The New York Islanders are currently a train wreck. There is no other way to describe it. They entered 2023 with a difficult schedule, a real all-or-nothing stretch. It turns out that maybe it just broke her.
As Dom wrote last night, the Islanders haven’t exactly wasted another gem from Ilya Sorokin against the Carolina Hurricanes. They played decently and he wasn’t necessarily at his best. But the fact of the matter is that they lost once again and once again failed to score more than two goals.
They have just two wins in 11 January games. They’re almost down to NHL .500 again and are sitting at .531. The Sabers overtook them in that regard, and the Panthers caught them. The Flyers are just four points behind. The Islanders are still two points behind the Penguins for the actual last wildcard spot, but they’ve played more games in the race than almost any team around them. Those lost points to bad teams this season are coming home to settle down.
About last night:
- Despite overcoming the terrible start, the islanders could not take the lead. Carolina’s Sebastian Aho took over. [LHH]
- His first two goals in his hat-trick were direct exploits from the Islanders’ Sebastian Aho, which is easy [chef’s kiss]. [Newsday]
- It’s their fourth loss in a row and they have one win in their last nine games. [Islanders]
- Remember when we all thought the Islanders were a third-period team? Their goal difference in the last frame was +16 at one point; now it’s only +2. [NYI Skinny]
- Cal Clutterbuck was given an “indefinitely out” label for his most recent injury, which likely means “long-term” or “for the season,” depending on usage. I feel for him, but he may have to hang her soon. [NY Post]
- It means Aatu Räty has another chance to impress the big club. That is, of course, if Lane Lambert actually gives him a chance and stops giving him the Nino Niederreiter treatment. [Newsday]
- Speaking of Lambert, he got grilled after the game last night but still thinks his message is getting through. The fact that the question only has to be asked 48 games during his tenure could be revealing. [amNY]
- Mathew Barzal sounded frustrated when asked about the changing cast of wingers he’s had to deal with this season. [Newsday]
- Ilya Sorokin did well to concentrate even though the world was collapsing around him. [The Athletic]
- Samuel Bolduc scored twice, but the B-Isles still lost to the Baby Pens. [B-Isles]
- Today the Islanders-Rangers alumni classic.
Last night’s NHL results included the Golden Knights defeating the Capitals while the Sabers, Flyers and Panthers all won in regulation time.
- The Canucks lost to the Oilers in Bruce Boudreau’s last game as Vancouver coach. Rick Tocchet takes over tomorrow. [Sportsnet]
- The way the Canucks treated Boudreau was disgusting and everyone in this organization should be ashamed. Watching Boudreau burst into tears over the past few days has been heartbreaking, and it didn’t need to. The fans know it and they’ve let the organization know how much they appreciate him. The Canucks are probably the worst-run organization in the sport right now, and fans want the owner to sell. [The Athletic]
- A new documentary about how former Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard ruined the team with his greed and ego. [CBC]
- Injury news around the league including Sergei Bobrovsky, Alex Ovechkin, Kris Letang and our own Cal Clutterbuck missing time. [NHL]
- Max Pacioretty is probably done for the year after tearing the same Achilles tendon he tore five months ago. I’m not a doctor, but that doesn’t sound good to me. You have to ask yourself whether this is career-threatening. [NHL]
- And the Canadians have decided to close Cole Caufield for the season so he can have shoulder surgery. Now it’s time to refuel. [NHL]
- Darryl Sutter dumped Jakob Pelletier, the Flames’ top contender, after his debut, which came two weeks after his actual call-up, because Sutter pinned him in the press box. There’s tough love and then a lack of decency. [Sportsnet]