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Islanders Bits: Game 6 hangover, league-wide respect

Players, fans mourn missed opportunities, appreciate a special step in the team's growth.

Paul Bereswill

The New York Islanders' loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 brought into focus how everything is so close, yet so far:

It was just one round, as an eighth seed, they have far to go. Yet it was a round where they routinely outplayed a top seed but for lack of a few more saves.

They outplayed the conference favorite on aggregate, yet they had two bad blowout losses.

They went further in the playoffs than the franchise has gone since 2002, yet it was still just two playoff wins.

Longtime minor-league star and free agent Keith Aucoin was key on two of Game 6's goals, and unrestricted free agent Brad Boyes had a good series; yet prospect Brock Nelson got his first taste of NHL action and will be among many pushing for those job openings.

Thanks to everyone for reading, writing, contributing, and commenting this season. Thanks for treating this as wonderful entertainment and diversion rather than life and death.

Domestically, it's Mothers Day, one of the few greeting card holidays you best take seriously. Personally, I'll be spending most of it with the many mothers in my life, but this week instead of previewing the Isles in round two we'll continue our Isles coverage with post-season grades, draft outlooks and free agency -- all of which will come up in a hurry.

Some coverage after last night:

Oh, and this from the Post-Gazette beatwriter:

It was something. (From Game 4):

Cheers, people.