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Islanders News: Letting him off easy this time

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Islanders fans were a tad more gracious toward Tavares last night.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Islanders
Boo this man! Boo!
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

It would have been nice to delay the Maple Leafs clinching a playoff spot and prevent John Tavares from scoring against the Islanders on Coliseum ice, but both things were inevitable.

The real shame is that the Islanders failed to take advantage of a Capitals regulation loss and to create some more distance between themselves and the idle Penguins in case the Metro Division title didn’t come to fruition. But Frederik Andersen was determined to make sure his new, sensitive teammate wasn’t embarrassed again.

Islanders News

Recaps from Toronto’s clincher: LHH | Newsday | Islanders | NHL | NY Post | NYI Skinny

  • VIDEO: Here’s coach Barry Trotz’s postgame presser from last night. [Islanders]
  • Islanders fans still gave him some boos and there were some of the creative chants from last time in the beginning of the game, but for the most part, Tavares got off easy this time. Trailing most of the game kind of puts a damper on trying to chide an opposing player. [NY Post]
  • A year ago, Arthur Staple outlined a dozen reasons why the Islanders missed the playoffs; this season, he got to write a dozen reasons this team did make it. [Athletic]
  • NEW! Teamwork makes the Islanders dream work [NHL.com]:
    “The analogy that I’m going to make is going into a public presentation when you’re in grade school,” Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck said. “You can go in prepared or you can go in unprepared. When you go in unprepared it shows and when you go in prepared it shows. When you have a plan and you know what that plan is it takes a lot of uncertainty out, it takes a lot of anxiety out and it allows you just focus on the task at hand.”
  • Valtteri Filppula has been skating with his upper-body injury, and it’s a decent possibility he returns to the team during the first round of the playoffs. [NY Post]
  • Which is good, because Tanner Fritz’s injury is going to create some difficult decisions for Trotz. [NY Post]
  • It has been a long, strange trip for the Islanders, their fans, and the Coliseum. But a good one nonetheless. [Newsday]
  • The Sound Tigers’ video coordinator, John Vazzano, was a goalie in high school and college and suited up for practice yesterday, green pads and all. [Soundin’ Off]
  • Robin Lehner met up with Jack Foley after last night’s game to give him the stick he promised him on Twitter, and it was a beautiful moment. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Capitals losing in regulation to the Panthers in Florida, as alluded to in the intro, so the gap remains three points. The Caps and the Isles each play Thursday, but if Washington wins their game against the Canadiens, no matter what the Islanders do, they get the division. If they lose in regulation and the Islanders take at least a point from Florida on Thursday, or if they lose in OT/SO and the Islanders take two from Florida, then Saturday becomes very interesting.

  • The Avalanche have gotten back to their winning ways and it looks like it’s going to earn them the second wild card in the Western Conference. Their turnaround began by embracing how Barry Trotz and the Islanders stifled what was then a potent offense back in December. [Denver Post]
  • Drew Doughty, probably out of bitterness that the team that just signed him to an eight-year extension is about to embark on a full rebuild, went scorched earth on the rest of the Pacific Division in a recent interview. He was right about Matthew Tkachuk, but he said Brent Burns basically sucks. Here’s why he doesn’t. [Fear the Fin]
  • Andreas Athanasiou joined Dylan Larkin as the Red Wings’ only 30-goal scorers of the decade this season. But just how good is he? [Winging It In Motown]
  • Because the CWHL is folding, there become new questions about how to grow the game of women’s hockey as the landscape changes drastically. [Ice Garden]
  • One deterrent from the CWHL being absorbed into the NWHL are the two leagues legal structures. Hopefully, it’s something they can work around to merge. [Ice Garden]