Kukla's Korner Hockey
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Panthers have agreed to terms with forward Jaromir Jagr on a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Jaromir is a Hall of Fame player and had an excellent season playing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau,” Tallon said. “His track record speaks for itself, ranking third all-time in points and goals. He has been a great fit with our organization and we are excited to have him back for next season.”
“Jaromir has had a tremendous influence on our younger players and has been a key offensive contributor on our team,” Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant said. “We are happy to have him back as we look to build off this year’s playoff appearance.”
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Nick Leddy brought the puck up ice with Nick Kulemin firing a shot that Luongo made the initial save on.
Luongo lost sight of the puck as he lay on the ice.
It was sitting behind him, all alone, and Tavares swooped in and swept it through.
Moments before, the Panthers had a good scoring chance into the empty net as Trocheck and Reilly Smith were both tripped up yet didn't draw penalties which in all likelihood would have ended things much, much sooner.
Should a tripping call have been made?
"Yeah, but it wasn't, so what do you do?,'' coach Gerard Gallant said when asked. "Obviously, you know, if they thought they would have scored on the other end they would have called it. It's a tough call, it's a fast game. It wasn't much but the game would have been over. It's tough to swallow.''
more on the game...
Below, watch what many think thought should have been a tripping call which turned into the Tavares game-tying goal.
No penalty on the play.
Clutterbuck went to the dressing room but just returned.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The Islanders had a chance to seize control of this series. Instead, they seized up.
Light-scoring Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic beat Thomas Greiss with 10:35 to play to give Florida a 2-1 win Wednesday night and even the first-round series at 2, with Game 5 Friday night in Sunrise.
It didn’t feel like a one-goal game. The Islanders came out disjointed in a game that could have given them a 3-1 series lead. They put only five first-period shots on Roberto Luongo, allowing the Panthers to dictate the pace.
Even after Petrovic’s goal the Islanders were stymied, despite a power play with 3:33 to go. They pulled Greiss with just over a minute to play but could not beat Luongo, who made 26 saves.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Kyle Okposo said after the Islanders failed to win back-to-back playoff games for the 12th consecutive chance over the last 14 seasons.
Game highlights are below...
IMO, could have gone either way.
added 10:04pm, longer YT version below.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
The first playoff game at Barclays Center is out of the way. The building came up big and the game was a thriller for Islanders fans. They filled the stairwells with sound on the way out, chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “Let’s go, Islanders!” — cheers that made the transition from Nassau seamlessly.
And they chanted “Thom-as Hick-ey!” in honor of the defenseman who scored at 12:31 of overtime for a 4-3 win over the Panthers that ended all the questions about what kind of postseason venue Brooklyn might be.
“Incredible,” Hickey said in describing the atmosphere. “I thought our fans were great. We fed off that. I had goose bumps after that anthem. We fed off that and they stuck with us.”
From now on, it is all about the teams and their series, not the arena.
Game highlights are below...
from Andy Kent of the New York Times,
When the puck drops Sunday for the start of the first Stanley Cup playoff game ever played in Brooklyn, the Florida Panthers could feel more at home than the Islanders.
The Panthers’ owners, Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu, are as New York as New Yorkers come. Viola grew up in Brooklyn and went to high school at Brooklyn Tech, within walking distance of the site of what is now Barclays Center. Since buying the Panthers with Cifu in 2013 and becoming the team’s principal owner, Viola has arranged a team dinner at Bamonte’s, the classic Italian restaurant in Williamsburg. That was where Viola celebrated his first communion, his confirmation and his high school graduation.
“Everybody talks, everybody communicates, and it’s just kind of having people appreciate a little bit where Vinnie came from, the old neighborhood,” Cifu said. “He’s from pretty modest means, so he’s a pretty incredible American story. We don’t close the place, either, it’s open to the public, so, yeah, it’s 20-some-odd hockey players and then maybe another 20-odd staff, so we have a big, long table of 50 people and I’m an Italian-American like Vinnie, so it’s a little bit like our family dinners on Sunday.”
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
There might not be as many mixed emotions between the two teams, but there sure have been a lot of crossed paths. Islanders Hall of Fame goalie Billy Smith once was the Panthers goalie coach. His former teammate Duane Sutter was the Panthers head coach for parts of two seasons.
Like Torrey’s Islanders, the Panthers earned phenomenal early success. The former reached the Stanley Cup semifinals in their third season, the latter made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their third season—with a roster that included former Islanders Tom Fitzgerald and Mark Fitzpatrick. Torrey, having been ousted by a new Islanders management group in 1992, had something to prove and he (and general manager Bobby Clarke and coach Roger Neilson) assembled a group of players that felt the same way.
“They were gritty, two-way players. It was like a team of Selke candidates,” former Islanders and Panthers public relations director Greg Bouris said, referring to the league’s top award for defensive play. Bouris, who was one of the first people Torrey hired for the Florida team and who now is director of communications for the Major League Baseball Players Association, said, “Previous expansion teams didn’t have a lot of players to choose from, the way the Panthers and Ducks did. There were some real players available in that draft.”
Unlike Torrey’s Islanders, though, Torrey’s Panthers never won four Cups, or even one. A big reason is that in Florida, he never had a young Hall of Fame cornerstone like Denis Potvin. At least not on the ice. Potvin was the Panthers’ TV analyst for their first 16 seasons, did Ottawa Senators games for four years and is back now.
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