Sorry for the lack of Bits yesterday, everyone. Simply wasn’t enough news to compile into a post. That has all changed, though.
- They’re not just looking to sweep the season series, either; they’re looking to make it seven wins in a row for the first time (in a single season) in 29 years. [Newsday]
- Ahead of tonight’s game, Valtteri Filppula and Thomas Hickey both skated at yesterday’s practice, but their status for tonight remains uncertain. [Islanders]
- While it is undeniable that coach Barry Trotz has improved the team’s defense, the true improvement in goals against is thanks to the stellar play of both Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss this season. [PHT]
- Andrew Gross knows it, too, and he ended up selecting Lehner as the team’s first half MVP because of his ridiculous December; before December, he said, the choice would have unquestionably been Greiss. [Newsday]
- For his sparkling play over the last three games, Lehner was named Third Star of the Week throughout the NHL. [Islanders]
- And the Islanders are happy to see him get some love, knowing how good he’s been over the last month. [Islanders]
- Devon Toews’ play has not yet wavered. [LHH]
- AUDIO: GM Lou Lamoriello appeared on the Stellick and Simmer Show on SiriusXM NHL radio yesterday morning and the highlights are the same crap we’ve talked about, as well as a bunch of other unrelated crap. Apparently, though, he was almost on The Sopranos, (20 years old now that show is, can you believe it?) which would have been fantastic.
- Oliver Wahlstrom and Logan Cockerill earned silver at the WJC, Noah Dobson’s trade went through in the QMJHL, and Bode Wilde was named OHL defenseman of the month. [Islanders Prospect Report]
- The Sound Tigers are dealing with a few injuries, but those who weren’t hurt were subject to a hard practice by coach Brent Thompson after their unsuccessful weekend. [Soundin’ Off]
- Railers goalie Mitch Gillam has been selected as Worcester’s representative in the ECHL All-Star Classic. [RailersHC]
- The LHH Power Rankings are back, and they’re better than ever.
- The arena developers at Belmont are being encouraged by Town of Hempstead officials to hire local for the many jobs that the construction will demand. [Newsday]
Last night’s and Sunday’s NHL scores. The Capitals won and the Penguins lost on Sunday, so there’s some constructive help there. And then the Maple Leafs were shut out 4-0 at home again, this time by the Predators, which is good in a schaedenfreude sense.
- As the Rangers continue to slide, it is time for them to trade Mats Zuccarello, who is clearly frustrated at the delay in his inevitable move. [NY Post]
- Stan Bowman says that if Corey Crawford is ever medically cleared to play again, he will. It’s sad that it’s at this point with Crawford, and you feel for he and his family and loved ones, knowing what we know now about the day-to-day hells of post-concussion syndrome. [SCH]
- It is, once again, the dawn of trade season in the NHL, with the deadline approaching on February 25. Craig Custance compiles a list of 20 players who could be moved before then, and zero Islanders make the list, a surprise to everyone (myself included). [The Athletic]
Including Arthur Staple as well:
- The Kootenay Ice of the WHL apparently let go of their coach, Roman Vopat, for his tweeted criticism of Team Canada WJC coach Tim Hunter’s work at the tournament.
- Thomas Middleditch, the guy from Silicon Valley and all those Verizon commercials, tries to turn an Kings game into an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! [AV Club]