The Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has concluded and the NHL is down to four teams that can still win the Cup this season. The Conference Finals begin tonight, starting in the East — May 9 feels quite early for the start of the third round of the NHL playoffs, but perhaps that’s just me.
- Lou Lamoriello is “bullish” on the Islanders’ future because of the ownership group in place — which makes sense, as they’re handling the Belmont situation and he wouldn’t have come here if that wasn’t a guarantee. [NY Post]
- There are 7 teams that could reasonably make a large offer-sheet splash this summer, and the Islanders are first on that list with all their cap space and draft picks. Plus, they say, Lamoriello is ruthless and would love to lure Mitch Marner away from the Maple Leafs. [Sportsnet]
- Cal Clutterbuck’s back injury is worse than we had all imagined, but he said even worst-case scenario is that it isn’t necessarily career-threatening. [NY Post]
- The Sound Tigers’ home opener for the 2019-20 season will be October 19 in Bridgeport. [CT Post]
- A judge has wiped off the 15 remaining years on former Islanders co-owner Stephen Walsh’s 20-year prison sentence, releasing him from federal custody. [Newsday]
- WATCH: Isles State of Mind is producing a documentary about Robin Lehner and his recovery; here is the first trailer for the film. [YouTube]
The Second Round is over because the Sharks defeated the Avalanche in Game 7 last night 3-2. San Jose took an early 2-0 lead that Colorado sliced in half with seconds remaining in the first period, and then thought they had tied early in the second but was successfully challenged for offsides. (Get this: the player that was offsides was not even part of the play; he was going off for a change and the door to the bench is inside the blue line, and he was kind of taking his time. The offsides challenge may be going too far.) San Jose regained a two-goal lead shortly thereafter and held off the Avs to win the series.
So the Conference Finals are set: in the East, we have Hurricanes-Bruins and in the West, Blues-Sharks. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight in Boston at 8:00 p.m. Game 1 out West won’t be until Saturday.
- It was extremely fitting that Pat Maroon, a native St. Louisan, scored the Game 7 double-OT goal for his hometown team that he probably dreamed of scoring since he was playing hockey in the street as a kid. This is a great behind-the-scenes story of that goal. [The Athletic]
- Maroon apparently took less money and job security to play for the Blues, but he certainly doesn’t regret it now. [SLGT]
- The Flyers have added Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo as assistant coaches for Alain Vigneault. [NHL]
- This is the story of how Carey Price got his name and man is it a doozy. Price’s father, Jerry, became friends with fellow minor league goalie Carey Walker, who just so happens to be the older brother of former MLB star Larry Walker. [The Athletic]
- Kenan Thompson will be the host of the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 19. [NHL]