHL— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 26, 2023
Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Capitals waxing the Rangers, the Penguins holding off the Blues in overtime, the Senators beating the Canadiens, and the Red Wings falling to the Lightning. Not the best results, but not terrible.
- I’m not going to say I’m not worried about the Detroit Red Wings, because I worry about all the Isles’ wild-card opponents since they have so many fewer games played, but last night was the first time in nine (9!) games that they shot the puck on net more than 25 times. They threw over 40 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning but got goalie’d. [NHL]
- Linus Ullmark scored the first goalie goal since 2020 in the Boston Bruins’ win over the Vancouver Canucks. [NHL]
- Also spectacular was David Gust, a 29-year-old career minor-leaguer from outside of Chicago who was ready to quit hockey a couple of years ago, making his NHL debut for his hometown Blackhawks and scoring his first NHL goal on his first NHL shift on his first NHL shot. [The Athletic]
- The Pittsburgh Penguins
fanboysbeat writers at The Athletic are ready to punt GM Ron Hextall into the sun. [The Athletic]