Kukla's Korner Hockey
The New York Islanders win in a shootout over New Jersey, landing the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on the last day of the season. More later. (The Leafs Lunch show on AM640 radio should be quite entertaining Monday, wouldn’t you say?)
Update 6:57pm EDT:
The win triggered a wild on-ice celebration by the Islanders who were seemingly out of the Stanley Cup hunt one week ago. They regrouped in front of third-string goalie Wade Dubielewicz to edge out the Toronto Maple Leafs for the last playoff berth to be decided on the final day of the regular season.
Toronto finished its season Saturday night with a 6-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Maple Leafs had 91 points, one more than the Islanders.
The Islanders mission was simple: win, and they were in the playoffs and would face the top-seeded Buffalo Sabres.
Coach Lamoriello faced with a tough decision tomorrow- Play Brodeur or not?
If the Islanders beat the Devils, they are in the playoffs and the Toronto Maple Leafs join the Canadiens on the golf course.
I am with Don Cherry, Lou has to play his best lineup, it is the right thing to do.
Islanders defeat Flyers 4-2 this afternoon, now wait for the outcome of tonight’s Habs/Leafs game.
via the AP,
If the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens in regulation or overtime on Saturday, and the Islanders win at Atlantic Divison-champion New Jersey on Sunday, then the Islanders would be in as the No. 8 seed. The Islanders and Montreal each have 90 points, and Toronto has 89. If Montreal wins, the Islanders are eliminated because the Canadiens have more victories.
Also, the Sabres have wrapped up the President’s Trophy with a win today against the Capitals.
from the NY Post,
To have any chance at securing the last playoff berth, the Isles continue to need everything to fall into place for them.
If they beat the Flyers, they must have the Maple Leafs defeat the Canadiens in Toronto tonight. Should that happen, the Islanders would control their own destiny, with just a victory over the Devils between them and the postseason. And since the Devils have virtually nothing to play for, the Isles could have a better shot than normal.
Still, a Montreal win would spoil any hope the Isles have.
“It’s tough relying on other teams,” said Blake. “But the fact that we’re playing games that matter this late in the year is great.”
Especially for goalie Wade Dubielewicz, who has gone from an almost unknown third-stringer to one of the keys to the Islanders’ success in little more than a week.
from David Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
Saturday’s Toronto forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 1 C, a 70-per-cent chance of flurries – and a 100-per-cent chance of monster TV ratings for CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and RDS’s La Soirée du Hockey.
The Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre to see who goes to the Eastern Conference playoffs and who goes golfing.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail (Friday edition),
The Leafs were hopelessly inept offensively last night in losing 5-2 to the New York Islanders. All that saved them was the New York Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, which kept the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference, held by the Canadiens, one point away.
But the Leafs cannot let the Canadiens gain a point in an overtime loss when they meet at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night. The Canadiens hold all the advantages in the tiebreakers if the teams finish the season tied in points.
from the AP via Newsday,
The Islanders trail ninth-place Toronto by one point and eighth-place Montreal by two points. New York has two games remaining, while Montreal and Toronto face each other Saturday night in their finales.
I would want to hang around too…
The NHL says it has reviewed the incident and, as far as the league is concerned, the case is closed.
“We were made aware of the situation right after the game in question,” NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell told TSN. “We investigated it, talked with the officials and both teams and we determined there were no grounds to pursue it any further. It’s a closed matter as far as we are concerned. We don’t have to respond to what’s in today’s newspapers because we’ve already responded to it.”...
Lundqvist told reporters on Wednesday before learning of the allegations that he prefers to remain in the crease to maintain concentration during breaks.
pic via the New York Islanders
added 2:11pm, Raycroft gets it!
from the Toronto Star,
Islanders fans love Wade Dubielewicz, mostly because they can chant his nickname – “Du-bie, Du-bie” – whenever he makes a save.
They’ll love him even more if the Goalie Who Came Out of Nowhere can pull off the next to impossible and rally the New York Islanders into the playoffs….
He’s listed generously at 5-foot-10 – maybe with skates on – and he’s more a reaction-type goalie. Think Mike Palmateer. Or maybe Yoda.
On his mask, he’s painted Islanders history – Bobby Nystrom celebrating and Denis Potvin hoisting the Cup – as well as the Star Wars character.
“I don’t really look like a goalie, and Yoda doesn’t really look like a Jedi warrior,” he said.
According to the two women, the Rangers should be penalized for slashing, spitting and verbal abuse during television timeouts in the first period of Tuesday night’s game at Nassau Coliseum, won by the Islanders, 3-2, in a shootout.
During commercial breaks, teams of three Ice Girls clean loose ice known as “snow” in the goal and the blue-painted goaltender’s crease in front of the goal line. But Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist declined to move and used his stick to whack the squeegee Kelli Higgins was using to push the snow into a pile during the first TV timeout, knocking the butt end of the squeegee stick into her stomach.
“I said ‘Excuse me’ maybe two or three times,” Higgins said Wednesday. “He didn’t move and didn’t say anything, so I gave up and went around him….”
note: updated the link at 8:19am Thursday for a little more information…
from Wallace Matthews at Newsday,
It is obvious Simon’s hit flattened his own team and elevated their bitterest rival. Rangers fans, who were outraged by Simon’s hit last month, have to be overjoyed with it today. While Hollweg hardly missed a shift, the Islanders lost more than just a forward that night. They also lost a spark that they haven’t been able to get back.
Poetic justice? A fair punishment for a play that was uncalled for? Or simply the final straw in a season that, it now seems clear, was a lot more tenuous than it had appeared to that point?
from Stan Fischler at his blog, The Maven,
I’m driving down to Philadelphia tonight (Wednesday) in the hopes of seeing Martin Brodeur break Bernie Parent’s record for wins in a season.
More important - to me and Marty - is the fact that I’m looking forward to a Devils’ victory. That would put them over the top in terms of clinching first place and the home ice advantage that goes with it.
Even more important than that, I’m hoping that the news on Brian Gionta is more encouraging than it appeared on Tuesday night when he was spirited away from Continental Airlines Arena in an ambulance.
The Patrik Elias shot which Gionta took on the foot could devastate the Devils’ postseason, assuming the wound is as serious as it first appeared.
continued,,,and a bit about the NYI…
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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.
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