The New York Islanders are rolling now. Like Jake and Ellwood, the team that scuffled outside the playoffs for most of the season is now on a mission from God. The Islanders won again Wednesday and essentially ended any hope the rival Washington Capitals had of making the playoffs. They’re also pulling away from the sputtering Pittsburgh Penguins, of whom our sister site asked, “why are the Penguins so self-destructive?” The NHL trade rumors are beginning in Washington, and there could be some real upheaval in Winnipeg.
And the Florida Panthers are hot on the Penguins’ heels. Who you got there? Respect for a rival, or want Sidney Crosby at home for the spring?
The Islanders are five up on the Penguins, who are just one up on the Panthers.
New York Islanders, Playoff Race:
Until we get clearance for our new beat writer to begin (deal offered, deal accepted, A couple of hurdles to jump. Fingers crossed), we have to use others. Happy to promote the Lighthouse Hockey blog for a minute.
The postgame. A 2-1 shootout win.
Yes, a shootout win, finally. Funny how some great goalies aren’t so great in the shootout, and others who aren’t great goalies can’t be beaten in the game-ending skills comp.
Florida Hockey Now: Banging on the Penguins’ door. Coach Paul Maurice ripped off his glasses in David Caruso style, yelled an F-bomb, and ripped his team. Then the Florida Panthers rallied to win.
Because we all enjoy it. Here’s the video. Don’t read lips if you’re offended by bad words.
lmao the dramatic taking the glasses off pic.twitter.com/5RrP7D6CWd
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) March 30, 2023
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A burning question haunts the Penguins. Only one team in the NHL has surrended more third-period leads. And perhaps no team has dogged it more often this season. Why in the world are they so self-destructive? Pittsburgh Penguins coverage.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Sportsnet 32 Thoughts: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek dove head first into the emerging story in D.C. They laid the foundation for the summer’s NHL trade rumors surrounding Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Would you take Kuznetsov?
Winnipeg Free Press: Heads up, you must provide your email addy to read the story. Mark McIntyre writes the Jets could disassemble their core, putting Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, and Connor Hellebuyck on the NHL trade block.
Montreal Hockey Now: The latest odds on the #TankforBedard.
Can you imagine Montreal getting Bedard? That team would be scary good in … two years?
Boston Hockey Now: When you win the Presidents’ Trophy by a mile, soft efforts will happen. The Bruins lost to Nashville, and Brad Marchand openly admitted they took them lightly. Boston Bruins news.
Philly Hockey Now: Perfect headline from our man Sam Carchidi. “Morgan Frost, From Toilet Seat to Opening Torts’ Eyes.” The Flyers are winning (and costing themselves spots in the Bedard tank). Philadelphia Flyers story.