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Islanders Gameday News: All-Stars; WJC; and a trade!

Folks, the Islanders begin the new year on national TV. And you won’t be subjected to a few of NBC’s favorite commentators and hockey men – you’ll have the pleasure of listening to the wonderful and lovely duo of Brendan Burke and AJ Mleczko.

They’ll be playing host to the Blackhawks on Coliseum ice, so it should be a hoot. Leave your FIGs here for this contest. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. tonight, so you’ll have an extra half hour to wrack your brain for the lucky lad in blue.

Islanders News

  • Robin Lehner is leading a new life with his demons under control, coming full circle after beating the Sabres in Buffalo on New Year’s Eve. [Islanders]
  • Elliotte Friedman tries to close the books on the drama surrounding the Dallas Stars, but hints that it still isn’t sunshine and rainbows between the organization and their captain, Jamie Benn. Also, quite a few Thoughts on Barry Trotz and the surprising Islanders. [31 Thoughts]
  • Heading into 2019, some of the big storylines surrounding the Isles include Belmont, the impending UFAs, and whether or not they make a move at the deadline. [Sports Daily]
  • Perhaps the biggest story, though, is that it’s January 2019 and the Islanders are actually competing for a playoff spot. And they’re confident in their ability to secure one. [Newsday]
  • Part of their more recent success has been the infusion of youth in Devon Toews and Josh Ho-Sang – they’re playing faster hockey, as a team. [LHH]
  • The Isles will wear their third jerseys twice this month: the 15th against the Blues and the 20th against the Ducks. [Islanders]
  • Otto Koivula recorded 4 points and the Sound Tigers swept a 3-in-3 as part of the Week 13 Bridgeport Report. [Islanders]
  • Though apparently they lost yesterday to the Rochester Americans 5-4 in the shootout. [Soundin’ Off | CT Post | Sound Tigers]
  • And Sound Tigers goalie Jeremy Smith was named AHL Goalie of the Month for his stellar December. [Sound Tigers]
  • Speaking of top players for the month, defensive prospect Bode Wilde was named OHL Defenseman of the Month for kicking ass with the Saginaw Spirit. [OHL]

All-Star Goodies

  • The NHL is doing a new thing this year where the fans choose one last member for each division from a list of players, one from each team in the division. The Last Men In vote, as it’s being called. [PHT]
  • Mat Barzal is the Islanders’ lone All-Star representative, for now. [Newsday]
  • But Anders Lee, as part of the Last Men In vote, has an outside chance of joining him in San Jose. [LHH]

World Juniors Updates

  • The Swiss pulled off a huge upset of Sweden in the quarterfinal round, shutting them out 2-0. [TSN]
  • And, for the first time in their last 13 attempts at hosting, the Canadians will not medal, defeated in the quarters by Finland. [Sporting News]
  • But hey, at least the U.S. advanced. They defeated the Czechs 3-1. [Team USA]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include a 7-2 thumping of the Rangers by the Penguins, which would normally elicit glee, but it would have been better if the Pens had lost.

  • The Canucks also beat the Senators in overtime, but earlier in the day, they completed a trade with each other that saw former Isles goalie Anders Nilsson head to Ottawa. Probably means it’s Thatcher Demko time in Vancouver. [Nucks Misconduct]
  • From the other night: the Flyers dropped their 4th straight, shut out by Predators back up Juuse Saros. [Philly.com]
  • It was only an implication at last glance, but now Philadelphia center Jori Lehtera has been formally charged for possession of cocaine as part of a much larger cocaine ring bust. [ESPN]
  • I didn’t get to watch it so I have no idea what they’re talking about, but the Winter Classic apparently revealed the “lively” character of Bruins winger David Pastrnak? Okay! [ESPN]
  • This article wonders what the Raggies will do with Mats Zuccarello, in his 30s and on an expiring contract but still useful. They should probably trade him, and he’d be wise to want one for a chance at a Stanley Cup this season and to hit the open market this summer. [WTP Sports]
  • Looking back on the biggest stories in women’s hockey from the year that was (2018, that is). [The Ice Garden]
  • Copper & Blue is officially going in on GM Peter Chiarelli, and this time it’s for his definition of “sexy” hockey. [C&B]



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