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Islanders Playoff News: Mathew Barzal can taste the Stanley Cup, and it’s metallic

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The First Round is winding down. The playoffs always go too fast.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins
Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over...
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Islanders News

  • 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.

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]