Kukla's Korner Hockey
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh 8:00 PM ET NBCSN (Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire), CBC (Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy) & TVAS
Feel free to discuss the game tonight and enjoy.
Hopefully a better game than the game 7's the last two nights.
From Joe Sudberg,
The Conference Finals matchups are set; the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins will square off in the Eastern Conference Finals, while the St. Louis Blues will face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Finals. To reach this point, St. Louis and San Jose both needed to win Game 7s, but both Game 7 wins surprisingly happened in blowout fashion. St. Louis routed Dallas 6-1 on the road, while San Jose won 5-0 at home.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The last two teams standing in the Eastern Conference share an affinity for speed and skill.
Whether the Pittsburgh Penguins or Tampa Bay Lightning end up playing for the Stanley Cup might just be determined by will.
The third round is when the playoffs morph into an optical illusion. You’ve accomplished something by getting this far – 26 other teams are already making plans for next season – but you’re only halfway to the finish line.
It’s been tough, but it will get tougher.
These two teams have already demonstrated an ability to persevere.
added 12:33pm, also from Joe Smith,
Anton Stralman not playing tonight. But feeling better. Hopes to play in series
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Better buckle up for what should be a track meet of a series between two of the speediest, most skilled teams around. The Lightning will come in slightly more rested, having dumped both the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders each in five games. The Penguins are coming off an emotional roller coaster of a series with the archrival Washington Capitals that went six games and featured three overtime games and plenty of nastiness before the Penguins prevailed....
Pittsburgh: It's always news when Sidney Crosby doesn't light it up. And sure, the fact that he had zero goals against the Capitals might have arched an eyebrow or two, but the Penguins captain and Hart Trophy finalist does so much all over the ice, an outpouring of goals seems inevitable at some point. Why not now?
Tampa Bay: If he comes back, Stralman -- a right-handed shot -- could be the difference-maker for the Lightning. But whether he will play remains unknown. What is known is just how good Hedman has been this spring, and he has the potential to take over this series.
This should be a ton of fun, but I just don't see how the Lightning can match the Penguins' depth even if they can somewhat match their speed. Bishop might give the Lightning an edge in goal, but it won't be significant enough to derail a Penguins team on a mission. Pittsburgh in 6.
NEW YORK (May 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League today announced that Game 1 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins andTampa Bay Lightning has been scheduled for Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh. The game will be televised exclusively on NBCSN in the U.S. In Canada, the game will be on CBC and TVA Sports.
Additional information regarding the schedules for the Eastern Conference Final and Western Conference Final will be released tonight after the conclusion of Game 7 of the Second Round series between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.
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 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,
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org