Tonight the Islanders begin their traditional October California trip, except it’s now March, in L.A. to face the Western contending Kings.
I think it’s still fair to call the Kings a surprise, as their 85 points puts them three off the Pacific Division and Western Conference leads. Despite their point totals, it still feels like the Kings aren’t as serious a threat as the other Western leaders in Vegas, Dallas, and perhaps Seattle and the defending champion Avalanche.
Anyway, this should be the toughest match of this three-game trip. But who knows how this trip plays out — it could be ecstasy, it could be disaster.
First Islanders Goal picks for tonight, which will be tomorrow before it’s all said and done, go here.
Who’s getting scratched? Keep in mind Pageau should be in the mix below...:
#Isles at practice (No Pageau)— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) March 13, 2023
Sorokin (starter’s net)
- At practice, Lane Lambert tinkered with the lines again, including restoring the Identity Line. [Newsday]
- In their latest Islanders Anxiety podcast, Dan and Mike relish the defeats of the Sabres and Penguins (again!) while sharing sorrow over the loss to the Caps and the tough California swing ahead. [LHH]
- J-G Pageau missed practice again, but this time it was for personal reasons, and Lane Lambert hopes he’s ready to play tonight. [Isles]
- MSG will call these California games remotely; I guess they figured like the rest of us, having this trip this late in the season is bollocks. [Newsday]
- Prospect Report: Matt Maggio crosses the 100 point marker, while Cameron Berg finishes his sophomore season in Omaha with a career high in points. [Isles]
- As Dan and Mike alluded to, Shakira and some guy attend Saturday’s game. [NHL]
Just posting this again in case people have missed it! :)— Isles Meetup_LA (@islesmeetup_LA) March 13, 2023
Pregame meetup at Tom's Watch Bar in LA tomorrow!#isles #islesmeetup pic.twitter.com/3MHYktGphh
Last night’s NHL scores included the Sabres snapping their four-game skid to beat the Leafs (tee hee), and the Avalanche steamrolling the Canadiens. That puts Buffalo five points back of the Isles.
- Reminder that tonight’s opponent no longer has Jonathan Quick, who is off to a nice start in Vegas. [Sportsnet]
- Ouch, ouch, ouch. Key Hurricanes winger Svechnikov is out “indefinitely” with a knee injury that is getting a second opinion. [NHL | Canes Country]
- The Senators’ woes hurt their wild card dreams and frustrate them too. [TSN | Sportsnet]
- The insiders could not manufacture news out of the first day of GM meetings, so here are nice pieces on David Poile attending one of his last ones. [Sportsnet | NHL]
- The GMs are discussing fights after clean hits, and potential mandator anti-skate cut equipment. Sure you guys don’t want to tinker more like add 2-on-2 overtime? [Sportsnet]
- Patrick Kane’s “game is as unrecognizable as the uniform he is wearing,” but Brooks hopes he’ll snap out of it like Martin St. Louis did. [Post]
- Brandon Sutter has been dealing with long Covid but is finally hopeful he may be able to play again. [Sportsnet]
This wasn’t from last night’s loss to the Sabres, but it still applies! (Lip-read at your peril):
Dubas failed to upgrade his goaltending at March 3 trade deadline. Matt Murray , ay caramba! pic.twitter.com/ysli01Mzzm— SabresBuzz (@SabresBuzz) March 14, 2023