Tonight the Islanders host another team coming through on a back-to-back, as the Seattle Kraken on Long Island after losing last night in Newark.
It’s not a must-win, but definitely a “you’re really going to piss me off if you guys don’t win,” as this will be followed by four days of idle time and whatever hype the NHL and its broadcast partners can conjure up before the outdoor game with the Smurfs on Sunday.
There were some line changes at practice yesterday, so...bears watching.
First Islanders Goal picks for tonight go here.
Patrick Roy wasn’t Avery-ing around at practice yesterday. Significant line change, plus do I detect mocking of players for wearing down after their Super Bowl parties following a Saturday no-show?
Roy pushing #Isles to practice forecheck harder. Admonishes them for being tired 40 minutes into practice.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) February 12, 2024
- A big switch: Pierre Engvall to the top line next to Bo Horvat and Mat Barzal; Anders Lee down to the Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri line. (It won’t last, but it could be interesting for a bit, no?) [Newsday]
- Roy said that move could be short-term, could be long-term. Also: Alex Romanov skated. [Isles]
- Thankfully, the Isles know they gotta bring more than they did on Saturday. [THN]
- Patrick Roy on Oliver Wahlstrom: “It has nothing to do with the system. It’s the fundamentals. He needs to understand that every night, he needs to play with consistency. And even when I started my career, I was not consistent. So, he’ll learn. It’s a process.” [THN]
- Prospect Report: A points streak for Isaiah George, and Alex Jefferies returned from a six-game injury layoff in the NCAA. [Isles]
Last night’s scores generally sucked: Of course the Flames follow-up their win on Long Island with a loss to the Smurfs, who’ve now won five straight. And the Devils, with two points from Jack Hughes, promptly beat the Kraken. Meanwhile, Philadelphia added two points with a regulation win over the ‘Yotes.
- If someone dares score an empty net goal in an overly demonstrative or celebratory way, there’s got to be a response. What’s the fuss if you try to maim him? The Leafs say. [Sportsnet | TSN]
- Vladimir Tarasenko, who has a full no-trade clause, is philosophical and non-committal about his fate at the trade deadline. [NHL]
- In its on-going and inevitable quest to get an expansion team or the Coyotes (but I repeat myself), Salt Lake City will host a Kings-Knights preseason game. [Sportsnet]
- YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SO TANKING OBVIOUS. Tomas Hertl went to the All-Star Game and now will have knee surgery. [NHL]
- The Penguins have not been consistent, their power play has stunk, and they’ve lost a lot of one-goal games. Kyle Dubas says they should really change that. [PensBurgh]
- Former NHL coaches return Pierre LeBrun’s phone calls, so here he is collecting their quotes on why firing the coach has become the go-to move for struggling teams. (For younger fans, it is true that back in the day, GMs of struggling teams would just make a big trade rather than fire their friend — because why disrupt one guy’s life when you can disrupt four? But today, the salary cap and #math has made that harder.) [Athletic]