Okay, well the Lightning have come back and tied the East Final against the Rangers, so that’s good. We shall see what Game 5 in New York holds.
In our world, not much is going on. But look out for a new Weird Islanders later this morning!
- This Day in Isles History: Billy Smith wins the Vézina Trophy (1982), and the Islanders drafted Bobby Nystrom and Billy Harris (1972) and Pat LaFontaine (1983).
- This (Yester)Day in Isles History: Bryan Trottier wins the Calder Trophy, Denis Potvin wins his first of three Norris Trophies, becoming the first player not named Bobby Orr to win the prize in eight seasons (1976).
- ‘Tis the season: The Athletic’s Mock Draft has the Islanders selecting a left-handed defenseman from Sweden, Lian Bichsel.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning came out and early on stepped on the New York Rangers. [NHL]
- He took warmups, but Ryan Strome ultimately did not play for New York. [NHL]
- Brayden Point was also out again for Tampa, but he does sound close to a return. [NHL]
- That was the Lightning that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing and that we saw all the last two playoff runs: stingy, suffocating defense, elite goaltending to block whatever does come through, and a deadly counterattack. (Hint: it’s the same formula that made the Isles successful the last few seasons.) They have their swagger back. [NHL]
- On the other hand, the inexperienced Rangers find themselves in a new position. In their previous two series, yes, they fell behind. But that takes some of the pressure off a young team to go play their game, and they have had success with it. They haven’t yet blown a series lead and had to get back up for the next one as they now have to do. [NHL]
- Kevin Weekes, Stefan Matteau, and Mike Richter all surprised the fans at the Rangers’ watch party. To highlight something Mike and Dan said on the most recent Islanders Anxiety, I bet that only about a quarter of the fans of that tourist trap team probably even recognized them. [NHL]
- While they possess two of the top players on the planet, the Edmonton Oilers were simply too flawed, lacking depth at defense and help on goaltending. [Sportsnet]
- The Boston Bruins’ firing of Bruce Cassidy led Fluto Shinzawa to one conclusion: Their championship window has closed. [The Athletic]
- Cassidy’s demanding style reportedly took its toll on the players over his six seasons as coach. [The Athletic]
- Meanwhile, David Pastrnak saw how GM Don Sweeney treated his two best friends on the team, Torey Krug and David Krejci, not trying very hard to keep them around when their contracts expired. Pastrnak may not want to extend after this season if Sweeney is the GM, which could trigger a full rebuild. [The Athletic]
- And through all of that, Patrice Bergeron’s decision becomes even less clear. Why would he tough out another season if they aren’t going to chase a Cup? [The Athletic]
- Evander Kane does not know if he will be an Oiler next year. But everybody wants him to return, it sounds like. [NHL]
- Paul Stastny likely will be headed to market and not returning to the Winnipeg Jets. He wants to chase a Stanley Cup. [TSN]
- Seattle Kraken goalie Chris Driedger suffered a torn ACL at the Worlds and will be out seven-nine months. [TSN] That timeline means he’ll miss the start of the season. [NHL]
- Jack Roslovic signed a two-year extension with his hometown Columbus Blue Jackets. [NHL]
- P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils won the King Clancy Trophy for on- and off-ice leadership and humanitarianism. [NHL]
- The Montréal Canadiens have hired Marie-Philip Poulin, the undisputed best women’s player in the world, as a player-development consultant. [Sportsnet]
- The Athletic’s annual broadcaster survey came out, and the Islanders no longer hold the top spot because apparently, Butchie is too much of a homer, unlike any other announcer—definitely not Joe Micheletti, who happens to be part of a broadcast team ranked higher (if that indicates the strength of these rankings).