It will be Carolina.
The Islanders again have home-ice advantage in this series, but check out what might happen if this series reaches 7 games:
#Isles - Hurricanes (G6 and 7 back to back...belly to belly)— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) April 25, 2019
G1 - Friday, 7:30, Barclays
G2 - Sunday, 3, Barclays
G3 - May 1, 7, Carolina
G4 - May 3, 7, Carolina
G5 - May 5, TBD, Barclays
G6 - May 7, TBD, Carolina
G7 - May 8, TBD, Barclays
No matter! Just can’t let it get that far, then.
- Dom has more on the schedule for the series. [LHH]
- Home or away doesn’t matter to these Islanders — their record through the regular season was pretty much even between home and road. Having home-ice advantage is nice, though. [Newsday]
- Jordan Eberle wants to continue his First Round hot streak into the Second Round. We want him to do that, too. [Newsday]
- Matt Martin is no stranger to being atop the leader board in the hits category. The what-will-be-a-10-day rest will benefit he and his physical style greatly. [Newsday]
- The Islanders’ Long Island logo is the only one in all four major pro sports to feature a map of a geographical entity and it’s rife with history and pride. [Newsday]
- With their backs against the wall, the Sound Tigers will play the Bears tonight in Game 4 in Hershey. If they win, they go back to Bridgeport for a decisive Game 5 (First Round is best-of-3 in the AHL). [CT Post]
- The Sound Tigers may be one game from a First Round elimination, but they improved measurably this season and it ties into the reform that started at the top. [The Athletic]
- Sebastian Aho has been a steady presence and strong player in his second season with Bridgeport. [Islanders]
- The Playoff Beard is one of the iconic parts of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and it’s a distinctly Islanders invention, sayeth Stan Fischler. [Maven’s Memories]
Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of one of the great moments in Islanders history over the last 30+ years: [FULL VIDEO HERE]
One of the loudest moments at the Coli!— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 24, 2019
Throwing it back to April 24, 2002 ▶️ Shawn Bates with the penalty shot in Game 4. pic.twitter.com/d0p1kNmrNJ
Last Night’s Playoff Action
In the final game of the First Round, the Capitals hosted the Hurricanes in a Game 7. The defending Stanley Cup champions jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the first commercial break, and led 3-1 toward the end of the second period. Carolina got one back before the second ended to cut the lead to 1 goal again, and tied it early in the third. Washington pressed through the end of the third, but Carolina had a few chances of their own. None bested the goalies, including a chance with two minutes left in regulation that Carolina forward Brock McGinn had to sprawl out for behind Petr Mrazek to stop, and to overtime we went.
Well, at least the ‘Canes did. The Capitals seemed shell-shocked by the whole thing, and barely got anything going. Only Braden Holtby kept the Caps in past regulation, but he could only do so much.
The first overtime came and went without a goal, and the night seemed like it was going to drag on when the second overtime reached its halfway-point ice-scrape break. But just out of that break, the Hurricanes sustained some offensive zone pressure and didn’t allow the Capitals to clear. Mr. Game 7 himself, Justin Williams, retrieved the puck from the corner and threw it toward the net and the guy that saved the game late in regulation, McGinn, got a stick on it to redirect it in past Holtby. (For added fun, Tom Wilson was on the ice when the goal was scored — he missed the pass from behind the net that would have cleared the puck out of the zone, and in getting back to the net, McGinn was his man.)
The Hurricanes won the series 4-3, and there will be a new Cup champion in 2019. Good for Carolina. Now let’s kill these bastards.
- Today in “The Islanders Broke the Penguins,” it sounds like anyone not named Sidney Crosby might be considered for a trade. Including Evgeni Malkin. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- By necessity and/or by choice, big changes are coming to the Maple Leafs after a second straight First Round exit at the hands of the Boston Bruins. [The Athletic]
- But, they’d be wise not to can Mike Babcock or alter the young core in a knee-jerk reaction. [The Athletic]
- It’s no secret that the officiating changes come playoff time. But how, exactly? Katie Strang spoke with former referee Kerry Fraser about it, especially in light of the 5 minute major call that probably shouldn’t have been in the Sharks-Golden Knights Game 7. [The Athletic]
- Speaking of that penalty: Vegas’ season pretty much unraveled after that penalty call. I mean, it was the wrong call, but you can’t give up four goals in four minutes like that. [The Athletic]
- The Blue Jackets’ wives and girlfriends have designed and created custom playoff jackets in support of the team. The jackets are not blue, no. [The Athletic]
- Fischler doesn’t just do Islanders memories; for the NHL’s site, he remembers his favorite underrated players of the 20th century. [NHL]
Robin Lehner is Ready
Here we go.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) April 25, 2019