As the title of this post implies, I’m here today to show you a few things that mean absolutely nothing definitive, but that are still things that are out there to get our collective hopes up, all for them to come crashing down.
But first, Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final is tonight at 8:00 p.m. in St. Louis. Saturday night’s Game 3 was the first Cup Final game in the city since 1970, and it was met with a heaping amount of anticipation... that the Bruins squashed emphatically. The Blues were utterly dominated, but it’s only one game. They will try to even the series back up again and guarantee a Game 6 back in St. Louis.
And now, back to the local excitement.
- LISTEN: We lead off with something a bit more substantive: The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta, in a radio hit on Sirius XM’s NHL station, indicated that the Islanders are interested in Artemi Panarin, obviously, but also Erik Karlsson, perhaps less obviously. Also in that hit was that Patrik Laine may look beyond Winnipeg for his next contract. The Jets’ no. 2 overall pick in 2016 is an RFA this summer. To be clear, I’m not sure I buy these 100% because Lou is Lou, but it’s information that’s out there. Also not sure the Isles would have a shot at bringing any of these guys in. [Skip to around 13:30 mark to hear Isles-related info]
And then, something that means absolutely nothing at all but has Twitter all a-twitter:
This is from Matt Martin’s bachelor party, I think — he posted it on Instagram. The only hockey players I can see on there are Casey Cizikas, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, and Mitch Marner. Which has some folks intrigued, though Marner and Martin got very close in their time together with the Maple Leafs. But still...
- Eyes on Isles lists the pros and cons of signing Karlsson, if it’s even a legitimate possibility.
- The NHL’s site picked up on Arthur Staple’s story from over the weekend about his sit-down with GM Lou Lamoriello, so if you were paywalled the other day, you can get most of the information here. [NHL]
Scott Mayfield has won the Isles Award for Block of the Year for his goal-saving block in Game 4 of the First Round Series with the Penguins. As the tweet and the video suggest, the next award on the docket is Hit of the Year, a fan favorite. [Islanders]
Stanley Cup Final Coverage
It was a long-awaited return for championship hockey in the city of St. Louis, but the Bruins quickly killed any excitement. They scored early and often, taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission and adding a 4th goal a minute into the second period as part of a stretch in which the Blues gave up 4 goals on 5 shots. Boston recorded four power play goals over the course of Game 3 as their play with the man advantage remained white hot, and Jordan Binnington was pulled for the first time in his NHL career after conceding 5 goals on 19 shots. The Bruins went on to win 7-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
- Goalie Mike McKenna says it wasn’t all Binnington’s fault — the Blues were kind of leaving him out to dry and kept taking needless penalties to give the Bruins’ vaunted power play ample opportunity. Which is all true, but in my opinion, 5 goals on 19 shots is bad no matter how you slice it. [NHL]
- Torey Krug set a franchise record for most points in a Cup Final game with 4, becoming the first defenseman to get 4 points in a Cup Final game since Brian Leetch in -- [brick flies out of nowhere into my head, knocking me out temporarily]. He’s shining in this Final, but he’s quick to deflect any comparisons to the legendary Bobby Orr. [NHL]
- Blues coach Craig Berube is displeased with the number of penalties called in his team’s direction. [ESPN]
- Oskar Sundqvist is set to return from his suspension to the office at 4C in Game 4 tonight. Zach Sanford performed admirably in his place, setting up the first Blues goal. [NHL]
- Ryan O’Reilly has been through it all in his NHL career, and was worried he was a team cancer between his stint with some terrible Sabres teams and the rough start St. Louis had this season. He’s got his own way of doing things and it definitely works for him. [The Athletic]
It seems that Patrick Marleau is ready to move on from the Maple Leafs and would like to play the last year of his contract closer to home out west. Over the weekend, it was reported by Pierre LeBrun that both the Kings and Coyotes had varying degrees of interest. [Yahoo]
Hearing the Leafs and Kings have talked about a potential Patrick Marleau trade. Obviously there’s the Todd McLellan connection there for Marleau so he might waive. But as of now I don’t think the two teams have found a fit. Kings would need to unload a contract or two as well...— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 31, 2019
Leafs and Coyotes have also chatted about Patrick Marleau. My sense is that for Arizona to get more interested Toronto would have to attach a premium asset in the trade as well.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 2, 2019
- Jack Hughes is passing on the Combine’s fitness testing, citing not having time to train for it because he’s been playing so much hockey the last couple of months. [NHL]
- The league has cleared an apologetic Evgeny Kuznetsov of any wrongdoing after reviewing the incident surrounding the video that went viral last week. [ESPN]
- The Toldeo Walleye won Game 5 of the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Finals on Saturday night to bring the series to 3-2 in favor of the Newfoundland Growlers, who will have a chance to clinch the Kelly Cup at home Tuesday night. But more importantly, the winner of the series will be winning a newly minted Kelly Cup, because the Colorado Eagles, who moved up to the AHL after winning it last season, never returned it. [ESPN]