Tonight, the sweepers in the previous round look to avoid being swept this round as the Islanders try to stave off elimination against the Hurri-... wait a minute... [touches earpiece]... my apologies folks. Sounds like it’s the Hurricanes who are the sweepers trying to avoid being swept against the, uh, Bruins? Am I hearing that right? Yes, okay. This is what happens when I don’t review the prompt!
Carolina will try to avoid being the first team since two weeks ago to be swept immediately after sweeping a series, something that hadn’t been done prior since 1993. I think I’m getting fired now. Back to you, Norm!
- The Islanders website caught up with top defensive prospect Noah Dobson as he prepares to compete for his second straight Memorial Cup, beginning Saturday. [Islanders Q&A]
- This is an ESPN Insider article so I don’t know exactly what it contains, but the title says that the Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers have the top prospect pools in the Metro Division, so we have that going for us. [ESPN]
- On top of having a great farm system, the Islanders core defensemen are all homegrown, showing that they might be figuring out this talent development thing. [Islanders]
- Re-live the top ten goals from the Islanders 2018-19 season — a couple are from the playoffs, but most are from the regular season, and the top spot belongs to Tom Kuhnhackl, deservedly so. [GSN]
- LISTEN: The Isles Buzz podcast speculates what may or may not happen for the Islanders between now and next month’s draft and free agency. [LHH]
- Scott Burnside does some offseason speculation of his own, for the Islanders and for the rest of the Metropolitan Division. [The Athletic]
Last Night’s Outrage
Game 3 of the Western Conference Final was last night, and it had everything a playoff game should ever have. The visiting Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead to end the first, the Blues popped in 4 goals in the second period to take a 4-3 lead, and San Jose tied it up with their net empty with a minute to go in regulation. To overtime we went, and about five minutes into the extra frame, the Sharks won it on Erik Karlsson’s second goal of the game.
But! The play unfolded after a Timo Meier shot was blocked. Meier was falling as he tried to get in the way of the clear and hit the puck with his hand. The puck was next touched by fellow Shark Gustav Nyquist in front of the crease, which should’ve warranted a whistle. No whistle came. Nyquist flicked it over to Karlsson, who put it home but didn’t even celebrate, probably because he thought it wouldn’t count. The referee behind the goal missed the infraction despite having about as clear a look as you can get on the play. Hand passes aren’t “reviewable,” but the four on-ice officials are allowed to discuss any goal and overturn it if at least one of them has conclusive evidence that a play should’ve been blown dead and wasn’t. They gathered, and evidently, not one of them did. St. Louis is down 2-1 because of it.
Truly mind-boggling how poor the officiating has been in the playoffs this year, and how useless the NHL’s rule book is as currently written. The botched major call in Game 7 of Sharks-Golden Knights was bad, but at least there was an argument to be made there. The call of offsides as Gabriel Landeskog stepped off the ice in Sharks-Avalanche Game 7 was the right call, but highlights the absurdity of a rule in place that allows that play to be reviewed. Here? A routine play here might have cost a team their season because the league has arbitrarily decided it’s a call they can’t review. That’s utter horseshit. What’s the point of having video review, then? I couldn’t care less that San Jose happened to be the beneficiaries of all three of these controversial calls. I just know that if it happened against the Islanders, I’d be flinging cinder blocks into the street. Textbook hand pass. Good thing the NHL saves its advanced replay technology to determine if a guy’s skate was a couple millimeters over the blue line as the puck entered the zone, or we’d have a real problem on our hands!
Sorry for the rant, folks, but the video review thing has gotten on my last nerves. Either review everything, or nothing at all, because this is what happens when you play the reactionary.
- Indeed, hand passes aren’t reviewable, so there was nothing that could be done about the call if not one of the on-ice officials had seen it. But it’s bad when the officiating supervisor even acknowledges his answer sounds like a cop-out. [Scouting the Refs]
- “Gloria” by Laura Branigan has become the anthem of the Blues’ playoff run, and it was introduced to them by a bunch of Flyers fans. [TSN]
- Their national anthem singer, Charles Glenn, is battling MS and this is his final season singing before the games, but he’s got a hell of a backstory to getting to the anthem singer post. He was even body-slammed by Meat Loaf. [ESPN]
- In Ralph Krueger, the Sabres have hired a coach with great, open communication skills. Take it from former Islander Mark Streit, who played for Krueger with the Swiss national team every spring from 1998 to 2010 and again for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. [The Athletic]
- Both analytics wizards Andrew C. Thomas and Alexandra Mandrycky will not be returning to the Wild next season — Thomas by team choice, Mandrycky by her own — and the Wild’s analytics department is in flux before one of their most important offseasons. [The Athletic]
- DGB makes a case for every lottery team to trade their pick in the upcoming draft in the only way he knows how. [The Athletic]
Not Hockey, But Fun!
Tony Hawk is one of those guys that’s really famous but not everyone really recognizes him. People know his name but not what he looks like, and his Twitter account features some gems that demonstrate this fact. Though you might say that he’s mastered fame, being able to go out in public without being harassed by a bunch of fans a la Michael Jordan. [SBN]
TSA agent (staring intently): I’m trying to figure out who you look like before checking your ID.— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) August 21, 2018
TSA: that cyclist Armstrong!
Nearby agent: that ain’t Lance Armstrong
Me: he’s right
TSA: oh you look like that skateboarder (checks ID). Same last name too! Crazy!