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Islanders & NHL Playoff News: Avalanche waste MacKinnon hat trick; old UFAs of note

Also: Looking at the toughest foes the Lightning have faced, two of them being the Islanders.

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New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
This is that Spiderman meme isn’t it
Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

Two more games tonight as the second round continues with the Battle of Albert and the Hurricanes playing...somebody. Last night’s series isn’t over yet either.

But first, some Islanders-type things...

Islanders Links

  • Rehashing because things are slow: 7 facts about Lane Lambert. [Isles]
  • Perfect coincidental timing: As Frans Nielsen announces his retirement, the newest Weird Islanders podcast has Dan and Mike talking to Steve about Weird Frans, Valtteri Filppula. [LHH]
  • Revisiting the Lightning’s 10 toughest opponents during their 10 consecutive series wins: The 2020-21 Islanders obviously top the list. [Raw Charge]
  • Not gonna lie — and this isn’t just the old man in me talking, I swear — even if my own child becomes an eSports “star,” I’m never going to go somewhere just to watch people play video games. [Isles]
  • According to CapFriendly, the Islanders signed forward Ruslan Iskhakov to an ELC just ahead of the deadline to do so. The 5’-7” Iskhakov had 25 points in 29 games for Adler Mannheim (Steamroller) in Germany’s DEL this past season.

NHL News

Just one series in play last night, which allowed the league to make Avalanche-Blues slightly less inhumanely late. If you’d written off the series, well you didn’t miss a great game but you missed some great drama:

The Avalanche blew a 3-0 lead as the Blues tied it late. Then Nathan MacKinnon completed a hat trick and would-be late game-winner with THIS (note the position of his blade on the actual shot...not easy):

Then after they cleared the hats off the ice, the Blues tied it in the final minute with the sixth attacker (after Gabriel Landeskog had one of those golden chances to finish things into the empty net before Justin Faulk cut him off). The Blues then forced a Game 6 with a “why not?” shot by Tyler Bozak from long range.

Another way of illustrating how the OT winner was not a, um, not a high-percentage shot:

#97 Section:

  • The Oilers have the chance to advance tonight. Connor McDavid is in another galaxy right now. [TSN]
  • Or, here are a lot of wasted words about whether he’s the “best” or the “greatest” or the whatever. [TSN]
  • But here’s an argument for how McDavid helps the Oilers even when not on the ice. [Sportsnet]

Elsewhere:

  • Looking at top UFAs and some rumors and such. [Sportsnet]
  • Jaromir Jagr, who owns the team, is leaning toward playing a {rubs eyes, squints} 35th pro hockey season. [NHL]
  • Joe Thornton, who should maybe buy a team, is unsure about playing in a 25th season. [NHL]
  • A contract to keep Martin St. Louis as Canadiens coach is expected soon. [TSN]
  • Andrew Brunette would like to remain as Panthers head coach, but GM Bill Zito says wait just a minute, we’ll do a thorough review. [NHL]
  • 12 out of 12 NHL execs and coaches or whatever picked the Flames to get past the Oilers. Now that they’re trailing 3-1, what’s changed? [Athletic]
  • The Senators could deal the 7th overall pick. Cool story bro. [NHL]
  • The brilliant and totally upstanding Tom Wilson had knee surgery, which will sadly deprive NHL fans of seeing his skill and creativity at the beginning of next season. [NHL | Sportsnet]