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Bits: Travis Hamonic, Player of the Week; Niemi curiously admired

Jack Hillen sporting fine headgear.
Jack Hillen sporting fine headgear.

Were we talking about little good signs for the Islanders? A few more bits like this and like that and like this, and-a...

  • Travis Hamonic was named WHL Player of the Week, and by one account has been "the most dominant player of the series" thus far in the WHL Eastern Conference final. Brandon is tied with Calgary 1-1, with Games 3 and 4 in Brandon tonight and Wednesday. [Calgary Sun] Sounds like Hamonic is in Calgary's kitchen.
  • Meanwhile, Saskatoon's Jyri Niemi sounds like he will sign a pro contract for next year -- either with the Isles or in Europe. At what was likely Niemi's final game, "a group of shirtless male admirers spelled Niemi's name on their bare chests." [Star Phoenix]
  • Casey Cizikas' Mississauga team now trails Barrie 3-1 in the OHL series; you probably saw from Chris Botta's write-up on Kevin Poulin that his QMJHL team is down 2-0.
  • Jack Hillen talks about establishing himself as a top-four, getting more shots on, and fighting his way back from that ugly jaw injury. [7th Woman] How much better will he be next year, do you think?
  • Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio will have a live chat today at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

NHL Playoffs: Washington returned to normalcy, Boston got a leg up on Buffalo, and in the late game last night Drew Doughty tallied a goal and three assists for the victorious Kings, while Roberto Luongo was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots -- the fourth of which was such a backbreaking combination of awful hockey that it must be preserved in video for posterity, so that children everywhere may learn from the horror (video after the jump):

Canucks Ministry of Funny Plays

Bad: Kyle Wellwood carrying the puck out in front of his own net.  Worse: When finding pressure there, Wellwood just dishing the puck off -- still in front of his own net -- to poor Aaron Rome (#29). "Here, I sort of messed this up, so you take this."  Backbreaker: Luongo, not expecting his team to job him like that, is totally unprepared for Brad Richardson's shot.

It's not supposed to work like that in the NHL, but that's one of my favorite rec hockey plays: You win a turnover in front of the other team's goal, put the shot on right away. The goalie's usually not ready and worse, he'll be extra ticked at his teammate for pulling a Wellwood.

But again, in the NHL playoffs ... not supposed to happen.