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Islanders News: Varlamov rests; Brother, can you spare a playoff schedule?

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Also: A dozen theories about why this series will be different than 2019.

NHL: MAR 29 Islanders at Penguins
I’m sure there’s a way to settle this like gentlemen.
Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A new dawn breaks without knowing when the Islanders and Penguins, or any of the playoff series outside of Capitals-Bruins, will begin. But the NHL schedule has three more Flames-Canucks games, so there’s that.

For what it’s worth, Barry Trotz said they’re assuming they’ll start Saturday or Sunday.

As we wait, there are a bunch more “this won’t be like the 2019 sweep but also you never know” columns, some of which are linked below.

Islanders News

More from Trotz: “Playoff hockey is a grind. There’s no space. You gotta fight for inches. So having some success gives you confidence that you can do it. Every year is a challenge, but it’s about positive reinforcement. The series is not going to be won or lost in the first game. Momentum is going to change a hundred times.”

  • Semyon Varlamov did not skate yesterday but Barry Trotz said he should be ready for the playoffs. Granted, that’s what every cagey NHL coach will say before a playoff series even if his goalie has no feeling in his legs, but we’ll take it as no need to panic. [Newsday]
  • In the latest Islanders Anxiety, Dan and Mike discuss the chance to restart for the playoffs, some Pens tropes, and the Bridgeport re/de-branding. [LHH]
  • The Isles are motivated by their taste of near-success in last year’s conference finals run. [Newsday]
  • They appreciated having a physical game against the Bruins to get them back into that playoff mindset. [Isles]
  • Three keys to the series, as Pens fans see it: Home ice, Trotz goalie voodoo, and recent trends. [PensBurgh]
  • Speaking of Trotz and goalies, was he throwing a little shade toward the Penguins “inexperienced” duo? [Trib Live]
  • Could a “fired up” Jeff Carter be a Bill Guerin-like aging spark for a Cup run? [Post Gazette]
  • The Penguins remember the 2019 sweep all too well. [Trib Live] Column: The Penguins are better but something something or other. [Trib Live]
  • Column: Sidney Crosby is health and motivated. Bummer. [Post Gazette]
  • Mike Matheson — yes, the guy whose headshot took out Johnny Boychuk — “looks different.“ [Trib Live]

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores included a bunch of fairly meaningless shutouts.

  • Sabres GM Kevyn Adams spoke to media, said Jack Eichel hasn’t requested a trade, and outlined why the team is uncomfortable with him becoming the first NHL player to have the cervical disc replacement surgery he seeks. [AP]
  • Much of this mess is not on Adams, but goodness, the Sabres have a self-inflicted mess. [Die By The Blade]
  • A good Irishman fired: David Quinn is “relieved” of duties by the Rangers, as is his staff except for the goalie coach. [Post | NHL]
  • Of all the other series, I’m most excited for the Battle of Florida. Here are a bunch of numbers and charts about the Panthers and Lightning. [Athletic]
  • Ahead of their first postseason matchup with the Leafs in over 40 years, the Canadiens are glad to put the regular season to bed and recharge. [Sportsnet]
  • The Flyers have loooots of issues to address this offseason, here are five. [Athletic]
  • I guess there are lots of defensemen high in the rankings for the NHL Draft. [TSN]
  • Remember how the Isles were close to swapping bad contracts with the Wild? Well Zach Parise’s trajectory continues to be ugly, almost as useful as Andrew Ladd. [Athletic]
  • Jonathan Toews missed this entire season, but there is hope for his return in 2021-22. [Sportsnet]
  • Some fun stories about Paul Stastny, who reached 1,000 games and is evidently just a good, Taco Bell-loving guy. [Athletic]
  • Having graduated medical school, Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser will continue to both work in player development for the Leafs and do her residency because she’s a bad ass who doesn’t need sleep, I reckon. [TSN]