Hey, we have a start date now. In fact, we have the full slate of the first-round schedule. It is remarkably consistent: The Islanders play Stanley Cup Playoffs hockey every other day. What a beautiful sight.
It also looks like the NHL finally started to stagger the start times—which means we won’t have to watch intermissions. We can just watch more hockey. The Battle of Florida runs on the same nights as our series, and we can actually catch some of it.
The New York Islanders begin their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at noon on NBC. Brendan Burke will be on the call next to Keith Jones. They’ll be joined by A.J. Mleczko between the glass. It’s almost like MSG Plus!
If you’re keeping score at home, that means that two Islanders broadcasters will be joined by a Philadelphia Flyers broadcaster in a nationally televised playoff game. Penguins fans will hate that. What a shame.
Islanders Playoffs News
- Here is the full Isles-Pens schedule for Round 1, minus start times for not yet necessary Games 5, 6, and 7. [LHH | Islanders]
- How do the Islanders and Penguins stack up against each other? Here is an extremely thorough and well-done answer to that question. [The Athletic]
- A big part of how their forwards compare to one another: “World-class” Sidney Crosby is still there. [amNY]
- But the Islanders have the goaltending edge and defensive edge, and the coaches are about even. For what it’s worth, all three of Andrew Gross, Neil Best, and Colin Stephenson picked the Isles. [Newsday]
- Speaking of goaltending edge, Semyon Varlamov is expected to skate today. The Islanders do not have practice, so he would be either on his own or with a small group. [Newsday]
- But they’ll likely practice as a team on Saturday.
No team practice for the #Isles on Friday so, if Semyon Varlamov skates, it will be on his own (or a small group).— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 14, 2021
Would expect Isles to have next team practice on Saturday before departing for Pittsburgh. https://t.co/cLCv4lQaCI
- The Islanders’ fourth line always has been a talking point for analysts entering the playoffs. But now, it might be the Penguins’ fourth line that is earning some love. I think they have been saving it up for the postseason. [IslesBlog]
- The Islanders will look to their previous playoff experience for a little added assistance. [Islanders]
- Last year’s run, coming so close to the Stanley Cup, gives them the motivation to win it all this year. [Newsday]
- Nice to see that lots of people want to go to the new Offside Tavern.
YOU GUYS ARE FAST! We are at full capacity. https://t.co/3oV5gbPx38— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 13, 2021
Islanders Regular News
- The Isles have signed 2019 fifth-round pick Reece Newkirk to an entry-level contract. [LHH | Islanders]
“[I]t’s the value of the Leo experience that allows you to appreciate the value that he does bring.”
- Barry Trotz was a little skeptical when GM Lou Lamoriello signed Leo Komarov, though not for long. [Newsday]
- Johnny Boychuk may have ended his playing career, but he is still around the Islanders all the time. Lamoriello invited him back from the get-go to work with the team and talk to the players. Glad to see that he’s still around. [NY Post]
- The latest editions from the Isles Lab are a t-shirt and hat that pay homage to Ed Westfall and his idea to give flowers to Kate Smith before Game 7 in the 1975 Stanley Cup Semifinals. [Islanders]
Playoff News from Beyond Long Island and Western Pennsylvania
Last night’s NHL scores include the Colorado Avalanche defeating the Los Angeles Kings to take home the West Division, the President’s Trophy, home-ice throughout the playoffs, and a match-up with the St. Louis Blues. Wishing Dom well.
- And here is the full NHL schedule for Round 1, minus start times for not yet necessary Games 5, 6, and 7. [NHL]
- Both Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos should return for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Florida Panthers in Game 1 on Sunday evening. [NHL]
- John Carlson, as well, should be available for the Washington Capitals against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Saturday evening after the Preakness Stakes. It’s the closest that the DMV will ever get to pucks and ponies; it can’t top Long Island’s (future) version. [NHL]
- Some guys are on the hot seat or at least may feel their seat warming because of the playoffs or otherwise. [The Athletic]
- Tyson Barrie’s offensive numbers are staggering having worked with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl—so much so that the Edmonton Oilers may not be able to afford him this summer as a free agent. [THW]
- The Seattle Kraken have signed their first-ever player: Luke Henman, an undrafted free agent out of the QMJHL. [NHL]
- Patrick Marleau wants to come back for his 24th NHL season and would leave the San Jose Sharks to do it. [NHL]