With all due respect to the New York Islanders tremendous play in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins were terrible.
They refused to alter their stretch passing breakout plan after the Islanders set up a 1-3-1 trapping system. They refused to battle for long stretches of time in order to stifle the quick transition game of the Islanders. The Penguins almost refused to change everything except for the goaltender and while this worked out to their advantage, it is not going to work this time around.
The Ottawa Senators, the Penguins next opponent in round two of the playoffs, are a completely animal than that of the Islanders. Th...
The New York Islanders lost 4-3 in overtime last night to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, thus ending their run in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Penguins took the series in six games, winning the last battle on Coliseum ice in front of a sold out crowd of Islanders fans that continued to give their home team a standing ovation despite being eliminated.
"It's exciting to play in a building like this. It's a lot of fun. In my opinion, we're probably the loudest arena in the league now," said Matt Martin after the game.
"The fans were unbelievable through the end of the season there in the last five home games and all through the playoffs. They were a big factor in the way we played at home down the stretch. It makes a huge difference for us. People don't realize it but it gives you a little extra boost, a little extra energy when the crowd goes nuts like that. You definitely want to do something exciting."
The New York Islanders were hosting a playoff game on Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time in six years in front of a sold out crowd that was salivating for the puck to finally drop. Unfortunately for the Isles, they fell to the Penguins in overtime by a score of 5-4 on a power play goal that came from forward Chris Kunitz just 8:44 into the extra frame.
Special teams would ultimately play the deciding factor in the game, as the Islanders penalty kill only went 2-5, surrendering two additional power play goals in the first period that allowed the Penguins to get into the hockey game.
The Isles came out of the gates with energy and intensity, racking up hits, shots and goals immediately. Within the first two minutes of the game, Matt Moulson would slam home a rebound after Kyle Okposo would get the first few initial chances. Lubomir Visnovsky would be credited with the second assist.
The Presidents Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks (35-6-5) face the Calgary Flames (19-24-4) in their final regular season home game at the United Center tonight.
Calgary, losers in two straight including a 4-1 loss last night to the St. Louis Blues, will look to finish their season on a high note against the Chicago team that they nearly defeated in their first matchup back in early February. In that game, Chicago scored with less than 3 seconds remaining to force overtime and eventually won in a shootout to keep their consecutive points streak alive.
In the second matchup between the two, Chicago throttled the Flames by outshooting them 35-16 and shutting them out 2-0 for the...
The Battle of Alberta is re-ignited tonight with the Flames heading up north to meet their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. They are connected by the same highway but that is about the only thing these two have in common with each team heading in opposite directions in the standings. The Oilers currently sit in a tie for 10th, one point out of the playoffs, while the Flames sit 14th, just two points ahead of the 30th place Florida Panthers.
The Islanders face the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon for the 5th and final time this season. After winning the first matchup, the Isles fell to the Pens in the three following games.
The Islanders come into today's 1pm matinee game at Energy Consol Centre tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers. Thanks to a huge shootout victory against the Flyers on Thursday night, New York is currently on their best win streak of the season at 3.
When a team finds success in the NHL on a consistent basis, it is very difficult for GM’s to tinker with said success in order to find greater success. It is the easiest explanation as to how the NHL has witnessed such playoff parity. In the modern cap era it has become even more difficult to place a team on the ice that has a continued shot at a championship. So with all of this in perspective, is it possible that we see a Stanley Cup champion this season that has also won the cup within the past five seasons?
It is the question that seemingly everyone in the NHL is waiting to see. With Pittsburgh and Chicago pushing the boundaries of greatness, the NHL might finally witness ...