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NYHN Daily: Islanders Being Very Cautious with Varlamov & More

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The New York Islanders and the rest of the NHL are currently waiting to see when the Stanley Cup Playoffs will officially begin. The Islanders had their first postseason practice on Wednesday, but starting netminder Semyon Varlamov took a maintenance day after leaving the season-finale with a strain. This story and more in today’s daily links!

Islanders Vezina candidate, Semyon Varlamov, was not on the ice for the New York Islanders first day of practice for the playoffs, but head coach Barry Trotz wasn’t too concerned. Trotz called Wednesday’s absence a maintenance day for the veteran netminder, who had exited the Islanders season finale in Boston after two periods with a strain. (NYI Hockey Now)

The Islanders enter this season’s playoffs still motivated by last season’s run to the Eastern Conference finals. Mathew Barzal said after Monday’s season finale in Boston that, “last year was heartbreaking so it’s a hungry group.” (Newsday)

It certainly sounds like there is motivation for the Boston Bruins to keep left-winger Taylor RiHall after acquiring him at the NHL trade deadline. The 29-year-old Hall has been excellent at both ends of the ice since arriving last month and posted eight goals and 14 points along with a plus-2 rating in 16 games for the Bruins while riding left wing on the second line with David Krejci. (Boston Hockey Now)

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders played eight times this season, and the Penguins won six, including four regulation wins. The Penguins allowed the fewest goals and earned the most points against the Islanders than any of the three other East Division playoff teams. On paper, it’s a perfect match for the Penguins. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has his work cut out for him this offseason. Fletcher and the rest of the Flyers brass had their end-of-season press conferences on Tuesday morning. The temporary high point of ending the season on a win was no longer. It was finally time to look back at the season as a whole and get some answers. (Philly Hockey Now)

Three years ago, Florida Panthers goalie Chris Driedger was at the low point of his hockey career. Cut loose by the Senators after four years of bouncing between Ottawa and various minor league outposts, Driedger had so few options, he was thinking about giving Europe a try. Now he is up for the Masterton Memorial Trophy. (Florida Hockey Now

Marc-Andre Fleury was dominant as the COVID season began and continued some of the best puck-stopping of his career throughout the shortened, chaotic, and exhausting Vegas Golden Knights 2020-21 regular season. Robin Lehner fought injury and returned to hold up his end of the bargain, too. Together, the Golden Knights goalies won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goalies for the team, which allowed the fewest goals. (Vegas Hockey Now)

Does Patrick Marleau call it a career? What does general manager Doug Wilson’s press conference mean for the summer? The Locked On Sharks Podcast dives in as the San Jose Sharks season came to a close. (San Jose Hockey Now)

Frederik Andersen lost to the Ottawa Senators in overtime in his return to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3 at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday. Andersen made 24 saves in his first game for the Maple Leafs since March 19 because of a knee injury. (NHL)

Connor McDavid had two assists to extend his multipoint streak to seven games, and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime at Bell Centre on Wednesday. McDavid has scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) during the streak and leads the NHL with 104 (33 goals, 71 assists) in 55 games this season. (NHL)

David Quinn was fired as coach of the New York Rangers on Wednesday. No replacement was named. Quinn’s is the third prominent firing by the Rangers in the past week. They fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on May 5, when Chris Drury was named New York president and GM. Assistants David Oliver, Greg Brown and Jacques Martin were also fired Wednesday. Goaltending coach Benoit Allaire was retained. (NHL)

The Seattle Kraken made their first player transaction Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year, entry-level contract with free-agent center Luke Henman. The 21-year-old will participate in rookie camp with the Kraken, who will become the 32nd team in the NHL beginning next season. Henman is captain of Blainville-Boisbriand in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was a fourth-round pick (No. 96) of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2018 NHL Draft. It is the first NHL contract for Henman. (NHL)

The Buffalo Sabres have been in constant communication with center Jack Eichel and his representatives about his neck injury, and all the doctors agree on a conservative rehab approach in the hopes of avoiding surgery, general manager Kevyn Adams said Wednesday. (NHL)

Sidney Crosby doesn’t want to let another chance at the Stanley Cup slip away. “I think you try to cherish every opportunity and make the most of it,” the Pittsburgh Penguins captain said Wednesday. “Regardless of what the situation is, you just have to take advantage of the opportunities when you get them. We have one. So we’re looking to do something with it.” (NHL)

The San Jose Sharks saved their best gifts to Patrick Marleau for last. The Sharks forward received the stick Gordie Howe used for his final NHL game from his team, the NHLPA and the Howe family before San Jose’s final game of the 2020-21 season against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. (NHL)

The Buffalo Sabres will conduct a coaching search while considering Don Granato as a candidate, general manager Kevyn Adams said Wednesday. Granato was promoted to the position March 17, replacing Ralph Krueger after the Sabres lost 12 straight games (0-10-2) and were 6-18-4. Granato was an assistant under Krueger. (NHL)

 

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