Who’s excited for the Stanley Cup final? I’m excited that it will be angst-free, and a nice matchup of the top team and the back-to-back defending champs.
It all starts...Wednesday?...and then Game 2 isn’t till Saturday? Wow, that’s a long layoff for the Avalanche. At least after that, it proceeds with games every other night as Bossy intended.
Check back later this morning for the newest Islanders Anxiety podcast, as Dan and Mike revel in the suddenly swift and delicious demise of our rivals.
After the week-ending announcement that the Islanders were letting go of assistants John Gruden and Jim Hiller, GM Lou Lamoriello gave a full press conference about what the team is looking for and how— haha just kidding, there was one sentence.
- As the Post notes, that makes at least three assistant spots to fill, and the status of the goaltending department still undetermined. [Post]
- Captain Anders Lee visited the 43 Oak Foundation and discussed leadership. [Isles]
- (Yester)day in Isles History: Mike Bossy won the Calder as top rookie in the NHL. [Isles]
Playoffs and Free Agent Things
- Gabriel Landeskog speaks extensively and thoughtfully about the road to becoming a playoff team that can go somewhere, about mastering the mental grind of the playoffs, and going to be each night dreaming of lifting the Cup while knowing there’s much more to do. [NHL]
- Why couldn’t the Rangers get past the Lightning? Lots of reasons, really, but here are five. [NHL]
- Pending RFA Kaapo Kakko’s surprise scratch in Game 6: does it put his future up in the air, or was it one of those “scratched Anders Lee for some reason” decisions that will be forgotten? [Post]
- Tale of the Tape: Lightning vs. Avalanche. [Sportsnet]
- The Lightning have “a pretty special group,” one must admit. Though it would be just a threepeat, if they win won more round, I’d consider them the first real dynasty since the Isles. [NHL]
- So they’ll [insert next cliche] “do whatever it takes” to try to make that happen. [Sportsnet]
- Injury updates: Brayden Point is very probable to appear in the series, while Nazim Kadri and Andrew Cogliano each could appear for the Avalanche. [NHL]
- Not to make this a Smurfs-news dump, but Vitali Kravtsov’s agent indicates the prodigal Ranger will return from the KHL on a one-way, one-year deal. [TSN]
- Looking ahead: Some superstar 2023 UFAs like Nathan MacKinnon will be eligible to sign extensions this summer, and their decisions could rock the league. [Sportsnet]
- And this summer, what should the Oilers do with RFA Jessi Puljujarvi? [Sportsnet]