Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The loud thud here on Sunday afternoon was the sound of the window slamming shut on the Islanders under the ownership of Charles Wang.
It is over, the good, the bad and the ugly of this era that ended with this 4-0 Game 5 elimination defeat to the Lightning that left no doubt as to the identity of the better team in this conference semifinal series.
It is over, this era that was dominated for so long by financial crisis and the owner’s unsuccessful repeated attempts to sell the grandiose Lighthouse real estate plan to the either the politicians or citizens of Long Island, both of which constituencies said no to footing the bill for an arena to replace the Coliseum.
It is over, this era under which the team actually left its Long Island birthplace to become squatters in Brooklyn.
And the critical point to remember is that no one has any idea what’s coming next, when the ownership group of Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin takes charge in July — a transfer of power that apparently will allow the current administration to run the entry draft and oversee the opening of the free-agent market.
Erik Erlendsson via Twitter reminds us this ts the 3rd ECF under Steve Yzerman in 6 years.
The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 4-0 today and won the series 4-1.
They will meet the winner of the Washington/Pittsburgh series.
added 6:42pm, from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight season, eliminating the New York Islanders with a 4-0 win in Game 5 of the second round at Amalie Arena on Sunday.
Defenseman Victor Hedman scored twice, and forwards Brian Boyle and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal. Goaltender Ben Bishop made 28 saves.
Kucherov leads the NHL with nine goals in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games; he had 10 goals in 26 playoff games last year, tied for third in the League.
Bishop also shut out the Detroit Red Wings when the Lightning eliminated them in Game 5 of the first round, after Game 7 shutouts last year against the Red Wings in the first round and New York Rangers in the conference final.
Below, watch the handshake line...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
They may not have a wealth of playoff experience, but this group of Islanders certainly knows what it takes to stay alive in a series.
“We just want to keep playing, we want to win the Stanley Cup. We have to just get a win [Sunday],’’ John Tavares said. “Don’t want to make it much bigger than that.”
They’re down 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Islanders’ situation is clear: Win Game 5 this afternoon against the defending Eastern Conference champs or see their deepest playoff run in 23 years end.
And that’s not all that would end with a loss Sunday. Kyle Okposo, Tavares’ longtime linemate, will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, so this season’s last game could be Okposo’s last game as an Islander after nine seasons and 529 games in the orange and blue.
The same is true for Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin, two other long-serving Islanders.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
This is the time for the Islanders, who have had the better of the play for a majority of the series’ 244:22, to step up. This is the time for the Islanders’ best players to step up. This is the time for Jack Capuano to coach with quiet desperation.
We can celebrate the unique place the Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck fourth line has on its team’s depth chart, but the truth is that though it is something very fine indeed for Martin, Cizikas and Clutterbuck when they are the Islanders’ best players (as they were for much of Games 3 and 4), it is not so fine for the Islanders.
This isn’t a fair fight for John Tavares, whose time and space have been limited by the Lightning, and whose support as a franchise player has been limited by general manager Garth Snow’s inability — or refusal — to use some of the organization’s overflow of prospects as bait to acquire a worthy partner both to aid the center and deflect some of the attention and responsibility on No. 91’s back.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The great author William Goldman once wrote: “What could have happened, what should have happened, it did happen.”
Only, maybe not for the Islanders this week in Brooklyn.
Despite an entirely admirable effort in Friday’s Game 4, through which the Islanders dictated the pace and for the most part eliminated the speedy and skilled Lightning’s time and space, what could have happened and what (seemingly) should have happened — that being a victory to knot this Round 2 series at 2-all — it did not happen that way.
“I don’t really think we deserve to be down in this series 3-1 with the things we did, especially in this game, but we can’t worry about that now,” John Tavares told The Post following Tampa Bay’s second straight overtime victory in Brooklyn, this one 2-1 on Jason Garrison’s goal 94 seconds into extra time.
“We need to be aware of the mistakes we made, but I think we also have to acknowledge all the good things we accomplished,” said No. 91. “The thing is, this is a game of results, and we didn’t get the results we were looking for.
“So whether we ‘deserve’ to be behind 3-1 or not, that’s the reality.”
Game highlights are below...
Bolts lead the series 3-1 with game 5 in Tampa on Sunday afternoon.
added10:35pm, watch Victor Hedman postgame below, via Sportsnet,
No penalty on the play.
Game 4 with the Lightning up 2-1 over the Islanders.
Tampa Bay @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC & TVAS
Feel free to discuss the game tonight.
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
It should be an interesting atmosphere on a Friday night at Barclays Center when the New York Islanders host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of this Eastern Conference second-round series. The Lightning hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven. Here’s what to watch for in the game, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.
Beating the beast: Lightning goalie Ben Bishop consumes a lot of real estate in the net and he’s tough to beat. The Islanders did a solid job of getting traffic to the net in Game 3 and it resulted in four goals for New York. Four wasn’t enough, however, as Tampa won 5-4 in overtime.
If the Islanders can limit Bishop’s vision and create secondary scoring chances off rebounds, New York should be able to light the lamp again. At the other end, Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss has been solid too. Some fans on social media thought maybe New York coach Jack Capuano would make a goalie change since the team trails in this series, but that’s not going to be the case. Even though Jaroslav Halak, who has been out since March 8 with a groin injury, has been practicing with the team, Greiss still gets the nod.
added 2:49pm, from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
...moments before Boyle scored, the big-bodied winger had clipped Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey with a big hit at the offensive blue line.
“It’s a direct shot to the head,” Capuano said, having no update on the status of Hickey, who left under his own power but was getting treatment and not available to the media. “[Boyle is] probably going to get suspended a game. The whole game, it shouldn’t come down to that.”
Boyle had hit Hickey, then ended up taking a ricochet off the backboards and finishing it into the open net, with the Isles less a defender as Hickey was slow to return to the play. Capuano was so mad he even singled out referee Brad Watson, who was looking right at the play as it happened and made no call.
“He’s standing right there. I’ve watched it numerous times now,” Capuano said. “Those are the types of hits we’re trying to eliminate from our game. It’s just too bad it had to end that way.”
more on the game...
Watch the Boyle hit and goal below...
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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