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Islanders & NHL Playoff News: Grades for the defensemen and goalies

Almost every team has won a game already in these playoffs.

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New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs
Off to Helsinki.
Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images

We are only five days into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but there is only one team that has not won a game: the Nashville Predators. They and the Boston Bruins each fell behind 2-0 in the series as play shifted to their home arenas. The Bruins, though, handily won last night’s Game 3 over the Carolina Hurricanes to pull back into their series.

The Preds will look to do the same this afternoon and evening in a Saturday playoff hockey dream. Games 3 basically all day long, with Rangers-Penguins as the primetime matchup and Flames-Stars as the nightcap. What a beautiful way to spend a rained-out weekend afternoon and night.

Islanders News

  • As we noted the other day, the Bridgeport Islanders moved on to the second round thanks to Aatu Räty’s overtime-winning and series-clinching goal, his first in North America. [CT Post] That second-round series, against the Charlotte Checkers, starts Tuesday in Bridgeport. (It’s a best-of-five, with the lower seed hosting the first two games and the higher seed hosting the last three.) [B-Isles]
  • Hear from Räty, and peep Michael Dal Colle!
  • Mathew Barzal will represent Team Canada at the World Championships in Helsinki. [Twitter] Kieffer Bellows will do the same for Team USA. [Team USA]
  • Kevin Kurz has grades for the defensemen and goalies. Noah Dobson and Ilya Sorokin earned A’s as they emerged as core Islanders. [The Athletic]
  • Is the window closed? This guy’s just asking questions. He doesn’t want to answer them; he just wants to ask them. [NBCSports]

Playoffs

Last night’s playoff scores include no close scores, and only one game was ever close: the Lightning-Leafs game. While all the series have been tight so far, the games mostly have not been.

  • Casey DeSmith, who missed all of last year’s playoffs with injury, forcing Tristan Jarry to stew in great embarrassment, will miss the rest of this postseason after just one game. He had core muscle surgery. So it’s Louis Domingue’s crease until Jarry gets back or until the Rangers eliminate the Penguins, whichever comes first. [NHL]
  • For the Game 3 win, the Bruins went with Jeremy Swayman over Linus Ullmark—not as much because of Ullmark’s play so much as it was because Boston needed a fire under their asses. [TSN]
  • Meanwhile, the Predators, without Juuse Saros and with David Rittich virtually unplayable, in Game 2 turned to third-stringer Connor Ingram, who made 49 of 51 saves in a heartbreaking OT loss. He kept Nashville in it. [TSN]
  • The Boston Saints already have incurred their first two fines of the postseason. Bruce Cassidy is a good coach, but man he’s never gonna live that one down. [TSN]
  • DGB ranks the teams under the most pressure to win a Stanley Cup this season. I bet you can guess no. 1. [The Athletic]
  • The 2006 Hurricanes see a lot of themselves in the 2022 Hurricanes. [The Athletic]
  • Everyone knows the The Office-Wayne Gretzky meme; even people like me, who have watched maybe three episodes of the show. Well, the Great One did it on TNT’s broadcast. [NHL]
  • TNT is playing double-duty, covering two leagues’ playoffs, and the Stanley Cup ended up on NBA on TNT. Shaq raised it, but Charles Barkley wisely kept his hands off. [NHL]

Other Stuff

  • Former Weird Islander Jay Pandolfo is the next coach of the Boston University men’s ice hockey team, where he played before turning pro. [Boston Globe]
  • The Arizona Coyotes have officially agreed to play next season’s games in Arizona State’s tiny arena. But Nassau Coliseum wasn’t NHL-caliber. What a league this is.
  • I feel bad for Robin Lehner being stuck in the middle of all this, but it is incredibly funny that the Vegas Golden Knights keep putting themselves in goalie controversies. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • For all those wringing their hands over Andy Greene’s cap overage penalty, only six NHL teams did not get hit with a cap overage penalty for next season, so everyone was doing it. That said, I hate that the circumventing Lightning somehow missed that penalty. [DFO]