Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Only eight teams have a shot at winning the 2016 Stanley Cup and the Islanders are one of them. The Blackhawks are out, so are the Kings and so are the Rangers, those three teams that combined to produce an aggregate 28 series victories the previous four springs.
But the Islanders are not only in Round 2, they’re tied 1-1 with the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning entering Tuesday’s Game 3 in Brooklyn following an opening split in Tampa Bay. Win this series and the Islanders are Early Bird Special champs … but that’s not quite the title this group is seeking.
“We have to understand what’s at stake,” said Matt Martin. “We have to understand that with eight teams left, we have to find another level.”
The Islanders chased away the ghosts of ’93 after chasing the Panthers on the scoreboard for most of the six-game, first-round matchup. Indeed, the Islanders played with a lead for just 45:55 of the series’ 559:12.
But chasing the Florida seniors was less of a task than chasing Tampa Bay’s Triplets, who sliced and diced the Rangers in last year’s conference finals. The Islanders are going to need to throw a much better brand of hockey onto the ice at Barclays than they did over the first two games in order to win three more.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
“We’ve got to come up with some speed, some numbers, have guys going to the net,” Tavares said. “We’ve got to shoot some pucks and when there’s plays there we have to make them. It sounds simple but it’s a matter of executing.”
more on today's game
Watch the highlights below...
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
One narrative is that the Lightning were rusty while the Islanders were sharp, because the Lightning had been off since Thursday. There might be some truth to that. The Lightning were sloppy, at least until the score became lopsided. But the Islanders had a lot to do with it, and it might have worked the other way in the third period.
"They had a little more left in the tank than us," Greiss said.
Another narrative is that the Lightning were unlucky and the game was relatively close. The shots were 19-17 Tampa Bay through two periods, even though New York had a 4-1 lead. "It was just one of those nights were pucks had eyes," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said the same thing.
"You need some puck luck in this game if you're going to win," Capuano said, "and we had that."
Watch the game highlights below...
Game 1, Round 2- NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay 7:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Game 7, Round 1- Nashville @ Anaheim 10:00 PM ET NBCSN, TVAS, SN, FS-W, FS-TN
Feel free to discuss tonight's games.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
The Islanders are here again in Florida after a quick turnaround from the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against a rested Lightning club, but head coach Jack Capuano isn’t whining about the schedule.
“Turnaround can be a mental thing, no question,” he said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “You find out late that we’re going to get on a plane the next day, but we’ve been resilient and there’s no excuses: That’s been the message to our guys, we can’t control what we can’t control. We deserve to be here, our team has battled through so much this year. We had some puck luck and our goaltender played well. The fact that we’re moving on, we should be excited if the games are spread out or back to back. The fact that we’re playing against Tampa should give us enough excitement to continue.”
In his pre-game briefing at Amalie Arena, Capuano touched on a number of topics:
— On playoff experience perhaps being a factor, with Tampa’s deep runs versus this edition of the Islanders’ maiden voyage into the second round: “We got some guys that have played a lot of hockey. At this point of the year, with the way the NHL is, the parity, there’s a lot of teams that are evenly matched.
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
The series is only four games old and it feels like it has been going on for a month.
So what's next? What happens now?
Now end it.
Game 5 is Thursday night at Amalie Arena. It should be the last game of the series. For the Lightning, it better be. It needs to be.
"We have a chance to put this away at home," Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. "That's why what we will try to do."
Forget trying. Just do it. Yeah, sure, the fourth win is always the toughest on to win in a series. That's the cliché, right? You'll hear it a thousand times in the next 24 hours.
"The next game," defenseman Braydon Coburn said in a rocking Lightning locker room, "is the biggest game."
You'll also hear how the Red Wings will be desperate. How their season is on the line. How no dog is more dangerous than a cornered wounded dog or some such nonsense.
To heck with all that.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
When the Tampa Bay Lightning practiced Thursday, left wing Jonathan Drouin approached associate coach Rick Bowness. He wanted to see a video clip of a play from the night before, when the Lightning defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series.
Bowness was glad Drouin asked. He had already marked the clip to show him later.
So they went over to a whiteboard stuck to the glass and broke down the play. There was a gray area in defending a rush, and Bowness told Drouin he had stayed too wide on the backcheck. If the same situation arises in Game 2 on Friday (7 p.m.; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D), he should pressure the puck.
"It cleared up my mind," Drouin said. "I know what to do next time."
After all the drama -- Drouin clashing with coach Jon Cooper, demanding a trade, sitting out in the minors, getting suspended, not getting traded, asking to play in the minors, rejoining the Lightning for the final two regular-season games -- each side finally is getting what they want. At least for now.
No update on Johnson at this point.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Matt Taormina from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Additionally, the Bolts have reassigned defenseman Slater Koekkoek to Syracuse.
Drouin, 21, has skated in 17 games with the Crunch this season, recording 11 goals and 13 points to go along with 12 penalty minutes. He ranks tied for fifth on the Crunch with five power-play tallies, despite skating in only 17 games with Syracuse. The Ste-Agathe, Quebec native has also appeared in 19 games with the Lightning this season, posting a pair of goals and eight points. Drouin has played in 89 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past two seasons, registering six goals and 40 points.
Taormina, 29, has skated in one game with the Lightning this season, recording one shot on goal. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound defenseman has appeared in 57 career NHL games, registering four goals and 12 points. Taormina ranks tied for first among all Crunch defensemen for points with 41 this season. He leads all Syracuse defensemen for goals (13) and power-play goals (five).
Yzerman went all in to win this season. He had done enough right for Tampa Bay to take a run at the Stanley Cup again this spring, but enough wrong that if Stamkos had carried the Cup on a lap of the rink, it might still have been the last time he’d ever wear a Lightning sweater. But now, through a couple of unforeseeable bad breaks, Yzerman has busted out. His team will need a miracle every other night for two months to play for the Cup. And if winning can’t fix everything, neither will such a disappointing, desultory end.
-Gare Joyce of Sportsnet where you can read much more on Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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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