Some of the members at Lighthouse Hockey are chiefly Islanders-centric fans who avoid the playoffs as a way of forgetting their misfortune, and some are NHL hockey addicts who will watch everything (raises hand) until the Cup is raised as long as it's not raised by a villain.
We'll have a mix of food for both as April's playoff frenzy fades into June's lone final series, which fades into ogling teenagers again and wondering what on Earth we've done with the last six months of mortal coil.
A few Islanders news bits below, followed by our first playoff series preview and poll. Look for many more of these in the days before the 1st round NHL playoff series get under way.
- Newsday: GM Snow does not expect roster shakeup
- Matt Donovan and Micheal Haley are back with the Sound Tigers, followed by Casey Cizikas whenever his injury is cleared.
- You should probably only vote here if you actually watch/follow the Sound Tigers, but fun to monitor nonetheless: Call For Votes: Fake Team Awards VII - Soundin' Off - ConnPost.com
- Which Isles appear? Rangers, Devils & Islanders: The Local Hockey Awards - SB Nation New York
- When Brooksie uses his platform for good: Larry Brooks: Pittsburgh Penguins get away with murder - NYPOST.com
- IPB shares some of that GM book, with an excerpt about Mike Bossy (praise be) during his rookie contract negotiation.
- Join the FHS Playoff Pool through SB Nation's Fantasy Hockey Scouts.
- Here's the full playoff TV schedule at Puck Daddy.
- Here are six relevant big questions heading into the playoffs.
- Here are prospects whose rights are expiring this summer if not signed by their clubs.
Predators vs. Red Wings: Profile and Poll
The first thing that strikes me about this series is how very close these two division rivals are: Separated by just two points -- a shootout here and there -- and a season series that featured each team winning three and losing three in regulation (2-1 on home ice). The goal difference in that series? 16-14 for Detroit.
Of course, the Wings outshot Nashville 199-140(!) in the season series, which brings to mind another point: The Red Wings are still a dominant possession team, and the Predators are still a good team with a great goalie in Pekka Rinne.
It's actually a little stunning how the Predators' even-strength/score-close (Fenwick/Close) possession figures are still near the bottom of the league after 82 games. As Travis Hughes noted in that "6 Questions" link above, no other playoff team is in the bottom 10. Having the NHL's top powerplay at 21.7 percent sure helps.
But the Predators have loaded up in the Stay Ryan Suter Stay campaign, both through the trade deadline and by bringing Alex Radulov back to "fulfill" his contract obligations. They are a dangerous team.
The Predators finally, at long last, got over the hump and won a playoff series last season. But that was over the marginal Ducks. This year they must slay the dragon, their Central Division nemesis that has ousted them twice before in the playoffs.
No pressure or anything. If they lose, Suter has an excuse to flee.
This will be the first time the Predators have home ice against the Wings, which should make for a doozie of a series every bit as interesting as the Battle of Pennsylvania 4 vs. 5 match in the East. Both series begin Wednesday night though, so already the NHL playoff cup overfloweth.
Random X-Factor We'll Make A Big Deal Of
Coaches. Two very good ones. Will Boris, or the Clapper prevail?
|Wednesday, April 11, 2012||8 p.m.||Detroit at Nashville||CNBC, CBC|
|Friday, April 13, 2012||7:30 p.m.||Detroit at Nashville||CNBC, CBC|
|Sunday, April 15, 2012||Noon||Nashville at Detroit||NBC, CBC|
|Tuesday, April 17, 2012||7:30 p.m.||Nashville at Detroit||NBC Sports Network, CBC|
|*Friday, April 20, 2012||8 p.m.||Detroit at Nashville||CNBC, CBC|
|*Sunday, April 22, 2012||TBD||Nashville at Detroit||TBD|
|*Tuesday, April 24, 2012||TBD||Detroit at Nashville||TBD|
Make your pick in the poll. But for commenting purposes, we like to hear both who you think will win and who you want to win.
Heart Says: Predators in seven. Because that would be fun.
Head Says: Red Wings in seven. Because that's how these cruel things go.