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Islanders News: Eagles (not ducks) return from Toronto, broom in hand

The Islanders begin the season’s stretch run on the right hoof, er, foot. (Skate?)

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
Congratulations, you have now scored in the NHL.
Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

The Islanders would like to run through walls and make up lost points and get back into a playoff position for their new coach, Patrick Roy.

Last night, with Roy’s handpicked assistant next to him for the first time, they delivered the goods, with their third win over the Maple Leafs in 2023-24, which is good for a season sweep.

It was a tight, hotly contested game, and the result was just what they needed to start their post-All-Star push. Though play has improved in several areas under Roy, it was just their second win in five games under his watch. They’re up to 2-2-1, and of course they’ll need a better pace than that to taste playoff hockey.

Islanders News

  • Toronto reporting on Isles players loving Roy. [Sportsnet]
  • Prospect Report from the league’s 32nd-ranked system: Cameron Berg on a points streak, Justin Gill with a couple of game winners. [Isles]
  • Roy has chemistry and a good, frank working relationship with new assistant Benoit Desrosiers. [AM NY]

About last night:

  • Woo, that was close. A first for MacLean The Younger. A delicious winner for ex-Leaf Engvall. An amusing final-horn scrum. [LHH]
  • “It felt really good,” Engvall said, channeling everyone. “That’s peewee stuff,” said Sheldon Keefe, about allowing the MacLean breakaway out of the box. [NHL]
  • Three Takeaways: It’s a sweep! And the Isles didn’t deflate after the late equalizer. And the Leafs were targeting Mat Barzal, so Bo Horvat took exception, and Roy noticed: “That’s who he is. He’s a leader on this team. Leaders always take care of their teammates. In life you have a chance and you could be an eagle or duck. He was an eagle.” [Isles]
  • A much-needed win, and perhaps a new mindset (except with the opponent’s net empty. Still nothing there.) [Post]
  • Timely: Even before last night, Roy believed Engvall would be “fine” despite recent struggles. [THN]
  • Big returns for Adam Pelech (20:49) and Ryan Pulock (20:15), who each impressed Roy. [Post | Newsday]

Oh, pretend you didn’t laugh at this...:

Elsewhere

Last night’s other NHL score, sadly, was a Smurfs OT win over the Avalanche.

  • Lanny McDonald had a cardiac event, thanks the healthcare workers who helped him through it. [NHL]
  • The police held a press conference officially announcing sexual assault charges against the previously reported five members of the 2018 Canada WJC team. [NHL]
  • Four of the players are currently on leave from NHL teams, who will have cap relief for their (likely permanent) absence. The Devils had two of them, and they’ve cleared out their lockers. [NJ.com]
  • The latest 32 Thoughts podcast covers lots of topics, from the All-Star Game to Arizona’s situation to the NHL’s response to the Hockey Canada sexual assault charges. [Sportsnet]
  • “There’s value in Phil.” Kessel, that is, who still wants to play. [Sportsnet]