Astoria, NY – News on the New York Islanders front was quiet yesterday, as the team and its fans were still processing the fact that team captain Mark Streit would test the free agent market. Despite the fact that Streit and the Isles could not agree on a new contract for the veteran defenseman, the offseason must move on, and so it did.
There is speculation that the Philadelphia Flyers will make a push to sign Streit to the four- or five-year deal he’s reportedly seeking, rumors that make sense considering the Flyers’ lack of blue line depth. Even if Streit ends up joining the Islanders’ Atlantic Division rival, there will likely be no hard feelings when he makes his return to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum as a member of a visiting team.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow has not tipped his hand with regards to the rest of his offseason plans, which is no surprise; Snow is among the league’s best when it comes to keeping his intentions secret.
The Isles need to upgrade at right wing – for the sake of finding John Tavares a top-flight line mate – and on defense, owing to the departure of Streit from Long Island.
Names like Thomas Vanek, David Clarkson and Pascal Dupuis have been floated as possible replacements for Brad Boyes, who is not likely to be back with the Islanders for the 2013-14 NHL season. In addition to trade targets for their top line, the Isles have options both in-house and in free agency when it comes to defensemen.
The rest of the summer should be an exciting time for Islanders fans, as Snow has the assets to trade for or sign the players needed to take this team to the next level. And if all external options are exhausted, the wealth of prospects in the farm system can provide an adequate boost.
Islanders Summer Report Card: Matt Carkner (EyesOnIsles)
Isles Should Stay the Course, Continue Ahead With Rebuild (Isles Optimism)
Islanders Top 25 under 25: At #18, Kevin Poulin, Goalie Stock of Unknown Value (Lighthouse Hockey)
Bruins’ Domination of Penguins Has Been Very Penguin-Like (New York Times)
Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere
— Jordan Shippee (@shippwrecked17) June 6, 2013
This is what playoff hockey is all about from a fan perspective. Overtime hockey in the postseason is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because the action is as intense as fans will experience all year, and a curse because sleep is often compromised over the course of the playoffs. Has anyone started a petition to have businesses offer sick time specifically for NHL postseason-related absences?
— Roland Bigornia (@helloRow) June 6, 2013
As the hockey world saw when Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson painfully blocked a shot in his team’s series against the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell suffered a broken leg after laying out to block a shot in last night’s Eastern Conference finals Game 3. We all know hockey players are tough, but incidents like this serve as reminders of just how tough they really are.
— Cheese. (@CJFlats) June 6, 2013
I’m not saying that the Pittsburgh Penguins have a great chance to come back from down 0-3 in their series against the Bruins, but crazier things have happened. The Bruins know both sides of the coin with regards to comebacks: they blew a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, but they also overcame a three-goal deficit in Game 7 of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs this year.
At least Los Angeles Kings centerman Tyler Toffoli has a sense of humor about the picture that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated…
Last Night In The NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins (BOS leads 3-0)
The Bruins won a double-overtime playoff slugfest last night, defeating the top-seeded Penguins 2-1 and taking a commanding 3-0 Eastern Conference finals series lead.
After allowing the first goal of the game in the opening minutes of the first period, the Penguins settled down, content to bang bodies with the Bruins in an increasingly physical game. Pittsburgh would get a goal from Chris Kunitz to tie the game in the second period, as he roofed a Paul Martin pass over Boston goalie Tuukka Rask’s right shoulder.
The teams battled for the next 75+ minutes of game time without surrendering another goal, until Bergeron’s game-winning tally.
The Penguins have yet to win a game in the series, meaning they have a difficult road ahead if they want to advance to the Stanley Cup finals. Only four teams have come back from 3-0 series deficits in NHL playoff history, so the odds are not in Pittsburgh’s favor.
Game 4 will be played Friday at 8:00 p.m. at TD Garden, with the Bruins looking for a sweep.
Penguins vs. Bruins game highlights…
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL playoff coverage and Isles offseason news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.