The Islanders braintrust and players have been making the media rounds since their sweep of the Penguins delightfully provided some extra time before the next round. But after a couple of days to rest it’s time to get to the work of prepping for what comes next.
What we still don’t know who is their next opponent will be — the Hurricanes won last night to even their series with the Capitals — nor the health status of Cal Clutterbuck and Johnny Boychuk, who left Game 4 with injuries that required a gutsy 16-skater third period to close out the series.
UPDATE: News is not great for Boychuk. Lou Lamoriello announced he will miss three to four weeks.
Check back later this morning for a new Islanders Anxiety podcast: The Waiting.
Islanders Reading (and listening)
- Barry Trotz discussed everything under the sun in his lengthy media scrum, which you can catch here: Dealing with the gap between series — it’s the first time he’s ever swept a series — prepping how to plan it all out, and also no sense commenting on playing without Clutterbuck or Boychuk when he doesn’t have a status update yet. On prep for the next series’ potential opponents: “Well honestly? I know Washington fairly well.”
- He also said he can’t really comment on changes to the gameday routine for Barclays vs. Nassau since they haven’t finalized it yet. [Newsday] Lou says it’s not a problem. [Post]
- Anyway, highly recommend watching/listening to the full Trotz scrum if you get a chance. It’s 20 minutes into the mind of the man behind the Tao of Trotz. Good stuff.
- Among those media rounds though, Trotz was also on the SiriusXM-NHL Power Play and on the local Humpty show with Rick DiPietro. These are mostly answers you’ve heard, though, whereas the media scrum was more enlightening.
- But yes, Trotz is spending a lot of time watching the Caps-Canes series. [Newsday] And they are using the break for ample preparation. [Isles | NHL]
- Carey revisited his “10 Keys” from before the series to unpack how the Islanders did in these areas, and why they won. [LHH]
- Another outstanding analyst, Shayna Goldman tackles similar questions for the Athletic.
- Ryan Pulock’s development has been transformational. Also, there is a personal tragedy never far from his mind. [SI]
- More audio: IslesSeat podcast reviews the sweep.
- Jennifer Botterill on how Mathew Barzal has elevated for the playoffs. [MSG]
- In Nucks Misconduct’s bandwagon series, Dan explains to them why Canucks fans can jump on the Islanders wagon, and put 1982 behind them. [Nucks Misconduct]
- An off-day topic: How Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson’s excellent playoffs so far will impact their UFA price. But that’s the “good problem” the Islanders hoped to have. [CBS NY]
Tom Kuhnhackl nearly extended the Penguins’ life last year in OT against the
PenguinsCapitals. A year later another non-goal helped send the Penguins off into navel-gazing land. [Athletic]
- Bizarrely, Sarasota tourism officials benefit from the Islanders announcing. [Herald Tribune]
- After a long wait, the time for Game 1 is finally here for the Sound Tigers. [Soundin’ Off]
- For once, they have big AHL veterans in place to help lead the way. [CT Post]
Thirty-two years(?)(!) after the Easter Epic, enjoy this Noel feature on the 1987 4-overtime thriller (I still thank my mother for not sending me to bed):
Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas enjoying their day off:
There is not-incredibly-outlandish scenario now where Isles win 4 series with home-ice-advantage...— Travis Flynn (@NDRedEagle) April 19, 2019
...while no other team wins more than 1 with home-ice advantage.
Still very unlikely, but back in October it was perhaps close to 1 in 1,000,000.
- The USNTDP is currently stocked with talent from New York, including Danny Weight, Doug’s son. [Athletic]
- The knives are out for Patrick Marleau. It was just a matter of time. [Toronto Sun]
- And in Pittsburgh the annual carving of Phil Kessel is looming. [Post-Gazette]
- Because Jim Rutherford is sounding like the Islanders really initiated the Penguins’ dismantling. [Athletic | Post-Gazette]
Game of the night
In last night’s NHL scores, the Hurricanes beat the Capitals (Calvin de Haan returned from his injury, while TJ Oshie was lost to a new one), the Sharks won at home to cut the Knights lead to 3-2, and then in Winnipeg there was a doozie:
The Blues outplayed the Jets in the first period but were down 2-0. They survived a worse second, then mounted a furious comeback in the third to win 3-2, with the winner arriving with 15 seconds left. This chance for Kevin Hayes would have made it 3-0 midway through the game:
Kevin Hayes plays goaltender on his own chance. pic.twitter.com/0D4i6bRTKd— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 19, 2019
The Blues’ tying goal came with the net off the moorings. But it was upheld, and with good reason:
When the Blues stole Game 5 back, Jordan Binnington said “OK, let’s move on to the next one”: