The New York Islanders knew before last night’s game ended that their first-round opponent would be the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Isles did what they could to have a chance of second-round home ice if they and the Boston Bruins both move on to Round 2; they even pulled Ilya Sorokin with a minute-and-a-half left in a tie game.
But once regulation time expired and overtime was incoming, the East Division’s first-round matchups were set. So, bring on the Pens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
About last night:
- The Islanders did not push play much offensively, but they brought playoff-style physicality. [LHH]
- Both Oliver Wahlstrom and Mathew Barzal scored, so hopefully, they remain hot into the postseason. [Islanders Five Takeaways]
- To the physicality: The Islanders outhit the Bruins 41-25. Taylor Hall, in particular, appeared to be a target. Of course, he scored twice. [Newsday]
- As mentioned, the seeds are locked in place. [NHL]
- Over the last half of the season, the Islanders went 13-11-3. [NYI Skinny]
- Semyon Varlamov started the game, but Sorokin took over the crease for the third period. Cory Schneider rushed to dress as Sorokin’s backup. Turns out that Varly tweaked something, but if it was a playoff game, he could have finished. They went the cautious route since last night did not mean a whole lot.
- Hear more from Barry Trotz:
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/vJWvtpwhnM— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 11, 2021
Onto the news:
- Here’s how the regular-season stats shape up:
#Isles season leaders for 2020-21:— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) May 11, 2021
Goals: Brock Nelson, 18
Assists: Nick Leddy, 29
Points: Mathew Barzal, 45
PIM: Barzal, 48
Save percentage: Semyon Varlamov, .929 (2nd in the NHL)
GAA: Varlamov, 2.04
Shutouts: Varlamov, 7
- The biggest thing that the Islanders wanted to do was finish strong. I can’t say that they didn’t! [Newsday]
- The Isles hope that Kyle Palmieri’s goal on Saturday night against the Devils gets him going. He looked good last night, playing physically and recording three shots-on-goal and three hits in under 13:00 of ice time. [Newsday]
- Casey Cizikas is the Islanders’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy. [Islanders | Newsday]
- Important information about playoff tickets: The state has increased the capacity limit with some updated guidance about who is and is not vaccinated. [Islanders | Newsday Video]
- The Bridgeport Sound Tigers officially have rebranded as the Bridgeport Islanders. [Islanders | CT Post] The new name comes with a new logo and new uniforms made to mirror the NHL club’s uniforms. [SportsLogos]
- Ranking the best moments at the Coliseum, from brawling Santas to Tonelli-to-Nystrom. [The Athletic]
- UBS Arena named Verizon its official 5G and technology partner. [Islanders]
- Here is some excellent news: welcome back, Offside Tavern.
Last night’s NHL scores include the Philadelphia Flyers defeating the New Jersey Devils in each team’s final game of the season. Also, the Montreal Canadiens lost in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers, but the point clinched them the final playoff spot.
- Deputy Commissioner had said that the playoffs could start as soon as Saturday. [NHL] Apparently, he was right: The playoffs reportedly will commence with the Bruins visiting the Washington Capitals on Saturday evening at 7:15 p.m. ET.
My @Rogers masters saying BOS/WASH Game 1 Saturday Night on Hockey Night in Canada.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 11, 2021
- Both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart intimated quite clearly that they do not want to stick around for another Buffalo Sabres rebuild. John Vogl says that they’re gone. [The Athletic]
- Eichel, in particular, admitted that there has been a “disconnect” between him and the team about how to handle his neck injury. [The Athletic]
- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. He is not ready to make any decisions about his future. [NHL]
- ESPN has hired Brian Boucher and an old friend, Ray Ferraro, to serve as its lead in-game analysts. [NY Post]
- Another old friend, Jack Capuano, has been tapped as the head coach of Team USA at the 2021 World Championships. [Team USA]