I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday, even though if you live in the Long Island area, it was extremely crappy out. There was hockey to watch yesterday afternoon if you were able to catch it, but it got out of hand and uninteresting quickly.
Game 2 of the Western Conference Final is tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts are always a must-read for die-hard hockey fans, and during the playoffs the off-ice news cycle tends to slow down a bit, so when it comes out, I sort of foam at the mouth. And it’s even better when he gets an Isles tidbit in there, especially a positive one like this:
13. Information about the Islanders is difficult to come by, but one rumbling is the club is really grinding away with unrestricted free agent centre Brock Nelson, trying to get something done.
- On Saturday, Noah Dobson’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated Arnaud Durandeau’s Halifax Mooseheads in Game 6 of the QMJHL Final to win the league title. Both teams are headed to the Memorial Cup anyway, but it’s a nice feather in Dobson’s cap. Oh, and Dobson got the Guy LaFleur Trophy as QMJHL Playoff MVP with 29 points in 22 playoff games. I’m getting really excited about this kid. [Sportsnet | CBSNY]
- The Islanders must embrace Barclays Center next season, sayeth Larry Brooks. I still don’t think the reason the Islanders lost their series to the Hurricanes was the locale; but he makes an interesting point that perhaps the Islanders would have been more used to the building (and its ice) at the end of April had they not played their last game there in mid-February. [NY Post]
World Championships News
- According to Michael Fornabaio, the only former Sound Tiger in the World Championships is Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. He also sums up the Eastern Conference Second Round in the AHL, which featured two sweeps. [Soundin’ Off]
You may have heard by now, but projected first- or second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko scored an absolutely ridiculous goal playing for Team Finland at the Worlds:
What a goal from Kaapo Kakko, and set up from Rajala and Ilomaki #FINCAN #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/S9q83qlHY7— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 10, 2019
The goal drew eyes emojis from the two teams selecting the top two picks next month, the Devils and Rangers. [NHL]
- Today, Finland and Kakko will go head-to-head with the other guy projected to go with one of the top two picks, Team USA’s Jack Hughes. Team USA got their first win of the tournament yesterday, defeating Team France 7-1. [NHL]
On Saturday night, the Blues and Sharks opened up the Western Conference Final in San Jose. Both teams were coming off Game 7’s from earlier in the week, and the Sharks had played more recently, but St. Louis went into double overtime against the Stars and it kinda showed. They were a bit sloppy in front of Jordan Binnington, turning the puck over quite frequently, and Binnington didn’t play spectacularly either. San Jose capitalized on their opportunities and won Game 1 6-3.
And yesterday afternoon, the Bruins and Hurricanes played Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Game 1 featured a lopsided 5-2 result for the Bruins, but was a much more even game than the score indicated; arguably, Carolina was the better team until the third. On Sunday, however, the Bruins were by far the better squad, overpowering the Hurricanes and jumping out to a 6-0 lead thanks to two power play goals and multi-point games for Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie Coyle, and Torey Krug. The Hurricanes got a couple goals in garbage time to spoil Tuukka Rask’s shutout bid, but they now head back to Carolina down 0-2 to Boston after losing 6-2. They were down 0-2 heading back to Washington in the First Round and won the series, so it’s far from over.
- Petr Mrazek, who stood on his head for a game and a half against the Islanders and didn’t return to the series due to injury, has an .808 save percentage against the Bruins and coach Rod Brind’Amour wouldn’t commit to him starting Game 3. [NHL]
- David Perron was concussed on a hit by Joe Thornton back in 2010, during Perron’s original stint with the Blues and in the early days of Rule 48 in which folks around the league still weren’t taking head hits too seriously. Thornton was suspended for the hit, drawing the ire of players everywhere, but the hit today would be a no-brainer suspension. Perron was allowed to return to the ice that night, but then missed over a full year with post-concussion syndrome. [ESPN]
- VIDEO: The sons of Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski danced on the JumboTron to get the home crowd excited for Game 1. [NHL]
- VIDEO: And Bruins and NHL legend Bobby Orr got the Boston crowd pumped up before Game 2; I don’t think his knees can handle any dancing, but he did help wave the big Bruins flag. [NHL]
- Connor McDavid is a mama’s boy. No, I’m joking, but this is a nice Mother’s Day story about McDavid and his mother’s close relationship since childhood. “‘I don’t think anyone knows me or understands me better than my mom,’ Connor McDavid says.” [The Athletic]
- The San Francisco Giants used the Stanley Cup as a ball bucket during batting practice, which is definitely a new use for it. [Yahoo Sports]