That’s what we like to see. The New York Islanders said their regular-season farewells (we think) to Nassau Coliseum by giving a performance reflective of their talent level, dominating the New Jersey Devils nearly from start to finish.
A bunch of guys that had been struggling to score—Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal, Kyle Palmieri, Jordan Eberle—all hit the scoresheet in a game in which the Isles finally looked to be gearing up for the postseason.
Thanks to yesterday’s results, the Islanders still have an outside chance at third place and a first-round match-up with the Washington Capitals. But the more likely outcome is that the Islanders will finish in fourth place and meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round One.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.
Recaps from last night:
- Nelson and Barzal led the way. [LHH]
- It felt like a get-right game. Also, Nelson played in his 300th consecutive game, tying him for third in all-time Isles’ history. [Islanders 5 Takeaways]
- Dominating the Devils felt like a fitting goodbye. [Newsday]
- Technically, they did “gain in the East race.” [NHL]
- After this game, the Isles sit 0.01 goals against per game behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the Jennings Trophy. [NYI Skinny]
- This sounds like a team gearing up for the playoffs.
“We said we were going to worry about our own game and we did that. We practiced that way yesterday, with a lot of purpose.”— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 9, 2021
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/2ki36b8YF1
Onto the news:
- The Islanders cherished having one more go-round at the Old Barn. The players will miss the Coliseum’s charm. [Newsday]
- It was a disappointing season for the Sound Tigers, but the hot streak near the end offers some hope. [Newsday]
- The NHL has loosened COVID-19 protocols for teams that have vaccinated completely 85% of its members. [NHL | The Athletic] The Islanders already have met that threshold. [Newsday]
- I have to wonder how much of the past month’s malaise may have been due to the players coming off their second shots at various points throughout the month.
#Isles meet the NHL's 85 percent vaccination rate and will be eligible for the relaxed COVID-19 protocols in the playoffs announced today by NHL/NHLPA.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) May 9, 2021
Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Penguins winning a goaltending duel over the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins losing in regulation to the New York Rangers, and the Capitals coming back to beat in overtime the Philadelphia Flyers.
- The Penguins’ win helped them clinch first place in the East. They needed a little more help to solidify it, though. [NHL]
- The Caps needed to win their last two games in regulation to take first place, and they went to overtime last night. But their victory locked them into second place. [NHL]
- The Nashville Predators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, clinching them a playoff spot and a first-round date with... the Carolina Hurricanes. [NHL]
- Nashville clinching means that the Dallas Stars, one year after reaching the Stanley Cup Final, have been eliminated. But they did not have either Tyler Seguin or Ben Bishop for most of the season. [NHL]
- The Toronto Maple Leafs clinched the North Division title by taking down the Montreal Canadiens. But they have work yet to be done. [Sportsnet]
- Connor McDavid had a hand in all four of the Edmonton Oilers’ goals in their win over the Vancouver Canucks, putting him at 100 points through 53 games. Insane. It locked the Oilers into second place in the North Division. [NHL]
- McDavid’s performance has been “Gretzky-like.” [The Athletic] And he did it on Hockey Night in Canada! [Sportsnet]
- John Tortorella’s contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets has expired and he has decided that he will not return. It is unclear if GM Jarmo Kekalainen planned to extend him, anyway. [The Athletic]
- P.K. Subban had been in COVID-19 protocol since mid-April, but the Devils announced that he was done for the season. [NHL]