The Stanley Cup Final Game 1 kicks off tonight. Here are a few notes (and obligatory Isles links) to get you ready as a new first-time champion begins the final leg of its quest.
Enjoy the game. Our sibling sites on SB Nation for this series are Japers’ Rink (Capitals) and Knights on Ice (Vegas).
- #12 in your program and #1 in your hearts, Josh Bailey gets Islanders Goal of the Year for that crazy through-the-legs marker against San Jose. Way back in October. [Isles]
- “This is the only time I have ever read Simmons and hoped he was correct” Several updates to the Tavares Encyclopedia of free agency speculation. [LHH]
- One of the updates is a really long post that clarifies yes, the Maple Leafs actually could use #91. [The Athletic]
- Another one is a bullet from the Sunday Brooksie roundup, though it’s not...exactly...news: Yes, the team owners arranged the Lou (and Lou-Tavares) discussions. [Post]
- Chris Osgood sees a little of his own journey in Marc-Andre Fleury, who he admires and has seen win, lose his job, get it back, and enjoy another rebirth. [NHL]
- Five keys to Golden Knights vs. Capitals, if you like numbered lists. [NHL]
- George McPhee used to manage the Caps, whose roster is still mostly players he acquired. [SB Nation] Now he’s built the Golden Knights, who are good. [Newsday] That’s made for some awkward times before his longtime friend and former lieutenant, who got the job to replace him as Caps GM. [The Athletic]
- The bond the Golden Knights developed with the city began from the get go, and was deepened by collective response to mass tragedy in the opening week of the season. [NHL]
- You’ll be shocked, I’m sure, to hear league owners talk like concussions and CTE are things that are either a) under control or b) Huh? Never heard of it. [TSN]
- If you want to hear Gary Bettman talk about things, here’s a link to his pre-Final presser (6 p.m. EDT). It’s tradition to mention the Islanders ownership or arena situation there. Will be kind of sad when that’s no longer a thing.
- Creating a Canadian rivalry is an opportunity for the ECHL. [HEOTP]