The New York Islanders look to take the series lead tonight when they face the Boston Bruins for Game 5 at 6:30. It was a slow start to the playoffs for Mat Barzal, but he has become a force this series. Win or lose, the Islanders look ahead to the next game and never get too high on themselves or too low. That has benefited them in the playoffs. These stories and more in today’s daily links!
Mathew Barzal walked out of the runway to the New York Islanders dressing and onto the ice with a smile from ear to ear. The 24-year-old emphatically shouted “Let’s Go” and “Our House” as he skated around the ice after being named the game’s first star on Saturday. He has been a force this series. (NYI Hockey Now)
You would have never known that the New York Islanders were down 2-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Boston Bruins going into Game 4 on Saturday night. Win or lose, their demeanor hadn’t changed. That has been the Islanders modus operandi for some time now, but it has become even more noticeable in the playoff spotlight they’ve found themselves in for the third year in a row. The Islanders do not panic and they do not get too high when things are going well. (NYI Hockey Now)
As the Islanders and Bruins shift their battlefield to Boston for Game 5 on Monday night, the Bruins own home-ice advantage in the teams’ best-of-seven second-round playoff series. With the series tied 2-2 and two of the remaining three games — if it goes the full seven — slated to be at TD Garden, for the Islanders to advance to the NHL final four for the second straight year, they’ll have to win at least one game in Boston. (Newsday)
Bruins center David Krejci was fined the maximum $5,000 Sunday for his slashing penalty on Islanders center Mathew Barzal in Game 4. Krejci was initially assessed a five-minute major for spearing after he jabbed Barzal in the groin with his stick, following a nasty exchange between the players at 11:13 of the second period. But the officials reviewed the play to determine if it did warrant a major penalty, and ultimately decided to downgrade it to a two-minute minor for slashing. (Newsday)
Is Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy trying to pull a Craig Berube with the officiating in this tight and physical East Division Final with the New York Islanders? If so, he better hope calling out the officiating following a 4-1 Game 4 loss and a game in which the physicality from the previous three games boiled over, goes the way it went for Berube in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and not the way it did for his St. Louis Blues in the first round sweep they suffered to the Colorado Avalanche. (Boston Hockey Now)
Lappy is moving on up. The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Sunday evening that assistant coach Ian Laperriere is the new head coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. (Philly Hockey Now)
From his first introduction to Florida, Barkov said it felt like home. “I like it here in Florida,” Barkov said. “It’s nice. It’s a place I’m going to enjoy living in. Everyone is nice, I have a lot of friends already. They’ve helped me very much.” His affection for the place has only grown over the years. And, Florida digs him as well. (Florida Hockey Now)
For the second time in three tournaments, the Detroit Red Wings have themselves a gold medal winner. Wings defenseman Troy Stecher was a prominent presence for Canada as the Canadians edged Finland 3-2 in overtime in the championship game, a rematch of the 2019 gold-medal game. (Detroit Hockey Now)
Jonathan Marchessault scored three goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night, evening the best-of-seven Honda West Division Final at two games apiece. (Vegas Hockey Now)
The Colorado Avalanche could not hang with the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 as they drop both games in Vegas. Here are the player grades. (Colorado Hockey Now)
Joel Armia scored three points, including two shorthanded goals, for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Second Round at Bell Centre on Sunday. Carey Price made 26 saves for the Canadiens, the No. 4 seed in the Scotia North Division, who have won six straight games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after not having a winning streak longer than three games during the regular season. (NHL)
The NHL will be able to play in Canada, as needed, for the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a decision by Canada’s government Sunday to issue an exemption for cross-border travel. The decision allows teams to cross the United States-Canada border for games under a modified quarantine, starting with the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The teams will also be subject to enhanced protocols. (NHL)
The Boston Bruins are contemplating making changes to their third line in search of an offensive spark heading into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the New York Islanders at TD Garden on Monday. Who could come out and who could come in? (NHL)
Jared Bednar changed his tone after the Colorado Avalanche lost 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Second Round at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday. “At least we entered the fight tonight and got in it,” the Colorado coach said. “I didn’t like the results. They scored some timely goals; we missed on some opportunities.” Bednar called out his team’s competitiveness and top players’ production after a 3-2 loss to the Golden Knights in Game 3. (NHL)
Blake Wheeler wants the Winnipeg Jets to keep believing in what they’ve been doing even though they’re on the brink of elimination after a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Second Round on Sunday. (NHL)
Aleksander Barkov, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stone were named finalists for the Selke Trophy on Sunday. The award is given annually to the forward voted best to excel in the defensive aspects of the game in the NHL as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The winner will be announced as part of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone during the Stanley Cup Semifinals or Stanley Cup Final. (NHL)
The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again flying through the Stanley Cup Playoffs without any passengers. The defending Stanley Cup champions are one win from their sixth straight postseason series victory, up 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Carolina Hurricanes, because they’re getting contributions up and down the lineup each game. (NHL)
Robin Lehner was wearing a hat and then, because of Jonathan Marchessault, he wasn’t. The Vegas Golden Knights goalie continued his tradition of tossing his hat on the ice when a teammate gets a hat trick. Marchessault scored his third goal in the third period of a 5-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Second Round on Sunday. (NHL)
Tennessee State University president Glenda Glover received an email recently from a parent whose son wanted to play hockey at one of America’s Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) but was dismayed to learn that none offered the sport. “She recalled a wide smile on her son’s face when he shared an article about TSU looking to start a program,” Glover said. “We’re already starting to see the hope of the prospect of starting a hockey program at TSU.” (NHL)
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