Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Middletown, N. J. – And then there were two. The NHL playoffs are starting to separate the pretenders from the contenders as the field of 16 gets quickly whittled down. The only thing standing in the way of fans learning who will represent each conference in the final four is the Western conference.
As the Islanders news begins to slow to a crawl with the onset of the off-season and prior to the draft and free agency, there are still plenty of story lines in the upcoming weeks. Matt Cooke‘s career ending hit on Marc Savard, Jarome Iginla turning his back on Boston to play with Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr taking what could be one last shot against the team he made his mark with and can Zdeno Chara stabilize a young Bs defense corps going up against the most potent offense in the National Hockey League. And that is just the Eastern conference final! We will preview that series later this week.
For now, enjoy your breakfast with us at Eyes as you peruse Top Shelf and all the wonder it offers on a daily basis. Then look out later for our ‘humongous big’ (sorry Bryz) season review. Last but not least will be a look at the finalists for the Jack Adams award as coach of the year. Thanks as always for reading. Once we get to 1,000 likes on Facebook we are having a special giveaway where we will give one lucky follower some Islanders merchandise. So share away my fellow fans for at the end of the day, WE ARE ALL ISLANDERS!
- A look at how the Islanders cemented their new reputation even in losing (EyesOnIsles)
- Award previews and who might walk away with some hardware – Hart | Selke (EyesOnIsles)
- Islanders top 25 under 25 (Lighthouse Hockey)
- Isles Optimism takes a look at drafting a goaltender in the opening round (Islanders Optimism)
- The Avalanche know all about the infamous intensity of Patrick Roy (Denver Post)
- The outspoken Don Cherry about the pee-wee checking ban in Canada (Edmonton Sun)
- Interesting look at mediocrity in New Jersey where the Devils are in a bit of a pickle (Rant Sports)
Around The Twitter-Sphere
- I was never one for beating a team when they are down but this is a pretty accurate comparison of what we have seen over the 48 regular season games and playoffs. I don’t think many would disagree, except for your most un-objective Rangers fan who might be looking through blue colored glasses.
- Butchie, we miss you on Isles telecasts but you have taken to Twitter like a fish to water. I have always enjoyed a nostalgic look at what ex-Islanders are doing today.
- This was my most anticipated series coming into the second round, partially because the Hawks have been my second rooting interest since 2007 when they drafted Patrick Kane. It has been a great series and was never as far as the 3-1 Red Wings series lead indicated. I had Hawks in seven prior and could still see that happening. No way a team that lost only 7 games in the shortened regular season bows out that quickly. Then again, my wife does a great job of reminding me I have been wrong before. haha
- This could have been the only tweet I featured today and it would have made the entire section. Outstanding Cody and a stick tap to you my man. Besides my wife and children, there is nothing, and I truly mean nothing, that I am more emotionally invested in.
Around The NHL
- The New York Rangers lack of scoring and an offensive defenseman finally caught up to them yesterday as they were defeated by the Boston Bruins 3-1, eliminating them from the playoffs in five games. Content to play large stretches of the game in their defensive zone, which has become their MO under John Tortorella, the Rangers just had no answer for Tuukka Rask when he was not tripping over his own skates. Rick Nash looked lost and Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan just could not get it going consistently enough to lift the Blueshirts over the Bs. Boston now advances to the Eastern conference final to take on the powerful Pittsburgh Penguins. One has to wonder what this means for the future employment of the one they call ‘Torts’ as bench boss in Manhattan. I did my wondering already.
- The Chicago Blackhawks showed why they were the best team in the entire league, thumping the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 at United Center, sending that series back to Motown for game six. Andrew Shaw had two markers and Jonathan Toews awoke from his slumber and finally got away from the tight checking of Henrik Zetterberg to notch his first of the post-season. The Hawks peppered Jimmy Howard with 45 shots on goal and generated traffic in front, which will be crucial to game six and sending this series back to the windy city for a decisive show down.
We are still keeping the crease clear for you sir….come over to the other side.
Double one timer from Western Michigan – great stuff from the college ranks.