Saturday’s Dump & Chase: Exes’ successes
Shea Weber goes to the conference finals for the first time in his career, Barry Trotz leads the Islanders to within sniffing distance of a Cup Final appearance, and everything hurts.
Hey y’all, it’s Eamon. Got a whole lotta links for you today.
Eastern Conference Playoffs
The Boston Bruins:
Initial Offseason plan: B’s need to ACTUALLY fix their glaring issues - Stanley Cup of Chowder
After a brutal loss at the hands of the Islanders, Boston fans are starting to see a pattern with this team. In a big offseason that might see the departure of stars like David Krejčí and Tuukka Rask, there are questions to be answered.
Tuukka Rask faces hip surgery, only wants to play in Boston - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Rask’s contract expires this summer, and the situation in Boston is an interesting one. Coming off of a hip injury in the postseason, Tuukka clearly wants to stay; is the interest mutual?
It’s the summer of uncertainty for the Bruins’ second line - Stanley Cup of Chowder
With Taylor Hall and David Krejčí set to depart for free agency in the offseason, the Bruins have some decisions to make when choosing partners for Craig Smith next year.
The New York Islanders:
Mat Barzal, other New York Islanders reflect on rematch with Tampa Bay Lightning - Lighthouse Hockey
Quotes from Islanders players and personnel about the upcoming series, including a very noncommittal response from Barry Trotz about Tampa Bay’s avoidance of the cap via LTIR.
NHL Playoffs: How the Islanders eliminated the Bruins, in haikus - Lighthouse Hockey
If you’re looking to get caught up on the Islanders’ most recent playoff series victory in a hurry, this is the article for you. Each game is assigned a haiku with a brief amount of analysis paired with it.
The Montreal Canadiens:
Introducing the Lions de Trois-Rivières - Eyes On The Prize
The Canadiens unveiled their new ECHL affiliate on Thursday, and their logo is pretty neat. Go Everblades, though.
Canadiens-Golden Knights Stanley Cup Semifinal will begin on Monday - Eyes On The Prize
The scrappy underdog Habs will get a matchup with the juggernaut Golden Knights in their first conference finals appearance since the 2013-14 season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning:
Morning After Thoughts: This is the Golden Age of Lightning Hockey - Raw Charge
The Lightning are in the midst of a historically great run as a franchise, and arguably the greatest era for a single team in the salary cap era. If they manage to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, it will cement them as an all-time great team. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Predators were that good? I sure think so.
The Carolina Hurricanes:
Hurricanes still looking to take next step entering massive offseason - Canes Country
The Hurricanes are in a similar, if not perfectly analogous spot as the Predators were in after their run to the Cup Final. They’re a very good team with rock solid defense and a few blossoming young players, but they lack a true superstar forward to put them over the top. Now is when we can expect Carolina to begin pursuing star power aggressively.
Carolina Hurricanes Alex Nedeljkovic Brett Pesce - Canes Country
Two of the best players from Carolina’s series against Nashville had some things to say.
Offseason road map: Key dates and what they mean for the Hurricanes - Canes Country
An overview of the way the offseason will function that looks at key dates and the potential implications for Carolina fans.
They said it: Staal, Slavin on 2021 season - Canes Country
More quotes from this team, this time coming from their captain and a standout defenseman.
They Said It: Martinook and Aho on end of Hurricanes’ season - Canes Country
Some quotes from Aho and Martinook to round things out.
Canes Country Podcast: The Eulogy of the 2021 Carolina Hurricanes - Canes Country
Here’s a quality postmortem from our pal Brett Finger for the Hurricanes season. What a shame that they were knocked out in the second round.
Western Conference Playoffs
The Colorado Avalanche:
Cale Makar named a finalist for the Norris Trophy - Mile High Hockey
Suffice to say that the Avalanche were stacked this year. Funny how their Vezina nominated goalie (who got that nod ahead of Juuse Saros and Connor Hellebuyck, I might add) wasn’t exactly up to billing.
Nathan MacKinnon is one of the Hart Trophy finalists again - Mile High Hockey
Nathan MacKinnon is very good, which makes him getting curb stomped by Mark Stone in the Vegas/Colorado series even more shocking.
Colorado Avalanche have season ended after 6-3 loss in Game 6 - Mile High Hockey
The Avalanche had their season ended by the Golden Knights after looking lost for much of the series. What happened?
The Vegas Golden Knights:
Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone named finalist for Selke Trophy - Knights On Ice
Have I mentioned that Mark Stone is stupendous? Let me reiterate: he is.
The Golden Knights will square off against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinal round - Knights On Ice
An underrated storyline of this series is the Nick Suzuki/Max Pacioretty/Tomas Tatar trade that took place between the two teams back in 2018. All three players involved have been fantastic for their respective franchises since getting moved.
Big-money players stepped up in Vegas Golden Knights’ comeback against Colorado Avalanche - Knights On Ice
Mark Stone is absolutely stupid, but it must be noted that Marc-Andre Fleury has been ridiculous and should be the odds-on favorite for the Conn Smythe if Vegas advances to the Final.
The Winnipeg Jets:
Sad Takeaways: Winnipeg Jets vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 4 - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets were eliminated; what exactly does that mean for them, and why did it happen?
Mark Scheifele and the Winnipeg Jets victim mentality - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets under Paul Maurice (he’s never going to get fired) remain a gigantic clown show. Between this continued “woe is me” talk from Scheifele when he clearly made an emotional play with the intent to hurt somebody is absurd, even if the hit itself was semi-clean because it wasn’t direct contact to the head. They’re stuck in limbo, much like a certain team in gold, but with less promise.