Friends, countrymen: The top two Islanders affiliates are now on the brink of elimination...
- ECHL Utah was blitzed again last night, this time at home, to put themselves down 3-0 in the series with Idaho. [Salt Lake Trib | Boxscore] If only Mikko could commute like Superman.
- As written up yesterday, Mikko Koskinen feels good and healthy, but Capuano wasn't telling who starts Game 5 tonight in Hershey. Fornabaio also had a profile on Greg Mauldin's long NHL quest. And in his online chat, he called the trio of recently NHL-experienced D-men Andrew MacDonald, Dylan Reese and Dustin Kohn big factors in keeping the series competitive. Go with Mikko; it is your destiny.
- In the Q, Kevin Poulin's 43-save effort was key to preserving Victoriaville's 6-3 win (they now trail 2-1), but it's the goalie at the other end of the ice who was named Goaltender of the Week.
- Travis Hamonic's Brandon Wheat fell to Calgary to trail 2-1 in the series, but the big story was three shorthanded goals in seven minutes by Brandon's Matt Calvert. Is that some sort of record? Yes. The difference, as it so often is, was in goal.
- "Tiger Track" Tom did his bit for God and country by lobbying the XM NHL Home Ice show to include Frans Nielsen in the Selke conversation. Amen.
- Score one for Garth: Lowetide's frank assessment of one Robert Nilsson (pictured above), who many believe will be either traded or bought out this summer by the Oil.
- If you missed it (h/t WebBard), here's a good post comparing NHL team-by-team attendance and TV ratings this past season. The Isles TV ratings came in at a 111% increase, though obviously big percentage increases are easier to do when you're starting from a slim figure.
- In case you were unclear why the Yashin buyout cap hit is so high next year, Eric's got you covered.
- NHL Playoffs: New Jersey and Ottawa are the first teams to face elimination, while Nashville took a 2-1 series lead over Chicago -- including a successful home penalty shot! -- and San Jose needed another OT nailbiter to even their series with Colorado.
Tune back in later for another report card...