How sickening is it that, for the third season in a row, the last team the Islanders see is the Lightning, but the Islanders are not the last team the Lightning see?
The New York Islanders last night completed the home-and-home sweep of the Washington Capitals—in convincing fashion, might I add—and tonight end their season against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs the last two seasons and went on to win Stanley Cups the next series. I mean, you know them.
It has been a disappointing season, to say the least. After all, the Lightning aren’t ending the Islanders' season this year in the playoffs; they’re doing it because the schedule-maker said so.
But I hope it was merely a bump in the road rather than a trend. This will be an important offseason for GM Lou Lamoriello, and I pray he has a few tricks up his sleeve. In the meantime, they’re essentially locked into 20th in the league, so might as well go out and try to end the season with a win.
FIGs go here. You’re all just playing for fun, though, because zack779 wrapped up the championship. Congrats to Zack and thank you to Clarence for keeping track and getting up the threads. Clarence will have a more formal announcement at some point soon, too.
About last night:
- Noah Dobson hit 50 points—just the second Islanders defenseman to do it in this millennium and one of only two Islanders defenseman to do it at age 22, the other being Denis Potvin—and Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson will duke it out tonight for leading point-scorer. [LHH]
- Barry Trotz expected his team to finish out the season playing like pros. [Newsday] Well, last night was pretty convincing. He wanted Varly to get the shutout, though. [Newsday]
- ‘Twas a night of special teams domination by the Islanders. [3 Takeaways]
- Keys to tonight’s game, brought to you by the European bank sponsoring an arena on Long Island. [Islanders]
- Sebastian Aho, or “Sea-Bass,” as he’s known around the locker room, holds an uncertain future because he is a Group VI UFA this summer. [Newsday]
- (En français but you can translate it) 800 people turned out to honor Mike Bossy. [Journal de Montréal | Sportsnet (en anglais)] And here is a French video tribute to Bossy. [RDS]
Last night’s NHL scores include a surprising loss by the Lightning to the Blue Jackets.
- It really might be true this time: With Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang both set to become UFAs this summer, this could be the Penguins core’s last hurrah. [NHL]
- Relatedly, and because now the on-ice action won’t matter, here’s a look at the top UFAs this summer. Lou has got some cap space to work with; let’s see what he can do. [Sportsnet]
- The Minnesota Wild say that they don’t know which of their two goalies will start Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues. But it’s gotta be Marc-Andre Fleury, right? [NHL]
- Martin St. Louis was the latest guest on 32 Thoughts. Also, Elliotte Friedman tackles a play-in tournament. [32 Thoughts Written]
- Long-time LA King Dustin Brown will retire when the Kings’ season ends. [NHL | LA Kings]
- Pierre LeBigBoy asked GMs if it was time to eliminate the shootout, and there was a majority in favor of it—including Lamoriello—with some caveats. [The Athletic]
- 30 years ago Sunday, the NHL experienced something it never has before or since: four Games 7 in one night. Just the kind of historical factoid that DGB can wax about. [The Athletic]
- Terry Crisp, an original Islander who has landed and performed well in just about every hockey job possible, is retiring as the inaugural Nashville Predators’ color commentator after the first round of the playoffs. But man does he have some stories to tell—or, perhaps more accurately, do other people have stories about him. [The Athletic]