Top Shelf – Islanders Daily : 4/29/2013


Marc-Andre Fleury

be the difference maker?. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Middletown, N. J. – Play time is over. The regular season has officially been entered into the record book and with it, 16 teams now have an opportunity at lifting the Stanley Cup in June. The Islanders limp to the finish line is now forgotten and the team gets renewed life and a clean slate with which to start.

That journey to a fifth Stanley Cup will begin Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center with game one of a best of seven series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Jarome Iginla, Kris Letang and all the rest that come with them will all be ready for Dan Blysma’s group as the Pens will try to continue their amazing season after wrapping it up Saturday with an 8-4 win over Carolina.

The Islanders will be heavy underdogs in this David versus Goliath matchup and might have to rely on some old friendly karma, such as their 3-0 playoff series record against the Penguins or David Volek‘s overtime game winner in 1993.

Look for our full series primer tomorrow here at and complete playoff coverage as we take all the way to the finish line of announcing the champion and best team in the NHL this season.


  • First round picks from bust to boon from our contributor, Chris Triantfilis.
  • One last look at a parody interview with Evgeni Nabokov
  • Kevin Schultz writes about potential traffic problems for game three
  • Official release from the Islanders on who is with the big club for the playoffs.

Around The Twitter-Sphere

  • Perfectly said Adam. This is the tournament that trumps all other in professional sports and it all starts on Tuesday evening, alternating every day between the Western and Eastern conferences. It’s the time of year where dreams can become reality.
  • I think this is a feeling that most Islander fans have and they should. Be confident in your team, cheer them loudly and never stop believeing. If you would have asked a Kings or Devils fan if they thought they would be in the Stanley Cup last year the answer more often than not would have been a resounding no.
  • Matchups in my mind are overrated. You have to beat the best to be the best so why not get it over right off the bat? All roads to the cup are going to more than likely lead through the same city.
  • You and me both Ryan! I am a person whose nerves get the better of him also so this is going to be real interesting to see me navigate Islanders playoffs for the first time in six years. I somehow think I will be much more amped than I was for the Stanley Cup years in my more advanced age. HaHa

Around The NHL

  •  Ottawa defeated Boston 4-2 last night at TD Bank Garden to officially close out the regular season. With the team welcoming back Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson and coached by the likely Jack Adams award winner, the Senators are going to give someone real problems this post season.
  • The rest of the Eastern Conference playoff picture is now set and the matchups are below. We showed the West yesterday morning in Top Shelf.

(2) Montreal Canadiens vs (7) Ottawa Senators

(3) Washington Capitals vs (6) New York Rangers

(4) Boston Bruins vs (5) Toronto Maple Leafs

Keep it here for all your playoff needs at EyesOnIsles. As a special bonus, Rich Diaz, senior editor and myself have each chosen a Western Conference series to preview here and recap every couple of games. Rich will handle the St.Louis Blues march to the cup and I will take the Chicago Blackhawks. Look for those series primers today with comments from each of those respective site editors on what they feel the keys to their team winning is. 

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Thanks for reading as always