New York Islanders host defending champion Avalanche night after Bailey’s big 1,000th game

New York Islanders host defending champion Avalanche night after Bailey’s big 1,000th game

Okay, I admit I’m a bit over the top. But as Michael Leboff always says Islanders’ anxiety“fan” is short for “fanatic”, right?

Just over a week ago, the 2-1 New York Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils on home ice and then looked a little lackluster in back-to-back losses in the state of Florida. Sitting at 2-4, they had a gauntlet of a program with three straight Cup contenders. But so far they have held up, and have already exceeded my expectations.

Ilya Sorokin starred as the Islanders shut out the New York Rangers on Wednesday night at UBS Arena. And last night, in Josh Bailey’s 1,000th game, he and the rest of the team starred.

I felt very pessimistic on Monday and Tuesday. Now? “I’ll hit you, Jerry! I’m smoking!”

With all that said, there’s one more team left on the gauntlet, and it’s arguably the most dangerous of the three: the Colorado Avalanche. They, like the Islanders, played last night and were shut out by, of all people, Vitek Vanecek when they visited the New Jersey Devils. So the defending Stanley Cup champions will be looking for their own offensive explosion when they (probably but unconfirmed) face their old goalie, Semyon Varlamov.

Leave your FIGs here for 70’s night at UBS Arena.

Islanders News

About last night, an emotional night for Josh Bailey:
  • It doesn’t get much better than the milestone man’s goal being the difference. That and much more about Bailey and the rest of the great game. In the Crease said Bailey was just the 12th player to score the game-winner in his 1,000th game. [LHH]
  • Not only that, but it was one hell of an individual effort by Bailey on goal. And Bailey was particularly pleased that it was a win – especially sweet against a division rival who has owned us recently. [Newsday]
  • Bailey’s teammates have a ton of respect for him and you can tell they wanted to win this one for him. [Newsday] They are “proud” of him. [NY Post]
  • The current lines are working very well and Brock Nelson scored his first two goals of the season. [3 Takeaways] Oliver Wahlstrom converted a beautiful pass from Mathew Barzal on a 2-on-1 to put the Islanders on the board. [NHL]
  • Ilya Sorokin also played well and PK is still perfect. [Rapid Recap]
  • In fact, the Islanders have set an NHL record eight games to start a season without giving up a power play goal, and are doing so despite playing the most 5-on-3 times of any team in the league thus far . [NYI Skinny]
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More about Bailey:
  • He’s not a guy who spends time looking too far ahead, but this summer he couldn’t help but get excited about the upcoming milestone. [amNY]
  • Hear part of his post-game interview. [Twitter]
  • Mike and Dan recorded a special short episode about Bailey’s 1000th game. [LHH]
  • And finally, I linked it yesterday, but it’s worth bumping into again Cory Wright’s excellent long read on Bailey’s 1,000th game. He’d obviously been working on it for a while, and he talked to some former Isles who played with him in Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Bruno Gervais and Mark Streit, as well as Butch Goring and his first coach, Scott Gordon. [NYI Longread]
Other islands:
  • A preview of tonight’s match. [Islanders] Tonight is truly a 70s night; it’s one of five nights celebrating their five decades of existence. [Islanders]
  • Lou Lamoriello talked about waiving Kieffer Bellows and said it was “part of the business.” [Newsday]
  • The B Islands lost a wild 7-6 game in OT away from home. But among the scorers, Aatu Räty registered two assists, including one on a goal by William Dufour.

  • In The Athletics’ series on the 99 best players behind Wayne Gretzky in post-1967 expansion history, NHL99, Battlin’ Billy Smith comes in at No. 86. This excellent piece was written by Minnesota Wild beat writer and native Long Islander and Boy Islands die-hard Michael Russo.
  • More Isles alumni: Darius Kasparaitis joined for a special bonus episode of Hockey Night in NY. He’s a great interview and he was very honest about his past. [Hockey Night in NY]
  • The NHL has honored women in hockey, and yesterday they celebrated Joanne Holewa, who has worked behind the scenes for the Islanders for 45 years. [NHL]


Last night’s NHL score included shutouts for the Golden Knights, Bruins and Devils, as well as a big win for the Canucks over the Penguins.

  • The Coyotes were excited to play their first game in Mullett Arena, the 4,700-capacity arena on the campus of Arizona State University. [NHL] It was pretty fun despite the loss – lots of mullets – and apparently it has great ice. [Sights & Sounds] They are optimistic that it will work; it certainly has the intimate feel they hoped they could create with the space. [Sportsnet]
  • Pierre LeBrun reports that the Boston Bruins and soon-to-be UFA star wing David Pastrnak have a “significant gap” in contract negotiations. [TSN]
  • The Hurricanes granted Ethan Bear’s trade request, sending him and Lane Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for a fifth-round pick. [NHL] The Canucks feel Bear has top four potential. [Sportsnet]
  • The Canucks also made a trade with the Bruins, acquiring Jack Studnicka for Michael DiPietro and Jonathan Myrenberg. Here’s a breakdown. [Sportsnet]
  • Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks have already told the league they’re willing to listen to anyone except maybe Tomas Hertl, who just signed a new eight-year deal. [TSN]
  • Detroit Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen will be suspended the next two games for tall Bruins center David Krejci. [NHL]

  • Ryan Kesler said he learned to be a “dick” when then-43-year-old Mark Messier hacked and pounded and cross-checked him, then a 19-year-old rookie, on every faceoff. [Offside]
  • The Avalanche have their names on the cup now. [NHL]
  • Four players who may or may not be returned to junior hockey instead of playing more than nine games in the NHL this season, the old ELC slide. [Sportsnet]

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