garthsnowgetty

Snow ‘looking at all our options’ as Isles approach 10 games without a win

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Suffice to say, frustrated Islanders fans are hoping general manager Garth Snow is considering more changes than just waiving Pierre-Marc Bouchard and calling up Ryan Strome.

This is, after all, a team that’s winless in nine and 10 points back of a playoff spot. Surely there’s more that can be done.

If there is, Snow hasn’t been willing to talk about it publicly.

“We’re looking at all our options,” he said Sunday in conversation with Newsday. “The one thing we don’t do, whether it’s with the coaches or the players, is discuss conversations with anyone in the media. All the interactions I have with our team remain private.

“Obviously, we have some key players not performing at a high enough level. I understand the frustrations of our fans. We have those same frustrations in our locker room, in the coaches’ room, for myself. We felt we had guys who were ready to take the next step. Now we’re just trying to right the ship and win a few games.”

If the Isles lose tonight in Anaheim, their winless streak will reach 10, which just so happens to match the number that led to former coach Scott Gordon’s dismissal in 2010.

Could current bench boss Jack Capuano receive a similar fate? Anything’s possible, we suppose; however, the Isles still have games in San Jose and Phoenix before they return home, and how often do you see a coach fired in the middle of a road trip?

And to be fair to Capuano, the Isles haven’t played dreadfully in their past few games, which have come against tough opponents in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

Unfortunately for the 8-17-5 Isles, it’s going to take a comeback bordering on the miraculous to salvage the season. We’re talking a record in the neighborhood of 32-15-5 in their final 52 games to make the playoffs. Maybe they can get away with a few more losses if the Metropolitan Division keeps under-performing the rest of the NHL. But you get the picture — the damage has been done, and it’s considerable.

Related: Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
AP
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.