Hockey, hockey, hockey! Yeah, hockey is fun. Especially when things are good. Things are good now, no?
The Islanders have two games to go. Tonight and tomorrow. On the road, but that whole "ooooh, road, scary" thing hasn't mattered in 14 of their 22 games away from Nassau Coliseum thus far.
Meanwhile, though the playoff spot is clinched, there is still something to gain -- like ensuring the "Pass Go, Collect $200" 6th seed that ensures a first-round matchup against the Southeast Division "champion" Washington Capitals. Sure, the Caps are hot, but as far as road matchups go that one wouldn't be too shabby. Torgo has outlined the seeding scenarios for you.
Anyway, that's getting ahead of ourselves. Game tonight. We'll have some Flyers humor a little later, followed by a proper game preview in the afternoon to get us warmed up. For now, some links:
- In Newsday, the Islanders say they don't intend to stand pat after clinching.
- Playoff spot in hand, the Post gets to cover the Isles on the road (!) and says they were deciding on which of these games to play Kevin Poulin.
- Is this Danny Briere's final home game as a Flyer? If so, will Frans Nielsen spook him for old time's sake? And who would provide the third-man-in kidney shot now that Dan Carcillo is gon-- oh hi Rinaldo.
- Lots of playoff reactions out there: Straight outta Compton at nhl.com on how they made it | "Never Say Die" from THW | Checking Line asks who will be Isles playoff heroes, and adds an ode to the Coliseum | Another Tavares for Hart leaflet | IPB: Yes, the Isles must be hungry for more.
- Michael Fornabaio has lots and lots and lots of notes from exit interview day down in Bridgeport. Here is the proper season wrap for the paper, too.
- Really great news, h/t Fornabaio: Jeremy Colliton is healthy enough to try a comeback.
- The other John Tavares in the New York Times. (Oh suuuuure, the Isles clinch and the Times decides to talk about lacrosse, eh? But seriously, cool story.)
- Here's another review of "Big Shot." I really don't need to see that Spano picture any longer.
- Video: Updating that "This is Home"-themed video to include highlights from this season.
Zenon Konopka(@ZenonKonopka) April 25, 2013
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fan appreciation video:
Tonight's opponent, the Flyers had a meaningless win over the Bruins the other night? Why meaningless? Because they're out. But a good picture of where they are is in this "3 Questions with Travis Hughes" from before that game. Man, it's almost like the Islanders have a good defense now where they used to rely too much on guys like Bruno Gervais ... and the Flyers used to have a good defense but now they rely too much on guys like Bruno Gervais.
Seth Jones tops the final Central Scouting list for 2013.
Well well well, look who's taking a very emphatic timeout with a 3-1 lead. Bravo, Mr. Babcock. Bravo.
So I guess junior playoff series really shouldn't end this way, but then teenagers:
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight's game in this thread. We are down to the wire. The top of the leaderboard:
23 - Bryan2112
23 - zack779
21 - martylnd
21 - PGI
19 - Isle in Dixie
18 - TheMarvelousStingRay
17 - Dan VA
Finally: Boy, we virtually partied the other night when the Isles clinched. Turns out, so did official Lighthouse Dog #2. She was a bit hung over in the morning: