Except for a lucky two to four teams, playoffs can come and go fast. But while they're here, the going is good and the coverage is plentiful. Plenty of reading to gorge on, as well as some site notes (FIG picks, watch parties) below:
- Newsday: John Tavares tours the Brooklyn arena.
- Erick Hornick of Skinny and broadcast stats fame has the history of Isles-Pens playoff encounters.
- NHL.com on the Penguins: Rejuvenated Iginla | Fleury looking to rebound
- Daily News: Isles focused on special teams yesterday (like a lot of teams do)
- Good Isles-focused preview by the AP.
- CBC has the Penguins' recent first-round failings hanging over them.
- A fun underlying dynamic to this seemingly lopsided first-round draw is that many in the advanced stats crowd see the Penguins as vulnerable, or at least not nearly as good as their record indicates: NHL playoffs: What could kill the Penguins' Cup chances - NHL - Sporting News
- Some people give the Pens way too much respect though: CBS: Pens are "CCCP" of NHL.
- Meanwhile, though you might feel media are against the Isles (note: the 8th seed rarely gets respect), a lot of them are actually pulling for the Isles while thinking they don't have much of a chance: NHL playoffs: What we're most excited to see during the chase - NHL - Sporting News
- Seriously, some people would love to see the Isles do well. Enjoy it. Because in a few years...
- .... but really, no one is picking them to win.
- Pensburgh (from whom we'll have more later) is banking on experience helping the Pens.
- Cupcakes: NHL begins its Stanley Cupcake assault on an unsuspecting public | Puck Daddy
- Touching piece from Pierre LeBrun on how family connections make us love the playoffs. Aww, memories.
- Playoffs last night: Matt Moulson's brother-in-law played great, then committed a game-losing gaffe. Also, the Hawks beat the Wild in OT and Teemu Selanne took the nightcap. I'm tired.
- Something tells me noted Rupp fan Mark D would love this gif.
- And Mike Commodore tweeted things many NHL fans say every week.
If you're a regular here, just fair warning that we'll have several posts today. That might be a little much for you if you're OCD about checking comments. But it's a big day, and the beginning of the Isles' first series of the spring, so we want to get a lot out there before we get into the routine with a game every other day.
Of note, we'll likely have multiple game threads, depending on traffic volume.
Playoff Watch Parties
Gathering, level 20? No, gatherings. People are interested in playoff watch gatherings. Please chime in if you have something going on.
For example, I've heard from some long-distance fans, including one who is headed from Canada for his first Coliseum game in 30 years. This person must be treated right. So what are your pre-game plans for Game 3? I know Islanders Mania is having a tailgate for Game 3. (And no, I don't know what all the politics are among Isles fan forums and frankly don't care. Want to meet fans? Meet fans.)
And D.C. Fans: Another gathering at 51st State. Details here.
And Brooklyn Fans: I know there was a Brooklyn invite forwarded to me, but ... I can't find the info. Chime in or tweet me and I'll add to this post.
We haven't properly feted Zach779 for his regular season FIG championship, but we will. For now though, it's time for more. Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for Game 1 in this thread.