Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 3/5/14

Mar 4, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Islanders forward Colin McDonald (13) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Trade Deadline Day!

The New York Islanders had quite a day yesterday. Not only did they go into Winnipeg and beat the Jets 3-2 in overtime, defenseman Andrew MacDonald was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers as well.

MacDonald will leave a vacant position, but not much more than that. A victim of over-playing, MacDonald regressed in his play this season, regardless of what any stats tell you. The visible quality of his defense has diminished, and it hurt this Islanders team mightily. The team needs any defensive help it can get, and MacDonald, while he certainly had a level of value to this team, didn’t do as much in the back-end as previous seasons.

The return for MacDonald was fair; Philadelphia surrendered a 2014 3rd round pick, a 2015 second round pick, and a prospect by the name of Matt Mangene. The Long Island native is not a great talent at right-wing, and he probably won’t be up with the Islanders team any time soon.

As for last night’s game, the Islanders (dare I say, surprisingly) looked good last night. Save for a sloppy play by Travis Hamonic off a first period face-off that resulted in a goal, the defense played well. There was a noticeably better play by the defense, which is always nice to see from the Islanders.

The two Anders’ on the team played pretty well last night; Anders Lee scored yet again off a beautiful reflex play, and Anders Nilsson looked solid in net after a couple shaky appearances.

As usual, the Islanders will play Thursday night, facing the Edmonton Oilers at 9:30. By then, we could have a different dynamic on this team, as Thomas Vanek will certainly be gone by 3PM today. One can only speculate about the return for Vanek, but hopefully it propels the Islanders into this offseason with some momentum, and a push to really make this team a legitimate contender.

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

In Case You Missed It

The 10 People On Twitter You Meet During Trade Deadline Day (EOI)

Islanders Trade Andrew MacDonald to Flyers (EOI)

February’s NHL Power Rankings (EOI)

You Decide: Who Was The Best Islander Ever? (EOI)

Volume 6 of “The Deke Squad” (EOI)

Around the NHL

  • Boston Bruins 4, Florida Panthers 1
  • New Jersey Devils 4, Detroit Red Wings 3
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Dallas Stars 2
  • Colorado Avalanche 4, Chicago Blackhawks 2
  • St. Louis Blues 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
  • Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Nashville Predators 1
  • New York Islanders 3, Winnipeg Jets 2 (OT)
  • Phoenix Coyotes 1, Vancouver Canucks 0
  • Edmonton Oilers 3, Ottawa Senators 2
  • Carolina Hurricanes 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (OT)

Across the Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have suffered severe casualties since losing two-thirds of their first line in Ryan Strome and Anders Lee. Bridgeport has lost two straight, both by a score of 2-1.

(For extensive Sound Tigers coverage, click here for EOI contributor Drew Casey’s latest weekly Sound Tigers briefing)