The New York Islanders return home for their final home regular-season games at Nassau Coliseum, both against the New Jersey Devils. After a pretty lame couple of games up in Western New York against the Buffalo Sabres, two resounding wins in the final games at the Coliseum would be just swell.
It will be the first time that either Kyle Palmieri or Travis Zajac plays the Devils since being traded to the Islanders. Maybe that will get them going into the playoffs.
Both the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have 73 points. If either of them gets one more point over the rest of the season (which seems likely), the Islanders can not win the division. If they both get at least one more point (which also seems likely), home ice is no longer a possibility. The Pens and Caps own the regulation win tiebreaker. The Boston Bruins can still catch either one, too.
But since ending up in third or fourth really does not matter, the Islanders would be wise to give many guys a rest. And it appears that they will.
FIG Picks go here. Also, look out for a new episode of Islanders Anxiety.
That’s a big track.
- The team site previews tonight’s game. It will be Ford Military Appreciation Night.
- Now that home ice is unlikely, Barry Trotz probably will rest some more starters over the next couple of games. His team appears exhausted from the “mental grind.” [amNY]
- But Trotz is confident that his group will be ready for the playoffs once they begin. [Newsday]
- Causes for alarm include the play of the Nick Leddy-Scott Mayfield pairing and the minimal impact of Palmieri and Zajac. Causes for concern include benching Mathew Barzal and the blown leads. [The Athletic]
- The Sound Tigers dropped a couple of hints that they may be dropping their unique name in favor of “Islanders.” I wonder if they move to the Coliseum next season. [CT Post]
- LISTEN: On this episode of Island Ice, Andrew Gross talks about the importance of momentum going into the postseason and hosts Chico Resch. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: The second episode of Talkin’ Isles welcomes Shawn Bates to chat about the Lucky 7s line and the Game 4 penalty shot, among other topics. [Islanders]
- A little scoreboard-watching:
#Isles announce Daktronics will manufacture and install the scoreboard at UBS Arena. 42 feet by 42 feet, 15,000 square feet and 34 million pixels. 45 HDR-capable LDR displays. Touted as the highest resolution scoreboard display in New York.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 6, 2021
Last night’s NHL scores include the Capitals and New York Rangers brawling on the way to a Washington. Also, the Winnipeg Jets snapped an eight-game losing streak and clinched a playoff spot with their win over the Calgary Flames.
- The Rangers yesterday dismissed President John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton; Chris Drury is permanent GM and probably permanent President. Rumors abound that they did not agree with the statement the organization put out Tuesday. [NY Post]
- But the main factor is that owner James Dolan wants to end the rebuild. In fact, their performances against the Islanders may have spurred on the move. [NY Post]
- At one point, Mark Messier appeared to be Dolan’s target for the new President. Messier, to his credit, has offered to help in any way that he can. [NY Post]
- Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly sat down with Pierre LeBrun to discuss Tom Wilson, the Rangers’ statement, and the start of the playoffs; the U.S. playoffs may begin before the Canadians. [The Athletic]
- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has been suspended two games for boarding Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman. [Sportsnet]
- NHL on TNT has tapped Kenny Albert to be their lead play-by-play broadcaster starting next season. [NY Post]
- Albert will likely be joined by Eddie Olczyk, while Ray Ferraro appears to be headed to ESPN.
Hearing that after talks w/Turner & ESPN, Eddie Olczyk has agreed to a 5-year deal to become Turner’s lead NHL analyst starting next season.— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) May 6, 2021
Word is Olczyk will still have freedom to cover horse racing for NBC.
Also hearing Ray Ferraro is in line to become ESPN's lead analyst.