The Islanders won a meaningless Battle of New York last night, but these derby games are never completely meaningless. Season series sweep goes to the good guys, orange over red pants. For a moment we thought Anders Lee notched his 40th goal of the season but we’re accepting that he didn’t get a piece of Thomas Hickey’s deflected shot.
And as a bonus, in Stan Fischler’s final broadcast, he was all over the commentary, including sitting in on the second period with Brendan and Butch. Good times.
- About last night: Beating the Rangers is always good news. [LHH] That’s 34 saves for Jaroslav Halak, in his final days (we assume) as an Islander. [NHL] [Isles] “I’ve always wanted it to work out and stay,” said John Tavares. [Newsday]
- The Maven: “love.” [Newsday] Thanks you’s from the Isles. [MSG video]
- Arthur Staple follows up the game by spelling out - in vivid detail - the 12 biggest mistakes that doomed the Islanders season. It is as thorough and brutal as you would expect.
- Mathew Barzal appreciates how much pros focus on keeping their body in good shape, how well the vets treated him, and how great the Sedins were. [NBC]
- The Rangers still haven’t won in Brooklyn, and Johnny Boychuck is shut down because they need him to take care of himself. [Post]
- Casey Cizikas wins the Bob Nystrom Award. [Isles]
- You maybe hadn’t heard this, but Mathew Barzal is quite good. [WFAN]
- BREAKING NEWS: Mathew Barzal prefers his t-shirts with long sleeves, and other fashion notes. [NY Times]
- Justin Bourne joins the PDOcast to discuss Brad Marchand and player discipline, coaching (and Doug Weight), the most lethal shots in the game and more. [PDOcast]
- Some injury updates in Bridgeport, including Devon Toews at least returning to skating (but not playing, not this season). [Soundin’ Off]
- The Sound Tigers also welcomed back Chrisopher Gibson, who was thrilled with the amount of starts he got with the Isles. He’ll start tonight actually riding an AHL shutout streak dating to February. [CT Post]
- So many highlights in Roberto Luongo’s 1,000 games, one of the last still-active reminders of what a massive reign of terror Mike Milbury foist upon us. [NHL]
- Also: Lots of great stories and tales from Luongo’s career, including Jamie McLennan pissing him off in card games, and Peter Worrell saying: “it probably took one practice to realize ‘I think we robbed the Islanders here.’” [Sun-Sentinel]
- David Quenneville shares the MVP award for his WHL team, and he hopes to “confirm something” on his future soon. [Medicine Hat News]
- Last night was Stan Fischler’s last broadcast. Lots of great tributes, and tales. He joined the Puck Soup podcast to share some from his decades in hockey. [Apple iTunes]
- “It is essentially impossible and thoroughly unprecedented,” is how every Tavares contract story should begin, so hey let’s Brooksie try it! [Post]
Doug Weight's unique take on the Tavares-#Isles situation: "People say it’s like a marriage, and that’s B.S. I know my wife controls pretty much everything I do and we don’t control anything with John."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) April 5, 2018
Last night’s NHL scores include wins for the Devils, Panthers and Flyers (so Florida has to win both remaining games and hope the Flyers lose), while the Avalanche lost to keep their wild card bid in jeopardy. Nashville clinched the President’s Trophy.
- 31 Thoughts time, with this bit for fodder: “I love the free-agency window prior to July 1, but I learned this week many agents can’t stand it. They believe the NHL is gaining too much intelligence about the market during that time.” [Sportsnet]
- Scratch Joel Quenneville and/or Stan Bowman off your summer wish list. Chicago says they are holding on to them. [Sportsnet | NHL]
- In the wake of their retirement announcement, here is a Twitter-collection of the many, many sweet and wholesome Sedin stories. Some might even be true. (Meanwhile, Daniel scored the OT winner in his final home game.)
- We may mock them, but turns out doing color commentary is exhausting, says Craig Custance. [The Athletic]