The New York Islanders have impressed over their last three games. After some inconsistent play over their first six games, with a 2-4-0 start, the Islanders have fired off three straight wins, including a comeback win against the 2022 Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
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Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek briefly spoke about the New York Islanders’ strong week on their latest episode of the ’32 Thoughts’ podcast.
“I do want to mention the New York Islanders. They have now won three games in a row against good teams, three tough games in a row. So there was there this week,” Jeff Marek said. “I looked at it as like, oh Jesus, this is going to be tough for the Islanders. It was Rangers at home, including a shutout, and the Carolina Hurricanes and then the Colorado Avalanche.”
That seemed to be the overall mood from many of the New York Islanders faithful and hockey experts, that the New York Islanders would find themselves in a bit of trouble.
“Going into the stretch, you know, the Islanders had zero goals from their centers. Now, Brock Nelson has three. Mathew Barzal is doing the reverse Cy Young with 10 assists and nine games.”
Elliotte Friedman weighed in:
“It’s just a reminder that early in the season, the swings are so wild, right? The Islanders a couple of weeks ago, everybody’s talking about how they’re in big trouble. They’re in the last place in the east or close to it. This is a nightmare of a year,” Friedman said. “In one week, they beat three good teams, and everybody’s ecstatic again.”
It seemed like the Avalanche had an avalanche of goals coming on Saturday night, but the Islanders found a way to limit Colorado after their strong second-period start.
“I couldn’t believe that watching that game against Colorado. It was 3-0. I thought that game was going to end 10-0, and they came back.”
Friedman did give a nice shoutout to the New York Islanders organization for the Josh Bailey ceremony.
Now on to the juicy stuff.
“I have to tell you,” Friedman began. “Someone said to me they saw two Islanders people at a Vancouver game, and they were thinking, what could be going on here?”
If you remember, there was something going on between the New York Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. League sources told NYI Hockey Now that there was a deal in place for star forward J.T. Miller, who was fresh off a 99-point season (32 goals, 67 assists).
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But the trade with Vancouver blew up on the draft floor, and we saw the New York Islanders sent their 13th overall pick to the Montreal Canadiens for the 22-year-old hard-hitting defenseman Alexander Romanov.
After the draft, both Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello were asked about the draft-floor murmurs.
“There was definitely nothing going on [with the Islanders],” Allvin said, per TSN’s Pierre Lebrun. Allvin seemed shocked that there were even reports about it.
On the other side, Lou Lamoriello shrugged and said, “Talk to Vancouver.”
Later in the summer, J.T. Miller signed an eight-year extension with the Canucks, worth $8 million annually.
“It’s so hard to tell with Lamoriello like you just have no idea what he’s up to,” Friedman said. “But at least now they can breathe a little bit. It was such a good week for him.”
Could the New York Islanders be looking at a player like 26-year-old forward Conor Garland, who seems to be one of the few players on the Canucks who has shown a pulse. He has three goals and two assists, playing in eight of the Canucks nine games.
The Canucks are off to a 2-5-2 start, and given how they have played, we could see Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford pull the plug sooner and later and start moving pieces.