Middletown, N. J. – And then there was one….series that is. The Boston Bruins completed the improbable last night. No, I don’t mean by just defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, because many gave them a solid chance of doing that. By sweeping them right out of the post-season is another story that no writer, blogger or fan saw coming. Even us here at EyesOnIsles had Boston in six, not four!
Total domination in this series starting at the very beginning of game one with the Bruins frustrating the Penguins and their stable of superstars then just taking control of the series by playing four line shut down hockey. It has to be considered a major disappointment when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin failed to record even a single point in the entire series and a team that averaged 3.5 goals per game in the regular season and over 4 in the playoffs managed 2 in 4 games. Add to that a total power outage on 15 power play opportunities and its not difficult to see why Pittsburgh are heading home for the summer earlier than they would have liked.
One has to now wonder about the future of head coach Dan Bylsma and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, not to mention a contract extension looming for Malkin, who reportedly has huge money on the table to go home and play in the KHL. And what of Jarome Iginla and how he must feel at the present moment? Shunning the Bruins to go compete for the Stanley Cup with Crosby and not only failing to accomplish that goal but having Sidney himself say he would rather play with Chris Kunitz might be a low point for the former Calgary Flames captain.
In Islanders land, all is quiet on the home front………for now. The Roberto Luongo situation is still looming and whispers are coming out about the Rangers still trying to lure Doug Weight across town for an assistant coaching position. We shall see how this all plays out over the next 4 weeks or so.
We began our off-season Q&A tour around the Fansided network yesterday with a look at the Rangers and that will continue all throughout June along with our daily report cards. And don’t forget about our first ever fan contest, where you can win a Michael Grabner speed T-Shirt from Isles Faithful. You can check out the perma-link below for details on how to enter.
- (PERMALINK) Islanders fan contest giveaway (EyesOnIsles)
- Off-season Q&A – New York Rangers (EyesOnIsles)
- Report card : Joe Finley (EyesOnIsles)
- How losing Mark Streit hurts the Islanders (Rant Sports)
- The Hockey Writers checks in on the status of Dan Bylsma (Hockey Writers)
- Penguins mystifying post-season meltdown (Post Gazette)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
— Dennis Pluth (@DenP77) June 8, 2013
- I agree Sid was awful in this series but so were so many of his high scoring teammates as well. He is still arguably the best player in the game and has won a Stanley Cup. I, along with many other fans, don’t like his attitude at times and constant whining, but I will never deny his talent. That being said, I don’t feel he deserves it even based on the regular season either, as the Pens rolled right along without him.
Even waivers will prob have more to offer this summer due to lower cap. Trades may be held back. Its a new look NHL. Enjoy the ride. #Isles
— Wendy Harnett (@WendyHarnettn_) June 8, 2013
- It certainly is Wendy. The NHL this season will not be about unrestricted free agency come July 5 but rather waivers and amnesty buyouts. They will provide plenty of value and bargains out there for an astute general manager to pounce on. And say what you will, Garth Snow has proven himself to be in that group.
— Dan Sposato (@DSpogolf) June 8, 2013
- I agree 1000% Dan. Not to toot my own horn (toot, toot) I called this when the trades were originally made. Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray were just too slow in today’s NHL, I felt, to make a tremendous impact and my first reaction to the Iginla fiasco was that he made the wrong decision. Good call here my man.
— Richard Slate (@RichSlate) June 8, 2013
- Good suggestion Richard. Wait about five years and when at a Boston or Pittsburgh bar, I am sure you can make a few bucks on this question. HaHa
Around The NHL
- One is all the Bruins would need last night as Adam McQuaid scored 5 minutes into the third period and Tuukka Rask turned in another stellar performance, notching his second shutout of the series sending Boston to the Stanley Cup finals against either the Chicago Blackhawks or defending champion Los Angeles Kings. The Bs defense totally dominated this series as the Penguins stars forgot to show up on the biggest stage. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both failed to record a point in the series and Jarome Iginla and James Neal were also kept off the scoresheet. Questions will certainly follow the Pens into the off-season which began approximately 10:00 EST last night.
- The Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to join Boston in the finals tonight at 8 EST as they take a 3-1 series lead into United Center to face the Los Angeles Kings. With a spirited comeback win in game four minus their best overall defenseman in the playoffs, Duncan Keith, the Hawks are brimming with confidence and should be able to wrap things up before their home fans. The original Eyes prediction prior to the start of the series was Blackhawks in seven.