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Islanders Bits, Murray Quips and Playoff Picks: Rangers vs. Capitals

Just rot.
Just rot.

Last night's surprisingly thrilling 4-3 Coyotes overtime win over the Predators kicked off the second round of the NHL playoffs. They continue this afternoon and tonight with two more series getting underway. We have our usual pre-round poll below, but first some more Islanders-related bits and hockey link fodder:

Patrick Whittle ‏ @pxwhittle:

What follows is a string of quotes from Murray about the #Islanders, for those interested in the town’s role going forward.

"Our work has been completed. We adopted our zone for the Coliseum area." #Islanders.

"Because this was such a jewel in the crown property … we created a zone that is sustainable from an economic standpoint." #Islanders.

"We want the visionaries, the landowners, Nassau County, to have as much flexibility as they seek a developer." #Islanders

"These are low days for the #NHL," Murray said, adding that "with the #Rangers, it’s exciting." #Islanders

"We don’t make it a dead requirement that Nassau Coliseum be demolished or refurbished." #Islanders

"We’re willing and able to segregate it out." #Islanders

"We specifically don’t want to impose a vision. We want good commerce that we can sustain." #Islanders

"Nassau County has the prerogative to create the vision. We have our prerogative as zone-okayers." #Islanders

So, not a lot of new news since the referendum went down. But Murray/Hempstead clearly still a huge player in #Islanders future.

One final paraphrased note: Murray questioned what #Rangers response would be if #Isles tried to make Brooklyn permanent home.

So yeah. PGI will have a breath-taking response to the latest Murrayisms later this weekend.

Rangers vs. Capitals

This is the third time in four seasons that the Caps and Rangers face off in the playoffs, but finally the favored shoe is on the other foot: The Capitals, having run into upsets and frustration, abandoned their offensive game under Bruce Boudreau, sent him packing, and brought in a franchise hero (spits) whose coaching accomplishments are limited to the junior level.

There is a narrative going on that the Caps have finally conformed to his style and embraced the inner 2-1 playoff win within, but I have my doubts.

The Capitals are playing a remarkably passive, defensive game -- hey, playoff hockey! -- and needed rookie Braden Holtby to rise to get past the Bruins in OT in seven games.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have steadily added young talent and big-dollar free agent acquisitions to their formerly Lundqvist + Hope squad, so this time they are a little better-equipped to out-suffocate the Capitals. Instead of answering questions about Sean Avery, now John Tortorella gets to cut press conferences short while enjoying the fruits of Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and -- from the early looks -- Chris Kreider. It will be one passive slog of a series, but I'm betting they finally get it done.

Pick 'Em

Really tough call for Islanders fans here: On one hand, you have the hated rivals. On the other hand, you have a team coached by the biggest, most cowardly villain in Islanders history (and that's saying something). Uncomfortable. You can't win ... but hey, either way a villain is going down, right?

Leave your picks in the poll, and feel free to explain in comments like so:

Heart Says: Mutual destruction in 8.

Head Says: Rangers in 6.

TV Schedule

Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:00 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBC, CBC, RDS
Monday, April 30, 2012 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:30 p.m. NY Rangers at Washington NBC, CBC, RDS
*Monday, May 7, 2012 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Rangers NBCSN, CBC, RDS
*Wednesday, May 9, 2012 TBD NY Rangers at Washington TBD, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 12, 2012 TBD Washington at NY Rangers TBD, CBC, RDSI