I have so many good things to say about this season despite the way it ended. I was going to include them here, but it ended up being a novel. So you’ll see them in a separate post later today.
For now, though, welcome to the offseason, everyone. Is it October yet?
(Stealing Dom’s bit here) About last night: obviously, the Islanders were swept last night, and it stings for us. [LHH | Islanders | Newsday | NHL | NY Post | NYI Skinny with the season-ending numbers recap on how wonderful this surprising season was | Canes Country with a bit of a different feeling]
Your moment of zen with Trotz:
“This group grew. This group became a resilient group. This group learned the value of accountability, predictability and coming to work and being really good pros.” - Barry Trotz #Isles pic.twitter.com/cWtfObZCKD— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 4, 2019
- Lehner did start Game 4, but was replaced midway by Greiss after allowing 3 goals in the first half of the second period. Though, it was more a move by Trotz to try to spark his team than anything else. [Newsday] Also, the coach shuffled the lines to a questionable degree, though heading into a road game 4 down 3-0, you try just about anything. Michael Dal Colle made his playoff debut in place of Cal Clutterbuck. [Newsday]
- In every offseason, there are questions facing an organization. The Islanders’ questions have been apparent all season, but now they are upon us. Where will they play next season, what free agents will stay, go, and come in from the outside, and what the hell are they gonna do with Andrew Ladd? [Newsday]
- That being said, the future is undeniably bright, despite the potential turnover next season. They’re proud of themselves, and they should be. And they expect to go even further next time they get there. [The Athletic]
- Trotz’s structure carried the Islanders through the season and shut down Pittsburgh in Round 1. Carolina beat it in Round 2 by playing a faster, more skilled version of the same game. [RMNB]
- Gary Bettman has said he’s heard nothing but positive things about the future Belmont arena. He expects groundbreaking to be this summer, and they’re still on track for the 2021-22 season. [Newsday]
- Stan Fischler has finally reached the end of the 1980 season with the Islanders winning the Stanley Cup for the first time. [Maven’s Memories]
Really hope this isn’t goodbye; I don’t think it will be:
Not the ending we wanted. I’m so proud of this group. This organization has a bright future! From the bottom of my heart me and my family want to thank the islanders fans for the great support. Never gonna forget this year of my life. Good luck too Carolina. Great team.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) May 4, 2019
There was one other playoff game last night, Game 5 between the Stars and Blues in St. Louis. Ben Bishop made 38 saves on 39 shots to help Dallas take a 3-2 series lead back home, only allowing a Jaden Schwartz shot to get through in the third period. The Stars won 2-1.
- Tuukka Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky have been stellar for the Bruins and Blue Jackets this season and especially in the playoffs, thanks to the “new normal” in the NHL: allowing starting goalies to rest more during the regular season. It definitely helped the Islanders this season. [Sportsnet]
- There are reports that Mitch Marner is now seeking something like the Auston Matthews extension. It’s different with him, though, as the hometown kid who has always seemed underappreciated by the organization and overprotected by the fanbase. [Faceoff Circle]
- It sounds like Milan Lucic may be orchestrating a trade from the Oilers to his hometown Vancouver Canucks. I don’t think Edmonton fans are going to be too upset about that. [C&B]
- The guy making that trade could be long-time Red Wings GM Ken Holland, if he wants to take that job. [Sportsnet]
- The Duhatschek Notebook includes Patrick Marleau finally updating the technology of his stick and Lanny McDonald remembering Red Kelly. [The Athletic]
- Former Islander and Sound Tiger Jeremy Colliton reflects on his first season as head coach of the Blackhawks. [The Athletic]
- There are serious concerns about the Buffalo Beauts’ future with the NWHL. Long considered the gold-standard in professional women’s hockey, players have serious doubts the team will be operational next season. [The Athletic]