Good morning folks, and Happy Easter if you celebrate it, or Happy Passover, if you celebrate it.
Last night, the Second Round got a little more clearer, as now half of the participants have been determined. Also, a certain goalie around here is getting quite a bit of recognition.
There’s not a ton of new news today because of the holiday, but if you’re hungry for more bits beyond these, I recommend going back to yesterday’s bits, if you haven’t checked them out yet. There’s close to 40 links in there!
- Robin Lehner, who was nominated for the Masterton Trophy on Friday, was nominated for the Vezina Trophy yesterday, along with Stars goalie Ben Bishop and Lightning keeper Andrei Vasilevskiy. [LHH | Newsday | Islanders]
- Lehner appreciates the nominations, but he’d really like to win a Stanley Cup first. From your lips to Bossy’s ears, Robin. [NHL]
- The Islanders family embraced Lehner when he opened up about his struggles, the only team that really gave him a chance, and he responded by becoming one of the top goalies in the league this season. [Herrmann @ Newsday]
- By confronting his mental illness, Lehner was able to get healthy and, in turn, become an elite goalie this season for the Islanders. [NY Post]
- His season has truly been an inspiration, and the team has rallied around him. [Islanders]
- SPECIAL POST: Harry Klaff was the original Islanders correspondent with The Hockey News from back in 1972. He also programmed the Coliseum scoreboard for 25 years. He submitted an entry via email detailing the similarities between this year’s Isles and the Islanders in 1974-45, their third season of existence where they shocked the world by making the Conference Final, forcing Game 7 after being down 3-0 two series in a row, and actually winning one of them. Thank you for this, Harry. [LHH FanPost]
- The Islanders may have the option to stay in a hotel for the playoffs, like many Lou Lamoriello teams of the past. Also, Barry Trotz may pull out the hot lap if things get desperate. [Newsday]
- Trotz doesn’t much care about who wins the Capitals-Hurricanes series, as long as it goes seven games. “Every game takes a little piece of you.” [NY Post]
- Josh Ho-Sang wishes he could be a part of the Islanders playoff run, but he’s still rooting for them from afar while in his own playoff series with the Sound Tigers. [Newsday]
- Bridgeport forward Travis St. Denis was suspended for Game 2 last night after sending Hershey Bears defenseman Aaron Ness to the hospital. Ness appears to be doing okay, according to the Hershey Twitter account. [Soundin’ Off pregame]
- The Capitals had called up goalie Ilya Samsonov after his strong performance in Game 1, so Hershey started Vitek Vanecek in Game 2. He proceeded to shutout the Sound Tigers to even the best-of-5 series at 1-1 heading back to Pennsylvania. Games 3 & 4 will be there on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. [Soundin’ Off postgame | CT Post]
- The two playoff games at the Coliseum were like taking a trip back in time — like going back to old Ebbets Field, almost. Being back there, for the raucous celebration, was like a trip down memory lane. [NY Post]
- This is cool as hell: the “Isles Meetup” fan groups started in Charlotte a few years back, where it has grown to take over an entire section of seats when the Islanders play the Hurricanes in Carolina. But the phenomenon has spread all throughout the country, and even beyond the nation’s borders. Read all about “Isles Meetups” in Charlotte, Los Angeles, Florida, Connecticut, and Wisconsin. [Newsday]
Last Night’s Playoff Action
- Game 5 between the Predators and Stars took place in the afternoon in Nashville, and the Predators jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. But the Stars offense, which has been hot, exploded for 5 goals for the second straight game and went on to win 5-3, taking a 3-2 series lead with them back to Dallas for Game 6.
- Game 5 between the Capitals and Hurricanes started off close, and then got away from Carolina quickly. Washington put up a dominant 60-minute performance and Braden Holtby shutout the ‘Canes few chances as the Caps went on to a 6-0 rout for a 3-2 series lead. The Hurricanes will try to force Game 7 by winning Game 6 at home in Raleigh on Monday night.
- And after Jaden Schwartz completed the Blues’ Game 5 comeback with the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in regulation, he rode the hot streak to a natural hat trick in Game 6 back home in St. Louis. The Jets very much did not show up for an elimination game beyond a late push, putting up only 6 shots through the first two periods, and the Blues went on to win 3-2 to win the series 4-2. They will play the winner of Dallas-Nashville in the Second Round.