One can dream can’t he? – Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Middletown, N. J. – The weather outside doesn’t exactly feel like summer has begun but if there is one thing that makes me certain it indeed has, it’s the fact there is no Islanders hockey to be played in the near future.
As we begin this Memorial Day weekend, there is no off-season at EyesOnIsles. We will continue to bring you the same outstanding material you are used to all throughout including our mega collaborative season-in-review coming tomorrow, individual player report cards starting June 1, award presentation previews and op/ed pieces from our outstanding stable of writers.
You might be wondering why I included a picture of Buffalo Sabres winger Thomas Vanek above. Even if you aren’t I will explain. The rumor mill starts churning almost immediately following a team’s exit from the post-season tournament and this year is no exception. The Islanders have some decisions to make regarding unrestricted free agents and how to improve a young on the rise lineup. One of those has been that general manager Garth Snow needs to reach into his bag of prospects and make a trade for an established winger, one that fans feel might better fit on the right side of John Tavares. The connection has been vaguely made between JT and Vanek in terms of their personal relationship off the ice and the fact that Vanek himself has commented he would love to play with Tavares. You take it from there. We will cover more of this when we get around to the free agency period and examine more closely. For now, consider it all scuttlebutt.
- Who has the most Hart? We take a look at the MVP race (EyesOnIsles)
- INYMI a great, light funny piece by Mike Willhoft on JT’s journal (EyesOnIsles)
- Just how good can John Tavares be? (Lighthouse Hockey)
- Dan Bylsma? Great coach or product of talented roster? (The Hockey Writers)
- Travis Betts writes about belief in the Isles system (New York Islanders)
- How the Red Wings bottom 4 defenseman are shutting down the Hawks (Michigan Live)
- The Sun reports that the Coyotes saga might finally be drawing to a close (Toronto Sun)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
- I agree Paul that with each Penguins romp the Islanders look better and better for what they were able to accomplish in pushing the Pens in the opening round. I think IF Pittsburgh goes on to glory, they owe the Isles a tremendous amount of gratitude for exposing their flaws and making them realize talent alone is just not enough.
- Nice tweet here from a Pens fan and we appreciate it. It’s fans like this, the objective and realistic, that make talking hockey on social media fun. It does not matter who you root for, there is some good conversation to be had if people would not take it so personally.
- Today’s game five in Boston will be interesting to say the least. If the Rangers were to win, it could shift momentum something huge for the final two games. The smart money is on Boston, obviously, to not lose 4 straight but hey, the precedent was set in 2010 was it not? I don’t think the Pens would want to face Henrik Lundqvist either so the road to the cup will definitely not be easy.
- This was a must tweet to include today. I respect all sports fans and their choices of what to follow and who to root for. But comparing basketball to hockey in any fashion is like comparing Punta Cana to the North Pole. Just isn’t the same.
Around The NHL
- James Neal continued his torrid pace, scoring two goals in the third period to help lead the Penguins to a 6-2 romp over the Ottawa Senators. That clinched the series for the Pens 4 games to 1 and sends them to the Eastern conference finals against either the Boston Bruins or New York Rangers. Kris Letang, a finalist for the Norris trophy, chipped in with a goal and 2 assists.
One last look at the flailing Tukka Rask….