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NYHN Daily: Parise’s Consistency, Sorokin a Potential All-Star & More

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We are creeping up on Thursday as the Islanders look to get in a game after what seems like an eternity without one. Zach Parise has not provided offense to the level that he has expected but has been one of the Islanders’ most consistent forwards this season. Icelanders’ netminder Ilya Sorokin could be a potential All-Star given the season he has had.

These stories and more in today’s daily links!

Keeping it on the Island

When you think of the New York Islanders this season, veteran leadership is at the mind’s forefront. The Islanders are statistically the oldest team in the NHL this season but forward Cal Clutterbuck stated at the start of the latest break that “being an older team” and the experience that comes with age has allowed them to get through this season’s obstacles. Zach Parise, a veteran that was brought in this past offseason, has not received much recognition for his game but he should. (NYI Hockey Now)

The New York Islanders have not had a season to boast about. They have battled injures, COVID-19, the wackiest schedule in the history of hockey, and find themselves in the last spot in the Metropolitan Division. But certain players have put together solid seasons, and this season the play of Ilya Sorokin from start to now could earn him a spot in the NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 5. (NYI Hockey Now)

There are 32 teams in the NHL and in the latest prospect report, the Islanders find themselves 31st overall. Despite the ranking, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic has Aatu Raty, William Dufour, and Simon Holmstrom as his top three in the system, with neither three ranked higher than a B-level prospect. (The Athletic)

The Islanders have a scheduled contest against the New Jersey Devils this Thursday, but like usual this season, that game is up in the air. New Jersey had a game postponed on Monday due to COVID-19 as their team continues to be hit by the virus. But right now, the Islanders are planning to play and that’s the mindset they are going with until the league makes a decision. (Newsday)

Around the National Hockey Now Boards

The offensive depth continued to shine for the Boston Bruins in a 7-3 drubbing of the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena Monday night. Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk had the best game of his career with a goal and four assists. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had two goals and an assist; Craig Smith had a goal and an assist and Taylor Hall and Anton Blidh each had two assists for the Bruins who have now won five of their six games since returning from the COVID/Holiday break on January 1. (Boston Hockey Now)

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan delivered those three little much-anticipated words Monday related to center Evgeni Malkin. Uh-huh. You know what it is. No, not Black and Yellow. Game. Time. Decision. Everything points to Malkin, 35, making his delayed season debut Tuesday night when the Penguins play the Ducks in Anaheim. Which, for Penguins fans in and around Pittsburgh on Eastern time, might be, you know, worth staying up to watch. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Bobby Clarke was a Hockey Hall of Famer, a fearless leader, and a two-time Stanley Cup champion during his legendary 15-year career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Turns out he’s also a pretty good motivator at age 72. For proof, listen to Drew De Moerloose, 9, a budding hockey player who has used Clarke as a role model. Clarke became a superstar despite battling diabetes, a condition that made him slip to the second round of the 1969 NHL draft. (Philly Hockey Now)

For the better part of the first period, it appeared that the Washington Capitals were back on track and ready to put the woes of the last week behind them. However, once the Capitals took their third penalty of the game late in the opening frame, things started to go south. After jumping to a 2-0 lead early thanks to goals from Conor Sheary, Washington saw another collapse and surrendered six straight goals against Boston, including four in the second period. Ultimately, the team saw its worst defeat of the season and fell 7-3. (Washington Hockey Now)

Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett said he was “upset” by the three-game suspension handed out after a high hit on Montreal’s Cedric Paquette but will be back Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. Bennett practiced with the team during the suspension and was back centering the second line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair on Monday morning. (Florida Hockey Now)

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he will know more tomorrow about how long center Dylan Larkin will be out with what is being called an “upper body injury.” Twitter user Hugh Myron captured this video of Larkin seemingly in some pain after an encounter with Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg. It’s hard to tell exactly what happened here, although Larkin’s left arm, wrist or hand seems to be hurting him. (Detroit Hockey Now)

The Vegas Golden Knights have reportedly been one of the many teams interested in soon-to-be free agent winger Evander Kane. Per Michael Traikos of Postmedia, the Golden Knights, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Tampa Bay Lightning are interested in Kane. “Teams have been calling,” an unnamed source told Traikos. “The phones are lit up like a Christmas tree.” (Vegas Hockey Now)

Jared Bednar gets the floor first. After the Avalanche awakened soon enough to post their 12th consecutive win on home ice, a 4-3 victory over the overmatched and expansion Seattle Kraken Monday night at Ball Arena, I asked the Colorado coach if he was getting tired of losing the services of asymptomatic players who test positive for COVID. “Yeah,” said Bednar, who was just getting started. (Colorado Hockey Now)

“It’s the hardest one to get.” That’s what head coach Roy Sommer said, not on Saturday night, when he won his 800th AHL game, but on Oct. 17, 1998, when he earned his first AHL victory. Joachim Blichfeld, who scored the game-winner in a 6-3 San Jose Barracuda victory over the Henderson Silver Knights, was exactly three months old when the Kentucky Thoroughblades, then-San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate, topped the Albany River Rats 6-4 at Rupp Arena. (San Jose Hockey Now)

To say the least, Conor Garland’s journey to joining the Vancouver Canucks has been an eventful one. It included one experience that’s difficult to describe, other than to say his best friend and hockey roommate almost died. Trail, BC native Craig Cunningham captained the Tucson Roadrunners and had 13 points through the first eleven games of the 2016-’17 season when he collapsed and went into convulsions on home ice just before the start of game twelve on November 19th. The Manitoba Moose and his Roadrunner teammates stood around in shock and horror as paramedics tried to revive him with chest compressions. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

You don’t like Evander Kane? That’s OK. He’s not the only name on the NHL trade market at the moment. The Calgary Flames have plenty of options to consider. Kane is a power forward with a proven scoring ability. He’s also had sandbox issues, and now a problematic pandemic protocol history. The 30-year-old cleared waivers and the NHLPA has filed a grievance on his behalf to prevent them from terminating his fat free agent contract. So let’s pause on the idea of the Calgary Flames adding Kane to the mix for now. (Calgary Hockey Now)

League Business

The NHL has reached a total of 104 postponed games this season as Tuesday’s Hurricanes-Flyers game has been postponed due to COVID-19. No makeup date has been announced as of yet. That is the second game postponed Tuesday, as the Islanders were suppose to be battling it out with the Calgary Flames as well. (NHL)

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