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New York Islanders vs. Seattle Kraken: Horvat’s home debut [Game #54]

The first of many games from now till 2031.

NHL: FEB 22 Islanders at Kraken
No one expects the sandwich.
Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By acquisition, New York Islanders management has announced they intend to stay in this playoff wild card dogfight, which is looking like a five- or (if you squint at Ottawa) six-team race for two slots with the Capitals, Penguins, Panthers and Sabres.

The Islanders do not enter the home debut of Bo Horvat (the acquisition in question) in a very enviable position among that group, but they are riding a modest three-game win streak that straddles the All-Star/bye week and includes Horvat’s team debut last night in Philadelphia.

They still managed only two goals, they still didn’t look dominant on balance against a team sitting a tier behind them, but they got the job done. And it didn’t strictly require a goalie to steal the show.

The new guy, Horvat, did not get on the score sheet, but expect that to change plenty in the weeks ahead. And Kyle Palmieri, one of those guys they quietly missed through much of their mid-season swoon, continued to make his return to the lineup felt.

Tonight’s visitors are the second-year Seattle Kraken, who lead the Pacific Division at 29-15-5. The Isles will need a much better performance — or a standout night from a star — to keep the streak going against these foes.

The Kraken are playing their first game since the break. In the teams’ previous meeting, the Islanders kicked off an ugly January 2023 with a 4-1 loss in Seattle on New Year’s Day.

This is our game thread; be yours to chat it high.