The NHL playoffs are here! No, the New York Islanders aren’t in it, but it should still be hugely entertaining as 16 well-skilled first-round fighters tackle it.
And they’re doing it the old-fashioned way, with four series starting tonight, followed by the other four starting tomorrow. (Alas, it’s not the old school of the 80s, when the Western Conference/Campbell played one night, the Eastern Conference/Wales the other, for two weeks of non-stop fun.)
What series are you going to follow? What are your rational and emotional choices for the Cup? Answer our poll questions or weigh in and comment. I’ll be watching closely, when I’m not taking the kids to fucking softball or baseball or dance class.
Which 2022 Round 1 playoff will you follow the most?
The Glen Wesley: Bruins vs. Hurricanes
The Andreychuk: Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
The Jagr: Smurfs vs. Penguins
The Other Jagr: Panthers vs. Capitals
The Duchene: Avalanche vs Predators
The Iginla: Flames Against Stars
The Gretzky: Oilers vs. Kings
The Roloson: Wild vs. Blues
208 voices in total
- The islands had a breakup day, reflected on their season, and professed continued trust in each other and their loosely defined core. [Islanders]
- Five off-season priorities for the Islanders. [Athletic]
- Anders Lee, who experienced a few healthy scratches himself as a puppy, discussed the tough love and development shown for Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows. [Newsday]
- Kyle Palmieri also reflected on his own journey, while Wahlstrom said he appreciates Barry Trotz’s tough love: “I take information and try to use it.” [Post]
- More on these Mathew Barzal quotes from the other day: “The island is home. This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win. [Post]
- Ilya Sorokin is set to be the backbone of the Islanders going forward. [Newsday]
- Season over, injured players are finally allowed to speak: Cal Clutterbuck and Scott Mayfield are both on the mend. [Isles]
- Barry Trotz on Zdeno Chara: “If he keeps playing, which he can, we’ll be better off. And if he decides he’s going to spend time with his family, he’s left the game in a good place. [Isles]
- Meanwhile, Bridgeport finally making it back to the playoffs (Game 1 is tonight in Providence) creates a chance to watch some Islanders prospects in high-pressure situations. [Newsday]
Yesterday’s NHL scores were… wait, the regular season wasn’t over? That’s right, the Jets and Kraken played the Covid carry string, and Winnipeg won.
I can confirm that Winnipeg has an extension in place for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. Ken Wiebe was the first to report.
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) May 2, 2022
- It could be a “crazy” playoff — and certainly a crazy first round — with offense on the rise and the East bringing in eight 100-point teams. [NHL]
- An airy recap of each Justin Bourne series. [Sportsnet]
- Determining Mark Scheifele’s future should be a priority for the Jets. [Sportsnet]
- With a Stanley Cup drought that has over 80% of the league’s active franchises, are the Toronto Maple Leafs doomed? We can certainly hope so! [CBC]
- NHL Injury Updates: Alex Ovechkin is expected to return for the Capitals’ opener. [NHL] Frederik Andersen is not expected to be ready for the Hurricanes’ opener. | Islanders playoff hero Tristan Jarry will miss at least the Penguins’ first two games. | Artemi Panarin should be ready for Smurfs Game 1. | After missing 21 games, Aaron Ekblad “could” be ready for Game 1 for the Panthers.
- It was great fun to watch the Leafs die out again in the first round last year, but they were missing the Kid Who Didn’t Win the Calder due to his scary injury in Game 1. Luckily he is fine now and he reflects on it with great colors and textures. (Just kidding…you can’t deprogram the robot.) [NHL]
- John Cooper is ready to eliminate his father’s (former) favorite team. [NHL]
- His opponent on the Leafs bench said it could get “bordering on violent.” [TSN | Sportsnet]
- Fans paid their respects as Guy Lafleur lay in the Canadiens arena. [NHL]
- After seven seasons including six of tanking and missing the playoffs, the Red Wings fired Jeff Blashill. [TSN]
Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup in 2022?
Tampa Bay Lightning
St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
Toronto Maple Leafs
195 voices in total