As we’ve done our schedule watching and sketched out how the Islanders are either doomed or in great (wild card) position over the past two months, I must say two games in a week against the Winnipeg Jets is not where I had them taking four regulation points.
Last week’s 2-1 win felt like a “okay good, gutted out one of them” result. Yesterday afternoon’s 4-0 disassembly was something else entirely.
Granted, it helped that David Rittich at times appeared unacquainted with the basic tenets of goaltending — including Bo Horvat’s sneaky shorthander — but the Isles’ dominant first period deserved at least something, so might as well have been that one.
I will long remember Brock Nelson’s goal in the second for the double-LOL of his slipping the puck through the backchecker’s legs and the gaping amount of net Rittich left open for him on a shot that came straight on from the slot.
Anyway, good win. Important win. The other wild card battles (except those who have withdrawn, i.e. the Capitals) all won yesterday to keep pace.
- A great first period, then calmly collecting goals the rest of the afternoon. [LHH]
- And a tidy, low-stress shutout for Semyon Varlamov, cruising to victory. [Newsday | Post | NHL]
- Parise: “We were just jamming them through the neutral zone and you can tell we we’re frustrating them a bit.” [Isles]
- “Brock Nelson now has points in 16 of his last 17 games; his 60 points are a new career high and is the first Islander with at least 60 points since Mathew Barzal did so in 2019-20.” [NYI Skinny]
- Jets coach Rick Bowness did not pile on his team, saying he “gets that” about the score and everything, but he thought his team made strides. Interesting. [Sportsnet]
- Make-A-Wish: Special night for this heart transplant recipient and Isles fan. [Isles]
- It’s not technically Isles news, but we’ll put this here: David Poile announced he will retire from the Predators this summer and Barry Trotz is set to take over as GM. [NHL | Newsday | Post]
In Bridgeport, Ruslan Iskhakov did this on a penalty shot:
Ruslan Iskhakov just did THAT!!— NHL (@NHL) February 27, 2023
( : @TheAHL) pic.twitter.com/L3iIQUCrQu
As referenced above, yesterday’s NHL scores included lots of points for fellow wild card chasers, like the Sabres and Penguins (and the Smurfs, if you see them as catchable). But yesterday was dominated by NHL trades:
- The Devils acquired Timo Meier from the Sharks, and there are so many other pieces involved I can’t list them all here, but it’s mostly a first-round pick and an exchange of various other properties. [NHL | All About The Jersey]
- With that business done, Sharks GM Mike Grier says he thinks Erik Karlsson will stay with them for the rest of the season. #thatcontract [Sportsnet]
- The Stars acquired Dadonov and 50% salary retention from the Canadiens in exchange for Gurianov. [NHL]
- The Blues traded Ivan Barbashev to the Golden Knights for Zach Dean, a QMJHL scorer who was selected 30th overall in the 2020 draft. [NHL]
- The Lightning acquired Tanner Jeannot from the Predators for Cal Foote and FIVE draft picks. [NHL] Apparently it was for the “element of grit.” [TSN]
- The Avalanche reacquired Jack Johnston from the Blackhawks for some reason. [NHL]
- The Rangers’ K’Andre Miller received a match penalty, was ejected and will face a hearing for spitting at Drew Doughty, although it is claimed to be an accident and apparently they spoke afterward. [TSN | Sportsnet]