Bo Horvat got what he surely wanted most in his debut with his new team: A New York Islanders win.
It wasn’t dominant, it wasn’t exactly comfortable, but there was an impressive first period and a professionally handled finish to the game after they missed their chances to make it 3-0. That was good enough for a third consecutive win and a tie on points for the second wild card slot — though the Penguins now have a whopping four games in hand.
Though the Flyers have been on a much better run of form, a bigger test comes tonight as the Islanders are back at it, at home, to host the Kraken.
First Islanders Goal picks for tonight go here.
- They were outplayed late, but the Islanders made a strong start and two goals hold up during Horvat’s debut. [LHH]
- Varlamov: “Everybody felt rested, and everybody was ready to go.” [Isles]
- “Barzal scored the winning goal for the second straight game, and his career-high 5th GWG of the season. Kyle Palmieri extended his points streak to five. [NYI Skinny]
- Expanded reactions to the Horvat trade and signing: Nice addition, “too long contract” (even Bo agrees!), but “a guy you can win with.” [Athletic]
- He was nervous, but he made an immediate impact. [Newsday | Post]
- Mat Barzal is ready to do wing work next to Horvat. [Newsday]
- Refresching to have Hudson Fasching and Noah Dobson back healthy. [Newsday]
- Travis Green and a Vancouver reporter each weigh in on Barzal. [Hockey Night in New York]
- Horvat: “I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous tonight.” [AM NY]
Or hear the full thing, straight from the guy:
Bo Horvat Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/2nIqzJw7Z7— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 7, 2023
And how did the new guy’s new coach like his game? “A very responsible, 200-foot player. Thought Barzy was moving, they had chemistry together, and Bailey fit nicely on that line.” He also praised how Palmieri has “injected life” into the team since he came back:
Lane Lambert Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/r6A5SGb5mB— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 7, 2023
As for the other side? Not impressed with the opening period at home. [NHL]
#Flyers Torts after 2-1 loss to #Isles : "We had it fed to us in the first period...We played a better second period. It was men against boys in the first period."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 7, 2023
Last night’s other scores included both the Smurfs and Devils winning in OT.
- NHL Trade Deadline watch: The top targets include Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who the Blackhawks sound increasingly determined to shop. [NHL]
- Kane is non-committal about what he’ll want to do. (He’s probably depressed since the Islanders already made their move.) [NHL]
- Brad Treiliving hems and haws over whether his team is worth investing in via trade. [NHL]
- NHL All-Stars are polled on very dull topics and give mostly dull answers. Brock Nelson’s expansion vote is for Houston though, guardedly. [ESPN]
- Some factors behind the recently reported drop in NHL TV ratings? Not as extreme as you might suspect. [SCOC]
In keeping with a “Jersey” tradition:
Omg pic.twitter.com/gMhWe9q8Lz— Ryan Novozinsky (@ryannovo62) February 7, 2023