Tonight the NHL playoffs return to Nassau Coliseum, and this time we can be reasonably sure it’s the last spring we’ll ever utter those words.
The longtime home of the New York Islanders has sucked for a lot of non-hockey, mostly business-and-amenity reasons, but the low ceiling and distinctly not-cavernous structure has never failed to give us an atmospheric boost when it counts.
Tailgating will be in order, concessions will be open, and Islanders willing, the Yes! Yes! Yes! chants shall spring forth.
Series tied 1-1, Game 3 with the Penguins starts at 7:00 p.m. EDT, or at some point thereafter once the pre-game festivities and broadcaster needs are sorted.
- Clark Gillies and Bobby Nystrom discuss what it takes to win the Cup. Really hope those guys see the Drive for Five fulfilled before their time is up. [Betway]
- Five things the Islanders need to do to resume that winning thing. [Athletic]
- The Coliseum will have a few more people for this one. [Newsday | Post]
- The most predictable narrative after the first two games was that Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle need to do more. I don’t disagree, but I also know that any random two-game stretch can include the same performance, even without the opposition focused on them with playoff intensity. If the Isles had won Game 2, this would’ve been lobbed at Crosby. So it goes. [Post | AM NY | Isles Blog | Newsday]
- Semyon Varlamov works hard. [Newsday]
- Ermagrd, Evgeni Malkin traveled with the team and could return. Casey Desmith will not. [NHL]
- Some outstanding hot-take column about how the Penguins can’t handle heavy hockey. Pittsburgh media is like Pennyslvania’s Toronto: Things go from euphoric to tragedy in 12-hour shifts. [Trib Live]
Not Playoffs But Still Islanders
Jiggs McDonald shares how he got his name, and other thoughts. [Talkin Isles]
Beyond Long Island and Some Pennsylvania Backwater
The Avalanche went up 2-0 on the Blues, the Hurricanes went up 2-0 on the Predators, the Jets stomped the Oilers to open the Imposing Shadow Division playoffs, and the Capitals and Bruins went to overtime (yay!) yet again. This time it was double overtime, and it ended on a hilarious miscue:
Ilya Samsonov made an uh oh and now the Bruins lead the series 2-1. pic.twitter.com/1ywpsxYN1W— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) May 20, 2021
- In “this doesn’t matter to us at all” news, the Draft Lottery will be Wednesday, June 2. [NHL]
- Meghan Duggan joins the Devils in a player development role. [Post | Devils]
- Former NHLer and Chris Drury teammate Mike Grier joins the Rangers front office. [Blueshirt Banter]
- A wee bit more about Scott Gordon being let go, er “mutually parting” by the Flyers. [Delco Times]
- John Davidson will land on his feet back in his old gig in Columbus. Sure, okay. [Columbus Dispatch | Post]
- Lots of questions as the Canucks season finally, mercifully ends. [Sportsnet]
- Nazem Kadri is known for doing dumb things in the playoffs, and...well, it’s the playoffs, so [5-minute major and match penalty]. (The Blues also lost Robert Bortuzzo to a headshot):