We could know the Islanders’ Second Round opponent as soon as tonight, and if we do, it will be the Washington Capitals. But, the Carolina Hurricanes could hold serve at home, as has been done in the previous 5 games of this series, and send it back to Washington for Game 7, where it would be a toss-up.
The Islanders did not practice yesterday, most likely because of the holiday, but I would imagine they’d be back at it today.
- As contenders continue to fall out of the postseason, Mathew Barzal’s Stanley Cup dream comes closer to reality. [Newsday]
- Much has been made of the downgrade from Nassau Coliseum to Barclays Center in terms of playoff atmosphere, but the Barc was rocking back in 2016 for the series win over the Panthers and it can get very loud in there. [Newsday]
- Anders Lee isn’t as famous or elite as the previous Islanders captain, but he’s made a fantastic and caring captain to his teammates. [Best @ Newsday]
- The main focus of Eric Duhatschek’s Notebook this week is teams like the Lightning, Flames, and Penguins, powerhouse teams knocked out early, that shouldn’t just make changes for the sake of it. The Islanders work their way into that conversation as part of the Pittsburgh discussion, but also toward the end of the article he discusses a potential Andrew Ladd for James Neal swap and the Isles’ UFAs. [The Athletic]
Yesterday’s Playoff Action
There were two Game 6’s yesterday, and neither one closed out the series, which means there will be at least two Game 7’s in this First Round.
- In the afternoon, the Maple Leafs hosted the Bruins with the chance to close it out, and they started off pretty well. They got the first goal of the game and got the crowd right into it, but took a quick penalty and allowed Brad Marchand to tie it up. Boston took the lead before the period was over and added some insurance that prevented the Leafs from catching them as the game wound down, and Marchand sealed it off with the empty-netter to make it 4-2. Game 7 is Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET in Boston.
- And at night, the Golden Knights hosted the Sharks, also with a chance to close it out. San Jose goalie Martin Jones, who didn’t have a great season and struggled even more in Games 2-4, continued his hot run of play from Game 5 to keep the Golden Knights mostly at bay, only allowing one goal, the tying goal in the second period. This one went to overtime tied 1-1 and wasn’t decided after the first overtime, so they played a second. A penalty was called against San Jose forward Barclay Goodrow and the stoppage coincided with the halfway break to scrape the ice. Fresh off the break, Tomas Hertl, who vowed there would be a Game 7 in San Jose, carried the puck up the ice shorthanded and flicked a weak wrister off the pads of Marc-Andre Fleury and in to force the game he promised. Game 7 is Tuesday night in San Jose at 10:00 p.m. ET.
That was a long game on Easter, sure, but it was no Easter Epic:
Beyond Yesterday’s Games — Playoff News and Otherwise
- T.J. Oshie had surgery to repair his broken right clavicle, suffered in Game 4 of the Capitals’ series with the Hurricanes when he was boarded by Carolina’s Warren Foegele. He is out indefinitely. [NHL]
- The Norris Trophy finalists were announced, and I don’t think Robin Lehner has a chance here: Brent Burns of the Sharks, Mark Giordano of the Flames, and Victor Hedman of the Lightning were all nominated. [NHL]
- Giordano was never drafted and finally got into an AHL game when Mike Commodore forgot his special insoles for his skates. He’s never looked back from there, and now he’s captain of the Calgary Flames and a safe bet to win the Norris, the first undrafted player to do so. [The Athletic]
- The Flames were the top team in the West in the regular season; their season’s conclusion was rather jarring. They’ve made my son, Travis Hamonic, very sad, and I don’t like that. [The Athletic]
- Coaching vacancies remain in Buffalo, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Anaheim. So who are some names that could lead the Sabres, Senators, Oilers, and Ducks next season? [The Athletic]
- Playoff officiating is maddeningly inconsistent, and plenty of coaches of current playoff teams will tell you the same thing. “Just let them play,” though, is the common refrain. [ESPN]
- And finally, Gordon Ramsay and L’il Jon were hanging out together at the San Jose-Vegas game, cheering on the Golden Knights. Just as we all expected! [NHL]