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NYHN Daily: Islanders Playing the Same Game, Tandem Rising & More

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The New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday in the first of a back-to-back against their division rivals. Even in the latest wins and losses, Islanders have played the same game. Semyon Varlamov has elevated his play as of late as the Islanders’ tandem is on the rise.

These stories and more in today’s daily link!

Keeping it on the Island

On Saturday, the Islanders were rather sloppy in their 2-0 loss to the Capitals. The regulation defeat put an end to a three-game win streak for the Islanders, as well as a five-game point streak. And although collecting points is at the top of the New York Islanders “To-Do” List given their position in the standings, their point streak masked many red flags. (NYI Hockey Now)

There were not many positives in the Islanders loss to the Capitals on Saturday, but the play of netminder Semyon Varlamov stood out as he put together a strong performance. The tandem that was pivotal in the success of the Islanders in 2020-21 seems to be back. (NYI Hockey Now)

Around the National Hockey Now Boards

The Boston Bruins indicated in recent days that Oskar Steen had done enough to win a spot on Boston’s NHL roster, and they made a move on Sunday to prove it. The Bruins placed veteran winger Karson Kuhlman on waivers on Sunday afternoon presumably to free up a permanent spot for the 23-year-old Steen, who has one goal and five points along with a plus-4 in 11 games of energetic bottom-6 winger duty. (Boston Hockey Now)

The Pittsburgh Penguins could continue to have some lineup changes for the final leg of their long road trip. Top-line right winger Bryan Rust, who had been in COVID-19 protocol, joined the team for practice Sunday in Las Vegas. However, center Evgeni Malkin and forward Drew O’Connor were absent from practice. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

The ‘We Want 10’ chants have made frequent appearances at FLA Live Arena over the past few weeks and the Florida Panthers were close to giving them what they wanted Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Those vocal fans had to settle for a 9-2 win by a Florida team which is dominating opponents like never before. They’ll live. “They have absolutely been unbelievable,” MacKenzie Weegar said of the party atmosphere at Florida home games this season. (Florida Hockey Now)

On a snowy afternoon in D.C. just 24 hours after a strong win on Long Island, the Washington Capitals got right back to work against the Vancouver Canucks at home. However, some lineup shuffles — including John Carlson entering COVID-19 protocol — and more adversity, as well as all-too-familiar pitfalls, struck again — and cost them. Despite two power-play goals, a lopsided second period, as well as a lack of discipline, led to a 4-2 loss. Washington has now dropped five of its last six games. Here are all the takeaways from the defeat. (Washington Hockey Now)

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is no different than anyone else. He understands and recognizes the value of balance in a happy, productive lifestyle. Offensively, his hockey club was proving to be an all-their-eggs-in-one-basket bunch. If the top forward unit of captain Dylan Larkin between Tyler Bertuzzi and rookie Lucas Raymond didn’t score, often, neither did the Red Wings. So Blashill decided to make a switch. (Detroit Hockey Now)

After a frustrating but spirited 3-2 overtime loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday in Chicago, the Montreal Canadiens continue to get good news on the health front. Forward Paul Byron should be returning this week, as he has been out all season after undergoing offseason back surgery and had to wait to finish rehabbing due to a stay in COVID-19. Winger Tyler Toffoli might be coming back as well. (Montreal Hockey Now)

Welcome back to Silver Knights Sundays, the weekly report on the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Henderson Silver Knights. With the Golden Knights still in the midst of their six-day break from game action, now is a good time to check on on the farm team. The Silver Knights have played three games since last week’s edition. (Vegas Hockey Now)

“I think he’s doing a lot of great things defensively. And he had seven shots on net last night. That’s one of the reasons that we got to overtime.” For head coach Bob Boughner, Noah Gregor’s game is exactly where it should be now that he’s seemingly made a regular place for himself on the San Jose Sharks roster. With so many players snake-bit for goals and Noah Gregor among them, playing both sides of the puck becomes essential. Even if a winger like Gregor is struggling to put the puck in the back of the net, he can still contribute defensively. (San Jose Hockey Now)

Bummer. Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks winger, the recent subject of a fun little nickname brainstorm, got zapped by positive Covid testing. He had to sit out against the Washington Capitals on Sunday and who knows how long he’ll be missing from the line-up given the differing protocols on either side of the Canada/USA border. The team will miss a true catalyst … or waterbug … or pest. There’s plenty of nicknames for Garland to go around. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

“Work. Win. Have fun.” The words are credited to Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. Circa 1989-90. They were written on a board – still looking to confirm it was chalk – in the Indianapolis Ice locker room. That Sutter-coached team won the International Hockey League championship that year. Those words stuck with one of the players, who is now Sutter’s coaching colleague in the NHL. (Calgary Hockey Now)

League News

The Boston Bruins will be retiring Willie O’Ree’s number on Tuesday prior to their game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Ahead of this special moment, former teammates of O’Ree share their thoughts on his WHL career before he became an NHLer. (NHL)

When will Jack Eichel make his Vegas Golden Knight’s debut? Owner Bill Foley told the Vegas Hockey Hotline podcast that Eichel will play in a few weeks. You saw him today. He’s not that far off,” Foley told the podcast. “… He’s going to be ready to play.” (NHL)

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