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NYHN Daily: Importance of Break, Islanders Create New Brand, & More

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The New York Islanders will be back on the practice ice Friday morning following an off day Thursday. Getting a break mid-season to get healthy and perfect a system does not happen often, but the Islanders have that opportunity now and have taken full advantage. The Islanders announced the creation of an esports brand and have rostered a team of six gamers that will compete in EA Sports NHL 22 tournaments in the near future.

These stories and more in today’s daily links!

Keeping it on the Island

Having an abundance of practice time and time to get healthy in the middle of a season is a rarity in sports, but a luxury the Islanders are not taking for granted. “The intensity has been high, lots of games, lots of compete drills,” Islanders forward Mat Barzal said following practice on Wednesday.  “This isn’t a vacation or a break for us.” (NYI Hockey Now)

Have you ever played the storied NHL video game franchise by EA Sports? You know the game with the deep voice in the introduction that says. “EA Sports, it’s in the game”? Well, the NHL game franchise has been around since 1991 and the New York Islanders are now part of it as they announced their own competitive gamer team. (NYI Hockey Now)

Around the National Hockey Now Boards

On Thursday, the Boston Bruins fell to the Minnesota Wild by a score fo 3-2 at T.D. Garden. Massachusetts native and Minnesota forward Matt Boldy scored his first career NHL goal, which served as the game-winner. Boston forward Trent Frederic became enemy no. 1 as he hit Kirill Kaprizov hard into the boards, which injured the young forward. Here are the talking points from the penalty-filled affair. (Boston Hockey Now)

Make it 10 straight wins for the Pittsburgh Penguins following their 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.  Pittsburgh dominated play, and Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry did the aggressive stick swinging in the first period. Bryan Rust scored multiple goals for the third straight game, and the Penguins lineup, which is getting healthy, deconstructed the decimated Flyers lineup. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Despite a late goal by Jonathan Huberdeau to tie the game up with 28.5 seconds to go, the Florida Panthers could not get the job done Thursday night in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars. “I wouldn’t say I was overly happy,” interim coach Andrew Brunette said afterward. (Florida Hockey Now)

After bringing Ryan Shepard up to the taxi squad on Thursday morning, the Washington Capitals made another goaltending move, re-assigning Zach Fucale to the taxi squad and sending Shepard down to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Shepard had practiced with the Capitals on Thursday. Fucale is the first goaltender in franchise history to record a shutout in his NHL debut, doing so against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 11. He has played 10 games with the Bears this season, going 6-2-2 with a 2.73 GAA and .889 save percentage. (Washington Hockey Now)

Thursday afternoon, the NHL was announcing the postponement of the game between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks. Faceoff was to be taking place Thursday, 10 p.m. ET at the Honda Center. An outbreak of COVID-19 in the midst of the Anaheim roster led to the calling off of the game. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The Vegas Golden Knights played a solid neutral zone and offensive game Thursday night against the New York Rangers and won by a score of 5-1. Mark Stone, Mattias Janmark, Brett Howden, and Jonathan Marchessault all scored for the Golden Knights while Robin Lehner stopped 18 of 19 in his return. (Vegas Hockey Now)

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues by a score of 7-1 on home ice, for their 10th straight home victory. The crazy thing is, the Avs still trail three teams in the Central Division in points. But they do have multiple games in hand on each team. Still, they have to keep winning because of this. And, right now, they are. Are they the most consistent team in hockey? (Colorado Hockey Now)

“You have to have a short-term memory. You have to be able to just flip a switch.” That’s what Matt Nieto pointed out after the San Jose Luke Sharks pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, after back-to-back dispiriting defeats to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. Mario Ferraro returned Thursday and alternate captain Tomas Hertl stepped up to the plate. (San Jose Hockey Now)

Been there, done that. It’s usually a bit of a cocky term, or at least it was when it was said a lot in the 1990’s. But in the case of Vancouver Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn, it simply means bringing the ultimate experience to the table. That of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Bottom pair or 7th defenceman? It doesn’t matter, Schenn went through the Stanley Cup experience the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lighting, and the subtle benefits are just as valuable as the bling. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

If you’re not winning, you need to be learning. After a second straight battering in the balmy state of Florida, the Calgary Flames don’t have much time to study for their next test. They hit the ice in Carolina Friday night, less than 24 hours after getting schooled by the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-1 loss. (Calgary Hockey Now)

League Business

The injury to Minnesota’s Kaprizov does not look good. Head coach Dean Evason was not pleased with the hit that Frederic laid, as he called it a “predatory hit”.  He also added that Kaprizov is a tough player and the fact that he did not come back into the game following the hit is not good. (NHL)

The AHL Bruins signed netminder Tuukka Rask to a professional tryout as the Bruins steadfast in goal will sign a contact with the Boston Bruins following a few games in the AHL. The problem is the AHL has postponed games which is elongating his ability to return to the big club. (NHL)

 

 

 

 

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