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Islanders & NHL News: So many playoff series to watch (but not ours)

As they break up, the Islanders reflect on tough love for youth from Barry Trotz, and Zdeno Chara’s legacy.

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Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders - Game Four
The future.
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL playoffs are here! No, the New York Islanders aren’t in it, but it should still be wildly entertaining as 16 well-qualified first-round combatants go at it.

And they’re doing it old school, with four series starting tonight followed by the other four starting tomorrow. (Alas, it’s not ‘80s old school, when the West/Campbell Conference would play one night, the East/Wales Conference the other, for two weeks of non-stop delight.)

What series will you be following? Who are your rational and emotional picks for the Cup? Answer our poll questions or weigh in and comments. I’ll be following along intently, when not shuttling kids to damned softball, baseball, or dance class.

Poll

Which 2022 1st-round playoff series will you follow most?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    The Glen Wesley: Bruins vs. Hurricanes
    (19 votes)
  • 47%
    The Andreychuk: Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
    (121 votes)
  • 18%
    The Jagr: Smurfs vs. Penguins
    (48 votes)
  • 5%
    The Other Jagr: Panthers vs. Capitals
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    The Duchene: Avalanche vs. Predators
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    The Iginla: Flames vs. Stars
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    The Gretzky: Oilers vs. Kings
    (18 votes)
  • 7%
    The Roloson: Wild vs. Blues
    (19 votes)
253 votes total Vote Now

Islanders News

  • The Isles had breakup day, reflected on their season and professed continuing belief in each other and their vaguely defined core. [Islanders]
  • Five offseason priorities for the Islanders. [Athletic]
  • Anders Lee, who lived through some healthy scratches himself as a pup, discussed the tough love and development shown for Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows. [Newsday]
  • Kyle Palmieri, too, reflected on his own journey, while Wahlstrom said he appreciates Barry Trotz’s tough love: “I take the information in and I try to use it.” [Post]
  • More on those Mathew Barzal quotes from the other day: “The Island is home. This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win.” [Post]
  • Ilya Sorokin is poised to be the Islanders’ backbone going forward. [Newsday]
  • Season over, so injured players are finally allowed to speak: Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield are both on the mend. [Isles]
  • Barry Trotz on Zdeno Chara: “If he continues to play, which he can, we’ll be better for it. And if he decides he’s going to spend time with his family, he’s left the game in a great spot.” [Isles]
  • Meanwhile, Bridgeport finally returning to the playoffs (Game 1 is tonight in Providence) creates a chance to look at some Islanders prospects in high-pressure situations. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

Yesterday’s NHL scores were...wait, the regular season wasn’t over? It’s true, the Jets and Kraken played out the Covid-postponement string, and Winnipeg won.

  • It could be a “crazy” playoffs — and certainly a crazy first round — with offense up and the East bringing eight 100-point teams. [NHL]
  • A breezy rundown of each series from Justin Bourne. [Sportsnet]
  • Determining Mark Scheifele’s future should be a Jets priority. [Sportsnet]
  • With a Stanley Cup drought that is older than 80% of the league’s active franchises, are the Toronto Maple Leafs cursed? We can certainly hope so! [CBC]
  • NHL injury updates: Alex Ovechkin is supposed to return for Game 1 for the Capitals. [NHL] Frederik Andersen is not supposed to be ready for Game 1 for the Hurricanes. | Islanders playoff hero Tristan Jarry will miss at least the Penguins’ first two games. | Artemi Panarin should be ready for Game 1 for the Smurfs. | After missing 21 games, Aaron Ekblad “could” be ready for the Panthers’ Game 1.
  • It was great fun to watch the Leafs flame out again in last year’s first round, but they were missing the Kid Who Didn’t Win the Calder due to his scary Game 1 injury. Fortunately, he’s okay now and he reflects on it with great color and texture. (I kid...you can’t deprogram the robot.) [NHL]
  • John Cooper is ready to eliminate his dad’s (former) favorite team. [NHL]
  • His opposite on the Leafs bench said it could get “borderline violent.” [TSN | Sportsnet]
  • Fans paid tribute as Guy Lafleur lay in state at the Canadiens’ home arena. [NHL]
  • After seven seasons including six of tanking and missing the playoffs, the Red Wings have fired Jeff Blashill. [TSN]

Poll

Who do think will win the Stanley Cup in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    (21 votes)
  • 27%
    Florida Panthers
    (64 votes)
  • 5%
    Carolina Hurricanes
    (13 votes)
  • 22%
    Colarado Avalanche
    (52 votes)
  • 25%
    Calgary Flames
    (59 votes)
  • 0%
    Boston Bruins
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Minnesota Wild
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    St. Louis Blues
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Dallas Stars
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Edmonton Oilers
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Washington Capitals
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Los Angeles Kings
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Nashville Predators
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Toronto Maple Leafs
    (6 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now