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NHL News: Islanders Plan C? Ho-Sang reflects; Playoffs delight

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Also: Mitch Vande Sompel progresses, as does a Coliseum grant

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders
Do not misunderstand.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There were five playoff games last night, coast to coast. All were pretty freaking entertaining. I’m exhausted.

Islanders Reading

  • Jenny explored the options for what the Isles should do if John Tavares walks, though much of this applies even if he stays. [LHH]
  • Dan and Mike visited with their therapist, who moonlights as an Islanders beatwriter for The Athletic. [Islanders Anxiety with guest Arthur Staple]
  • Elliotte Friedman was likewise confused by the Ledecky/Isles performance this week, though he and co-host Jeff Marek had a more charitable view of things. [Sportsnet 31 Thoughts podcast]
  • Mathew Barzal, inspiring future versions of himself on Long Island. [Newsday]
  • An interesting mini-parallel to the Tavares conundrum right now is how Joshua Ho-Sang (whom many fans love) feels about Garth Snow (whom many fans hate): “I love Garth,” Ho-Sang said. “I think he’s done and will continue to do a great job. I’ve got nothing against Garth. I think the fans should understand that.” [CT Post]
  • Mitch Vande Sompel put up good offensive numbers this season, but it was the development of his defensive game that satisfied. [CT Post]
  • Meanwhile, notes from the final practice before Bridgeport’s final weekend of the season. [Soundin’ Off]
  • At a public hearing, people thought the $6 million grant to upgrade Nassau Coliseum for part-time Islanders use was just dandy. [Newsday]
  • The Islanders organization isn’t completely without playoffs. The ECHL Railers welcome some Sound Tigers assigned to them for a run at the Kelly Cup. [Telegram]
  • Officially now, four Islanders on Team Canada’s first 18 for the World Championship in Denmark. [Canada]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores included all kinds of fun Games 1.

The Bruins absolutely destroyed the Leafs, who were horrible, but Nazem Kadri was the worst of all, eventually getting thrown out for his d-baggery.

Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist in his first playoff game, but the Lightning pulled away from the Devils. [Raw Charge]

After tying the Capitals late in regulation (thanks in part to a Tom Wilson dunce play), the Blue Jackets were hemmed in their zone in overtime. They got a clear to partially change lines, then Artemi Panarin did this (you want to watch it in real speed; slow-mo doesn’t do it or the goalie justice) to win Game 1 for Columbus:

Meanwhile, SHOCKING BREAKING NEWS: Tom Wilson targets someone’s head! This time it was Alex Wennberg, who left the game and did not return. Thomas Vanek scored on the ensuing power play.

In Nashville, Filip Forsberg did this against a former Predator as the favorites took Game 1:

Meanwhile

  • Drew Doughty is suspended for Game 2. [Jewels from the Crown]
  • Ex-Isles goalie Chad Johnson had high hopes in choosing to return to the Sabres, but he now says it was a huge mistake. His numbers ended up being the worst by a Sabres goalie since Grant Fuhr in 1993-94. [Buffalo Beat]
  • He can rest assured the Sabres promise big changes though. [NHL]
  • How Taylor Hall learned to put the disappointment of a trade behind him and become an even better player. [SI]
  • Speaking of which, the Oilers will keep Peter Chiarelli as GM and continue to be haunted by voices from their Cup-winning alumni, who are always making suggestions, like hiring Paul Coffey, who kind of didn’t show up for work on any schedule but his own. [Sportsnet]
  • The Sharks, they don’t need no next year, man. [Fear the Fin]
  • From the first night of the playoffs: Ilya Bryzgalov, still trolling while the Flyers are down. [Sportsnet]
  • In Ottawa, Guy Boucher is still the coach...for now. [TSN]
  • As the U.S. considers nationwide legalized gambling on sports, the players associations have some thoughts: “Our unions have been discussing the potential impact of legalized gambling on players’ privacy and publicity rights, the integrity of our games and the volatility on our businesses.” [Sportsnet]
  • UPDATE - gonna make it fast with one more thing... this Sean McIndoe Grab Bag, in which a strangely-familiar voice comes out to debate roster composition. [DGB at Vice Sports]