It’s a long season, so sometimes a special game on paper ends up being a flat contest on the ice.
That … wasn’t a problem during the New York Rangers’ first visit to Brooklyn to face the New York Islanders.
Wherever you place the ratio of Rangers – Islanders fans, the Barclays Center was probably as loud as it has been for an NHL game as the Islanders won 2-1 via a shootout.
You know how people respond to worries about league scoring by talking about how great a 2-1 game can be? There are plenty of times when that reeks of naivete, yet these two teams provided Exhibit A for that argument on Wednesday.
Both goalies were tested throughout the game. Jaroslav Halak got the win in stopping 33 out of 34 shots; Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant in his own right in making 36 out of 37 saves.
It seems fitting that there was just one shootout goal, too, with Kyle Okposo making the difference.
Yes, many gripe about the anticlimactic shootout ending … but in a way, this provides an appetizer for future games. Perhaps these two teams will even make a series of it in 2016 after it nearly happened last year?
We can’t say for sure that this is the last we’ll see of Garret Sparks. That said, the bandwagon hit a big pothole against the Winnipeg Jets.
It’s not fair to put it all on the first Toronto Maple Leafs goalie to ever debut with a shutout, but a 6-1 loss is a 6-1 loss.
Again, not every moment is on Sparks. How many goalies would stop this great Drew Stafford goal set up by an outstanding Mark Scheifele pass?
It’s not very surprising that it was a rough night for Toronto’s defense, not just its out-of-left-field, feel-good story in net.
Stafford, Scheifele, Mathieu Perreault and Andrew Ladd had a field day tonight, leaving one to wonder if Winnipeg might use this as a big confidence-booster.
Oh yeah, and not for nothing … but maybe Connor Hellebuyck was the upstart youngster who should have been getting the hype? He’s now won his first two NHL starts, allowing a goal in each game.
On a boisterous night in Brooklyn, it only makes sense to get some updates regarding the future of some key New York Islanders.
Bob McKenzie shared the latest rumblings on NBCSN tonight, with plenty of interesting nuggets.
McKenzie provides the latest on the sought-after defenseman’s situation, backing up previous thoughts that the Islanders want a pretty specific package for the affordable blueliner (something like a first rounder + prospect wouldn’t get it done).
Interestingly, he also addresses Dustin Byfuglien‘s name being floated around in talks:
At the moment, it seems like the Islanders are in an awkward position with Okposo.
McKenzie indicates that the talented winger – and pending free agent – will cost too much for the Islanders’ liking. That said, trading him might not work so well, as the Isles hope to make the playoffs:
So, it sounds like two potentially volatile situations that are currently in limbo.
McKenzie dished on other issues tonight, including Eric Staal‘s situation and the Blue Jackets at least floating Ryan Johansen‘s name around.
Here’s a weird one, maybe due to Tyler Myers size (maybe not).
The Winnipeg Jets defenseman received an interference penalty for this hard collision with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri. You can watch the hit in the video above.
There’s been plenty of debate regarding that call, and the check in general.
TSN’s Steve Lloyd probably provided the best cartoon analysis:
Arizona Coyotes tough guy John Scott seems like he has a good sense of humor about leading the 2016 All-Star Game voting, but he doesn’t want to ride that punchline to Nashville.
Long story short, he seemed to tell the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan that he’s hoping the joke will fizzle out soon enough.
“I don’t want to have my name in the headlines for this reason,” Scott said. “Like, it’s a fun little thing and hopefully it’ll die down over time. It’s not something — I definitely don’t want to be voted into the All-Star Game. It would be cool, but I definitely don’t deserve it to this point. You never know. There’s still some time left. I could turn it on.”
That begs a question: should a joke vote originally inspired by Puck Daddy/Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast dissolve if the guy in question wants to shut down the bandwagon altogether?
As mentioned earlier, the situation conjures memories of the “Vote for Rory (Fitzpatrick)” campaign that was ultimately shot down to some vote-rigging (or something). It sounds like the NHL would honor the voting if it deems the situation legit:
Maybe fans should let it go, though.
What do you think?
(H/T to Puck Daddy)
Note: Scott isn’t outright asking fans not to vote for him like Jaromir Jagr did today, at least: