Middletown, N. J. – The Western Conference is all set. The Eastern Conference? Not so much. When yesterday’s results rolled in, fans of the teams on the left side of the map learned of the identity of their first round opponent. We in the East will know at about 9:30 EST, when the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins will officially close the curtain on the 2013 National Hockey League regular season.
For the Islanders, the postseason comes down to two perilous first round possibilities: If Ottawa picks up a point tonight in Boston, then the Isles will face off against Pittsburgh come Wednesday at Consol Energy Center. If Boston wins in regulation, then Isles will face those same Bruins at TD Bank Garden. (NOTE: There is a Black Keys concert Tuesday at Consol and the Bruins need two days off before playoffs, preventing those series from starting with the other Eastern teams)
Keep yourself locked, loaded and ready to roll with the staff at EyesOnIsles as we take you through the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, all the way to final minute and the hoisting of Lord Stanley. We will have our first round Islanders series preview, followed by outstanding opinion/editorial pieces covering the playoffs, our daily Top Shelf, post game Dump and Chase and as a special bonus, each staff member will choose a non-Islander series to cover for you right here at Eyes.
- In case you missed this absolute masterpiece on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we forgive you. But it’s a must read. And let’s face it, all you are doing now is surfing the internet while eating breakfast anyway. Feel free to comment away right below the article itself.
- Al Daniel writes about how the playoff push has brought out the best in Kyle Okposo.
- Nice work here by Eyes contributor Chris Triantifilis on re-visiting pre-season predictions.
- Sam McCaig with his final power rankings of the season.
Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere
So fellow Isles fans are we the biggest Bruins fans tonight or what? #Isles
— Joe Signorile (@joeytick) April 28, 2013
- It’s sort of like ‘pick your poison’ Joe. The Bruins and Penguins both present their own brand of challenges to the Islanders. We will cover this more in depth once the series is set and we release our primer. I will say this however…It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. We have seen it before and will definitely see it again this year in one or more of the 8 series.
I don’t wanna play the #Isles first round! Cmonnn
— Lauren Schaper (@Penguins_Girl) April 28, 2013
- A Penguins fan actually giving the Isles their due….Although, I admit, this could be a sarcastic tweet, as the one thing I abhor most about social media is the lack of emotion you can fully convey. If it’s any consolation, we are not that excited about seeing the Pens either! Ha
— Donovan Brooks (@donovanbrooks) April 28, 2013
- Thanks for pointing this out Donovan. With everyone keying on the final 3 games of the regular season, we easily forget how good this team was for seven weeks. They can absolutely get back to that level with the time off : bringing with it needed rest, recuperation, and practice.
— Mario Gazzaneo (@MarioGazz) April 28, 2013
- I loved PA in an Islanders uniform and thought he had tremendous chemistry with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Brad Boyes has not exactly continued that same magic with the duo, although full season projections of 20-45-65 for 1mm is not too shabby for a cost conscious Isles front office. Maybe he will take you up on your offer Mario and buy you a beer at the game. Good stuff.
Around The NHL – Playoff Edition
- Too many games to recap one by one in the league last night as the regular season completed with the exception of the Boston-Ottawa make-up game tonight at TD Bank Garden. The Western Conference match-ups are set and you can find them below….
(1) Chicago vs (8) Minnesota
(2) Anaheim vs (7) Detroit
(3) Vancouver vs (6) San Jose
(4) St.Louis vs (5) Los Angeles
- The only Eastern Conference match-up set is the 3rd seed Washington Capitals with once again square off in the post with the 6th seed New York Rangers.
- Score one for the little guys! 5’8 Martin St. Louis became the oldest player in NHL history to win a scoring title, finishing with 17-43-60 in 48 games. Congratulations to one of the good guys of the league and a true warrior.
- Alex Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard trophy, handed out annually for leading the league in goals, with 32 in 48 games. He had 23 goals in his last 23 games.
- Craig Anderson of Ottawa led all goaltenders with a 1.69 GAA and .941 save percentage.
Marty….Marty and more Marty…:)
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Coming up today at Eyes is a Tasmanian Devil rant (by yours truly) and a great op/ed piece by contributor Chris Triantfilis.
Tomorrow we debut our Islanders first round series primer.