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NYHN Daily: Islanders Schedule Update, Turning Point in Philly & More

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders are back on Long Island as they have a few days to prepare for their back-to-back contests against the Arizona Coyotes and the Toronto Maple Leafs this Friday and Saturday.

The NHL released their updated schedule on Wednesday, as the Islanders will not only have a busy February but a busy rest of the NHL season as they look to climb out of the hole they are in. In Tuesday’s contest against the Philadelphia Flyers, Zdeno Chara’s fight was the turning point of the contest. With the way the fourth line has played over the last two games, does Ross Johnston have a slot following his three-game suspension?

These stories and more in today’s daily links!

Keeping it on the Island

On Wednesday, the NHL released an updated 2021-22 regular-season schedule due to all the postponements from COVID-19 thus far this season. 95 games will be made up during the 2022 Winter Olympics, which the NHL is not attending. (NYI Hockey Now)

The New York Islanders had their backs against the wall in the third period of Tuesday’s contest. Down by one in a game that the Islanders needed to win, someone or something needed to spark the team. And then came Zdeno Chara. (NYI Hockey Now)

When Friday’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes rolls around, forward Ross Johnston will be available for the New York Islanders following his three-game suspension. But given how the Islanders’ fourth line has played over the last two contests, Johnston may have a harder time getting back into the lineup with Matt Martin back in the mix. (NYI Hockey Now)

Around the National Hockey Now Boards

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron was sad to learn that new Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes won’t be his agent anymore but he was more thrilled for Hughes, who has also become a close friend. (Boston Hockey Now)

The NHL on Wednesday released a revised schedule that includes makeup dates for games postponed because of issues related to COVID-19, and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ February just got busy. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

While a lot of the Florida Panthers’ success comes from high goal-scoring numbers, including a stretch that saw them score 50 goals in an eight-game stretch, Sergei Bobrovsky has been a crucial part of it as well. Since the Panthers returned to play on Dec. 29, Bobrovsky boasts a 7-0-1 record with a .929/2.47 in eight starts. “You can’t forget about Bob,” Anthony Duclair said. (Florida Hockey Now)

The Detroit Red Wings claimed Gemel Smith on waivers Wednesday to give the team its first brother combination since Pete and Frank Mahovlich last played together on March 30, 1969. Gemel Smith, 27, is the older brother of Givani Smith, 23. The Tampa Bay Lightning had placed Smith on waivers. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The NHL released its revised schedule Wednesday, the result of 98 COVID postponements. As a result, teams will now be playing numerous games in February, which would have been mostly quiet if the league had not been forced to alter its schedule and had allowed NHL players to go to the Olympics. The Flyers’ February schedule grew from four to eight games in the new schedule. All told, six changes were made, and here are revised games and time. (Philly Hockey Now)

Since the Montreal Canadiens hired NHL player agent Kent Hughes as the 18th general manager in team history, there has been a growing narrative that executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, ‘hired his best friend’ rather than the best candidate for the job. Some media and fans have even speculated that Gorton knew all along he was going to hire Hughes as GM and that the interview process of eleven candidates was a charade. (Montreal Hockey Now)

Pavel Francouz shut out the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday, getting his second straight victory in goal. Now listen, far be it from me to ever suggest a goalie “controversy”, but, yes, this goose egg by Frankie puts some pressure on Darcy Kuemper for the No. 1 job. “I think his performance was excellent tonight. He just keeps looking better and better. He looked quick, he looked very quick,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. (Colorado Hockey Now)

What could the San Jose Sharks get for Tomas Hertl at the NHL Trade Deadline? If they deal him, they’re going to get a lot — players like Hertl aren’t often available around the deadline. The Sharks’ centerman is 28, has averaged 0.87 Points Per Game since 2018-19, is adept at both ends of the ice, and is currently on pace for a 40-goal campaign. (San Jose Hockey Now)

As the Vancouver Canucks briefly settle in for what they hope will be three home games over the next week, the questions will revolve around fan access and capacity. There appears to be no chatter that these games will be postponed due to capacity issues as the NHL is starting to run out of new places on the calendar to put them. They’ve eaten up a decent portion of what used to be known as the Olympic break. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

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