If you worried whether it was worth your time but still stuck it out for last night’s game, you were rewarded with a lovely onslaught of five consecutive Islanders goals to cruise to a must-have win in Anaheim.
With so many tight, low-scoring games and wins lately, it was almost jarring to see one of those nights where multiple players rack up points, like Brock Nelson’s two goals to reach 30, Kyle Palmieri’s four-point night.
At no point after the puck dropped did that feel inevitable, but it did seem like the type of thing that just happens to John Gibson these days. Don’t know if he’s completely lost it, or if the Ducks broke him, or if he’s a real-life version of Toronto media’s “Tavares is just toiling away on Long Island” fantasies, but it’s crazy to see how beatable Gibson is these days, when once he was considered a top NHL goalie.
Anyway, after splitting the SoCal back-to-back, now the Isles have a little more time to scoot up to San Jose for the trip finale on Saturday.
- Steve has the highlights and the mood, which was nervous in the early-going before the goal party launched. [LHH]
- Unlike MSG, Andrew Gross was there and reports from the scene of the victory. [Newsday]
- Lane Lambert played Ilya Sorokin on back-to-back nights because “[Tuesday] night’s game wasn’t too demanding for him.” [NHL]
- Three Takeaways: Six goals, lots of fun. [Isles]
- Simon Holmstrom was back in, Josh Bailey took the healthy scratch. [Newsday]
- “It was actually crazy looking back on it, to be a part of that locker room.” Before Palmieri’s huge night, he recalled his early NHL years on a still-impressive Ducks roster. [Newsday]
Steve included this in the recap, but worth, um, experiencing again. Lot of excellence to unpack here:
#Islesnation reppin in Anaheim YES YES YES!!— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) March 16, 2023
Jersey tank tops, Bridgeport 3rd, gear in Cali rn is pic.twitter.com/1jqTlOoAo5
Three of last night’s NHL scores included games of nine or more goals (counting shootout as 1), including an annoying three-point game by the Sabres and Capitals, with the Capitals taking the extra.
The NHL brass was definitely trying to release good news and stuff coming out of the GM meetings, like claiming ratings are up on ESPN and TNT. So among their bits:
- Bettman says the salary cap could go up more than the $1 million currently expected. [NHL] But non-league-official versions note it’s he’s “open” to it if the NHLPA wants to discuss. [Sportsnet]
- The Draft Lottery has been announced as May 8, and hopefully we won’t need to care, at least as far as the Isles and their twice-traded pick are concerned. [NHL]
- There is “robust interest” in purchasing the Senators. [NHL]
- Goalie Fight! (Almost.) Would’ve had one, but the linesmen stepped in after Marc-Andre Fleury skated the length of the ice to match up with Jordan Binnington. Unrelated, but Ric Flair was there. [Sportsnet]
- One of the Penguins’ “key” trade deadline acquisitions, Dmitry Kulikov, is on IR. [TSN]
- Vincent Trocheck pledges that his team will not allow anyone to treat them like Smurfs in the playoffs. [Post]
- Tanks for Tanking: Montreal’s Christian Dvorak has season-ending knee surgery. [TSN]
- Not gonna lie, I never had a good impression of Danny Briere, who is “shocked” to discover his college son behaved like a dick. (Kids can be really stupid, and sometimes they stay that way...until they get maturity-redemption stories written about them at age 32 like Brad Marchand.) [TSN]