Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Boychuk has been key in neutralizing Ovechkin and the Capitals' top line, containing the five-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner to just one goal in three games. Put plainly, the Islanders would not be up 2-1 in the series without his stellar play.
“You can see he’s played in a lot of playoff games -- his experience, his ability to contribute in all areas of the game and certainly playing a lot against [No.] 8,” Isles captain John Tavares said. “It’s a tough job, and he’s been doing a great job for us.”
Matching up against Ovechkin, who has also played the past two games with dynamic playmaking center Nicklas Backstrom, is a top assignment and a daunting one, but it’s also one Boychuk takes pride in doing.
After all, that’s why he’s here.
“It’s playoffs. You have to shut down the top line on the other team and the top players. If you don’t, you’re going to be going home,” Boychuk said. “And no one wants to go home.”
“We didn’t deserve it. What’d we have, 13 or 15 shots or whatever after two periods? That’s not going to get it done, even though we had the lead. We’ve got to put pucks on net, we’ve got to make their D turn, we’ve got to make their goalie work. You could see when we started doing some good things and played down low we got some offensive zone time, but too little too late.”
-Jack Capuano, head coach of the New York Islanders after a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. More on the game from Stephen Lorenzo of the NY Daily News.
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
“The result is that we look like a slow team,” forward Brooks Laich said. “It has to get better.”
“If we turn the puck over against them, they’re really good in transition and they made us pay a few times,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said.
“We’re a quick team and we’re playing slow,” forward Troy Brouwer said. “Those types of frustration is what we’re not happy with.”
The Capitals had entered the playoffs preaching a “heavy” game built on pressuring forechecks and thundering hits, and instead the Islanders glided around them like red-sweatered cones. Their breakouts fizzled inside the neutral zone. Their passes sailed wide of their targets. On two occasions, ordinarily sure-handed skaters lost possession at the offensive blue line and forced themselves to regroup, without any opponents within striking distance.
Watch the game highlights below...
Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Islanders and need two points to assure another post-season appearance.
Puck drops just after 7:00pm and feel free to discuss the game, the upcoming playoffs or anything hockey related.
Here is the scenario for Penguins, Senators and the Bruins.
Pittsburgh plays in Buffalo tomorrow at 7pm.
Ottawa needs a point to guarantee a playoff spot and they play in Philadelphia at 12:30pm tomorrow.
Boston needs help, via the Boston Bruins....
Entering the weekend, the Bruins trail the Ottawa Senators by two points and the Pittsburgh Penguins by one point. Here is what needs to happen for the Bruins to secure a spot in the 2014-15 playoffs: 1. Ottawa loses in regulation and the Bruins win in any fashion; 2. Pittsburgh loses both of their remaining games in regulation and the Bruins win in any fashion; 3. Pittsburgh earns just one point in their final two games and the Bruins win in regulation or overtime.
added 7:30pm, below a screeshot of the goal the Pens thought they scored...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
If the Senators lose to the Rangers in any fashion Thursday night -- that's regulation, OT or shootout -- the Islanders are in the playoffs. Failing that, the Isles need a single point from games tomorrow night in Pittsburgh and Saturday at home against Columbus to clinch.
They'll need more than a single point to avoid falling into one of the two wild-card slots, which would mean facing either the Canadiens, Lightning or Rangers in the opening round -- a hard fall after the Isles were atop the Metro Division at 32-14-1 following their 4-1 win over the Rangers back on Jan. 27.
After Tuesday's loss, the Isles are 14-14-5 since then. There have been some unlucky results, but overall that is not the standing of a team ready to do damage in the postseason.
from Neil Best of Newsday,
It has been a long time since the New York area had a hockey regular season such as this one - not only on the ice but also as reflected by television ratings.
Take the Islanders: Their games on MSG Networks have averaged 0.60 percent of homes, which might not sound like much but is 76 percent better than at this point last season.
The Rangers were up 26 percent to 1.63 percent of area homes entering Monday night's game and easily will surpass the Knicks for the first time since 2007-08.
from Adam Gretz of CBSSports,
After their 4-3 shootout loss to Columbus on Thursday, the Islanders have won just four times in their past 15 games and are at .500 hockey (13-13-1) since late January.
The number of games a team wins down the stretch isn't always the best indicator of what it is going to do in the playoffs and can sometimes be given too much importance. It's more about how a team is playing, even if the results are not there at that exact moment.
So how concerned should the Islanders be given their recent play?
What is especially alarming about Thursday's game is that it was seventh time they have lost this season when leading after two periods. And not only were they leading 2-1 going into the third period, they scored 55 seconds into it and actually had a two-goal lead with less than 20 minutes to play.
And they still only came away with just a point by losing in the shootout.
Given the state of goal scoring in the NHL these days and how difficult it is for teams to come back from third-period deficits, that many losses when leading after two is a pretty high number.
from Stephen Lorenzo of the NY Daily News,
With just three wins in the Islanders’ last 12 games and no home wins in March, one must seriously wonder if it’s time for the Isles to press the panic button.
The Isles dropped another game at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday, this one, 3-2, to the Kings. A poor clearing effort by the entire team − particularly Kyle Okposo − led to a late third period Anze Kopitar goal to seal it for Los Angeles. The Isles have now dropped six straight at home.
“We can’t sit back at this point in the season and be happy (about) where we are. We haven’t done anything,” Travis Hamonic said. “There are teams right behind us. I don’t know who won tonight, but there’s teams right behind us and we’ve got to realize what’s at stake.”...
“Clearly we have to be a lot better, starting with myself,” said John Tavares, who played one of his worst games of the season. “I know that I have not played close to my best the last couple of games, certainly tonight.”
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Social media threats made to Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy Tuesday prompted local and federal authorities to open an investigation, the team said.
A now-suspended Twitter account posted pictures of Leddy's Minnesota driver's license and a credit card and made violent threats against the Islanders' defenseman and the team's security director contacted the Nassau County police as well as the FBI.
"We alerted local and federal authorities immediately, as well as the NHL," a team spokesperson said. "They're investigating the matter. Nick and his family are safe."
from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,
A Twitter user named ‘NoorsSlut’ posted an image of Leddy’s Minnesota driver’s license and a MasterCard debit card with “Nicholas Leddy” on it. The user also posted images of an unidentified woman posing with Leddy, with derogatory words written over her face and body in Photoshop. The same woman appeared as the avatar on user’s account.
While the Tweets were later deleted, there were also reports of death threats towards Leddy originating from the account.
from Allan Kreda of the New York Times,
Pat LaFontaine has always been a popular Islander, though in recent years he has not been seen much at Nassau Coliseum.
Since he left the franchise during the turbulent summer of 2006, after the abrupt departure of Neil Smith as general manager, LaFontaine, the team’s gregarious former center, has primarily concentrated on his charity work and, more recently, working for the N.H.L. as vice president for hockey development and community affairs after a brief job as an executive with the Buffalo Sabres.
Before the Islanders leave for Barclays Center, however, LaFontaine will finally return to Nassau Coliseum, which he called home from 1984 to 1991. A Hall of Famer, he was happy to be invited back by the team owner Charles B. Wang and General Manager Garth Snow to greet fans and be recognized on the ice before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
“I haven’t been in the building for a long time, so I’m excited to see it again,” LaFontaine, 50, said. “I cherish those times and the players I played with. And the Islander fans have always been great. I’m honored to come back to where it all started for me.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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