The next NHL game played will take place in June, which always signifies the end of the portion of the season involving game-play and the beginning of the season of roster readjustment for many teams.
Last night’s game, though, ran into overtime, the first Stanley Cup Final overtime game since 2016. The Blues dominated for long stretches of the game and defeated the Bruins after a brief and equally dominant overtime to win their first-ever game in a championship series, improving their record in such games to 1-13 all-time.
- Top defensive prospect Noah Dobson has rightfully gotten quite a bit of attention around here, but fellow defensive prospect and 2018 draft pick Bode Wilde turned in a hell of a season himself after a “rocky” draft year. He’s ready to take the “next step.” [The Athletic]
- How good has Wilde been? He was named to the OHL’s Second All-Star Team, receiving the third-most voting points among defenseman.
- The Sound Tigers have published a list of players from this season’s team that are definitely under contract for next season, with the Islanders or with them specifically, as well as RFAs and UFAs that played for them this season. [Sound Tigers]
- One name that definitely won’t be returning is Chris Bourque, an AHL legend and fixture, who signed in Germany. This was reported the other day, but here’s the official story with quotes and such. [CT Post]
- Down Goes Brown ranks the Islanders and their fans third-least disappointed of the fourteen eliminated playoff teams, given the unlikelihood of getting where they did combined with an ouster via sweep. [The Athletic]
Have some fun with your morning and click on this tweet to read the thread under Dan’s tweet with some forgotten names we once thought had a chance at filling out a contender’s roster:
Every New York Islander from 2007-2014. https://t.co/oXlEvTAQwL— Culture of LOUsing (@cultureoflosing) May 30, 2019
Game 2, Stanley Cup Final
The second match-up toward hockey’s ultimate prize was sort of the inverse of the first. The first period saw the Bruins get off to a quick start in what was ultimately a pretty evenly played first period, and the Blues had to chase down Boston’s two leads. In the final two periods of regulation, the team that hadn’t led yet significantly controlled play, not allowing many pucks at goaltender Jordan Binnington — which was probably a good thing in light of the two goals he allowed. Tuukka Rask displayed the strength with which he’s played all postseason, though, to send the game to overtime.
The extra frame, or the fewer than four minutes of which it consisted, was all St. Louis, and an unlikely hero in defenseman Carl Gunnarsson ripped a one-timer from the blue line that was teed up by Ryan O’Reilly while the Blues skated with an extra attacker on a delayed Boston penalty. Rask was almost entirely screened by Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo on that game-winning goal, which sends the series to St. Louis tied 1-1.
- SCOC laments how the Bruins seemed out of step with the Blues the entire game.
- The Blues ruled out Robert Thomas for Game 2 last night, though coach Craig Berube claims his injury has nothing to do with the hit thrown by Torey Krug. He was replaced by Robby Fabbri. [Sportsnet]
- Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk had an interesting game while he was still a part of it. He deflected past Rask the Blues’ first goal of the game, and was then knocked out of the game by a questionable head hit by St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist. [TSN]
- To add insult to injury, no one can spell his damn name — not even his teammates! [PHT]
- VIDEO: During Game 2, Blues backup goalie Jake Allen snagged a Patrice Bergeron clearing attempt that was headed straight into his bench and then tossed the puck to a happy young fan. [NHL]
- VIDEO: Bill Belichick pumped up the crowd while waving the “fan banner,” showing more personality than he ever has in his entire life. [ESPN]
Other Hockey Related News
- After his firing as head coach of the Panthers, Bob Boughner is returning to the Sharks as an assistant, the job he held immediately before his hiring in Florida. [NHL]
The Ducks are the only remaining team without a head coach, and they’re in no rush. Some signs point to Dallas Eakins, but Todd Nelson, Rick Bowness, and our own Lane Lambert remain in the mix. Some feel, though, that it’s Eakins’ to lose. [The Athletic | TSN on Nelson]
Lane Lambert, Rick Bowness, as well as Todd Nelson, and Dallas Eakins are amongst the candidates in ANA. There may be more.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 29, 2019
- Former Islanders goalie and draft pick Anders Nilsson has signed a two-year extension with the Senators, to whom he was traded from the Canucks. [NHL]
- GM Ray Shero and the Devils are playing coy with the No. 1 pick, not indicating whether they intend to draft Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, or trade it. [NHL]
- The Rangers, meanwhile, stated quite clearly they don’t intend to move the No. 2 pick. [NHL]
- Every year, at least a few overagers enter the NHL Entry Draft again after not getting selected during their first year of eligibility, and some turn out to be decent players. Here are 10 candidates for that distinction this year. [THN]
- This time of year is when hot takes and clickbait articles are starting to bloom. Here’s one about 10 players who could be traded this summer in what the author determines are blockbusters. Phil Kessel is the only sure thing gone. [Sportsnet]
Not Hockey, But...
When the Nets were still in New Jersey and sort of floundering, they considered rebranding themselves as the New Jersey Swamp Dragons. When the Toronto Raptors, who are currently in the NBA Finals for the first time in their existence, came into the NBA via expansion in the mid-90s, one of the names they debated was the Dragons. The Nets’ owners and executives at the time liked the name and wanted to adopt it as long as the Toronto franchise didn’t take it, which they did not. The more you know! [ESPN]