We are nearly halfway through the Stanley Cup Playoffs now, which means we are that much closer to finding out which of our hated rivals will make the Stanley Cup Final so that we can mentally adjust accordingly.
I say this because, of course, the Tampa Bay Lightning have already advanced, and because the New York Rangers last night evened their series with the Carolina Hurricanes. This is what we get for depending on the state of North Carolina.
In the meantime, look out for a new episode of Weird Islanders! about a guy whose nickname had the word “Weird” in it and featuring a guy who definitely is not writing this sentence right now. (It’s my first-ever appearance on a podcast, so be gentle.)
- Regular Frans Nielsen officially (but tearfully) announced his retirement from hockey when Denmark was eliminated from the Worlds. Enjoy the time off, friend, and please come back around soon. [TSN]
- Kieffer Bellows and Team USA advanced to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Switzerland. [ESPN] Keep track of your Worlds-playing Islanders. [Tracker]
- Stan Fischler this week profiled the “terrific” Pierre Turgeon, a former first-overall pick who was dominant before some schmuck named “Dale” altered his career. [Maven’s Memories]
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: The Islanders, with an OT- and Cup-winning goal from Bob Nystrom, win their first of four straight Stanley Cups (1980); also, Josh Bailey converted on a gift from Islanders Playoff Hero Tristan Jerry to win Game 5 in double OT in Pittsburgh.
- A great piece from Mark Lazerus: Local broadcasters live and die with their teams, but they don’t get to call their teams’ biggest moments. And he illustrates that off the top with a story of Brendan Burke, calling a lacrosse game on June 25, 2021, with an iPad set up in front of him displaying the Islanders’ biggest game—Game 7 in Tampa—in forty years.
Playoffs and Elsewhere
Last night’s playoff scores saw the Rangers take a lead over Carolina they would not relinquish, and the Oilers allowed the Flames to tie it on the Mike Smithiest Mike Smith gaffe of all time before taking back a regulation win.
Mike Smith immediately looking for someone else to blame is the absolute best pic.twitter.com/4CQ4ZZY2wa— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 25, 2022
Here's @EdmontonOilers Mike Smith on the long range goal "I can laugh now. I don't think there has been a time in my career where I lost a puck and had no idea where it went."— Gene Principe (@GenePrincipe) May 25, 2022
- David Perron received a fine for cross-checking Nazem Kadri during Game 4. We shall see what stupid things Kadri gets the Blues to do tonight. [NHL]
- Speaking of Kadri, he has had to deal with some heinous, vile racism from St. Louis fans in the wake of his injuring Jordan Binnington. [Sportsnet]
- The Florida Panthers’ elimination continued the President’s Trophy curse—only one of the last ten Cup winners also won the President’s Trophy, and only one other even made a Conference Final. The majority lost in the second round. [Sportsnet]
- John Tortorella interviewed to be the next coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. I, for one, think that such an unstructured team could use a heavy-handed taskmaster like Torts. Or, as Dom wrote when he clipped it: “Please-please-please!” [NHL]