No rest for the road weary. The New York Islanders finish their regular season (and stake their final claim to a higher seed) tonight in Buffalo.
The past few days I'd been thinking about matchups and preview themes for a possible playoff meeting with the Capitals. With last night's loss I was reminded that we have no idea who the Islanders' opponent will be. Pittsburgh, Boston, Montreal, Washington -- all are still possible.
The Rangers and Senators both clinched playoffs spots -- and leaped the Isles in the standings -- with OT victories last night. Out West, no one clinched but Dallas was officially eliminated. Detroit, Minnesota and future Islanders divisional doormat Columbus are vying for two spots.
Here are a few links as we prep for tonight:
- From last night in Newsday: Why Poulin and why Boulton.
- NEW from the Post: Frans Nielsen on the shift that changed the season.
- Recap from IPB (Keith joint)| Flyers perspective at Broad Street Hockey
- Oh, and this from Travis Hamonic in Newsday: "We haven't played a full 60 minutes in almost a week now."
- For what it's worth, in post-game Jack Capuano said they'll have their usual coaches meeting to determine the lineup tonight, keeping in mind last night and tonight the idea of keeping guys "sharp" for the playoffs.
- The Post on Johnny T's Hart candidacy.
- CBS: The Isles as a sleeper team no one wants to play? | Also: 5 reasons the Isles made the playoffs. (You do remember they made the playoffs, right?)
- 12 great potential playoff matches.
- The unending search: NHL draft: What does it cost to trade up? - Broad Street Hockey
- On awards: Kevin Allen's NHL awards favorites
Leave your First Islanders Goal picks in this thread. (I just realized the season continues after tonight. So ... continue the FIG pool until it's over? Do a separate postseason FIG standings? Votes, anyone?)