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Islanders & NHL Playoff News: Stanley Cup Final opens tonight in Denver

Tampa Bay-Colorado figures to be one for the ages—which means one team is going to sweep the other.

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Colorado Avalanche
Good luck to old friend Devon Toews, playing in his first Stanley Cup Final game tonight.
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Tonight, the Stanley Cup Final begins.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, one series away from a three-peat, open the series on the road and face perhaps their toughest challenge yet. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche, finally free of their second-round demons, look ready to win a Cup.

Me? I’m just interested to see how I do writing with so few ‘s’s, as this is the first-ever Stanley Cup Final in which neither team’s nickname is an ‘s’ plural.

Islanders News

  • Newsday is preparing a special magazine for print subscribers commemorating the Islanders’ upcoming 50th season, and they want your memories to help fill it. [Newsday]
  • This (Yester)Day in Isles History: The Islanders draft Mike Bossy in the first round and John Tonelli in the second (1977).
  • I’ll include this here, since we might be involved in it: what scouts think about Shane Wright and other top prospects in the 2022 draft. [The Athletic]

Cup Final

  • One massive x-factor for the Lightning is the imminent return of superstar center Brayden Point, who looks ready to play tonight. [Sportsnet]
  • On the other side of the ice, Cale Makar stands out among even the best defensemen in the NHL. [Sportsnet]
  • A little gamesmanship, hmm? Colorado has not yet named its Game 1 starting goalie. [NHL]
  • The Avalanche—or more accurately, this core of the Avalanche—have experienced some highs and lows through the last few years. Gabe Landeskog has led the away all the while. [Sportsnet]
  • Avs coach Jared Bednar wants to take away the Cup from the Bolts’ Jon Cooper. [TSN]
  • Cooper obviously carries a well-deserved reputation as one of the league’s top coaches. But Bednar has risen up the ranks, as well. [Sportsnet]

Elsewhere

  • Kevin Weekes broke the story in the late afternoon, and by the evening, the Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they hired former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new coach. [Knights on Ice | NHL]
  • Weekes, the king, also reported that the Philadelphia Flyers have offered John Tortorella their head coaching job, and they are in “late-stage negotiations,” but the deal is not yet final. I would have been shocked if Barry Trotz looked at that roster and wanted to work with it, but I’m glad he will be out of the division for now. [BSH]
  • It sounds like the Penguins have chosen (wisely) to prioritize re-signing Kris Letang over Evgeni Malkin, but they still want to re-sign Malkin, too. [TSN]
  • Scott Powers makes the case for, and Long Island–native Mark Lazerus makes the case against, the Chicago Blackhawks trading Alex DeBrincat. Either way, the ‘Hawks are seriously considering it, and I would love me some DeBrincat. [For | Against]
  • I had no idea it was even in doubt, but the Vancouver Canucks will extend a qualifying offer to RFA Brock Boeser rather than let him walk as a UFA. [NHL]
  • Goalie Carter Hutton, who suffered an ankle injury early this season and never returned, announced his retirement from hockey. [TSN]
  • Jim “Bearcat” Murray, former Calgary Flames trainer, passed away recently. According to this article, he is the only trainer to have a plus-minus of +1, and it tells the story of how. [Sportsnet]