On Saturday night, I became an upcountry degen as I wagered a whopping $30 on Game 3 between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning. I could have won $138 if my team won by two and the teams combined to score more than five goals. I should have known better and that New York would suck the fun out of that, too! In the Daily, the National Hockey Now full playoff coverage, big-name defensemen now dominate the NHL trade market, and Pittsburgh Penguins depth defenseman Zach Trotman retired.
I really should have known the Islanders wouldn’t allow the Over. We are dangerously close to a New York vs. Montreal Stanley Cup Final, which means after several years of teams chasing the Penguins model of speed and talent, many teams will return to the dark ages of ugly defensive hockey with big bodies.
But I digress.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins defenseman Zach Trotman wrote that his body couldn’t take the rigors anymore. After core muscle surgery, then knee surgery, Trotman retired this weekend with a wonderfully written post on Instagram. “Cheers to the game and thank you.”
NHL Playoffs, NHL Trade chatter, and National Hockey Now
Gee, do you come here for hockey or trade stories? I know, I know…
Sportsnet/HNIC Video: In the Headlines segment, Dougie Hamilton is drawing a LOT of interest for his sign-and-trade situation, and Arizona Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson has again joined the NHL trade market, but it’s a bit different this summer.
Boston: The Bruins are searching for a reliable LHD. Joe Haggerty lists a few potential trade targets and free agents, including former Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak who could fit the bill.
The Athletic: Now this is the messy situation everyone fears with Russian players–Kirill Kaprizov, the 24-year-old rookie, was splendid for the Minnesota Wild this season. Contract talks aren’t going well. Kevin Weekes reported he’s in Moscow, ready to sign with CKSA of the KHL. Michael Russo updated the story yesterday.
Oh yeah, the playoffs. Playoffs?!
NYI: The rapid reaction from Game 4, including Adam Pelich doing his best 2009 Rob Scuderi impersonation and the New York Islanders held on for a dramatic 3-2 win.
Vegas: The Vegas Golden Knights face a huge Game 4 in Montreal tonight. Wasted opportunities have them in a 2-1 hole.
NHL.com: It looks like Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will have to quarantine for 14 days after testing positive for COVID. So, he won’t coach the rest of the series.
The odd part is–he was just a few days shy of his 14 days since his second vaccine. Medical pros (and medical pros ONLY) help me out — isn’t he essentially immune from symptoms and spreading it, and will he be clear well before 14 days are up?
That is not an invitation for every Facebook expert to give an opinion. My billy club finally arrived from Amazon, and I will use it.
Colorado: The Avalanche are heading into a cold, cold, cold offseason. They were one of the two or three best teams, and they lost in the second round…again. Adrian Dater says the Avs and fans can’t give up now.
NHL: Jacob Slavin won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly conduct.
Amazon/Paramount binge-watch recommendation for a rainy few days: Yellowstone. Level 10 good.
Kevin Costner and Kelli Reilly are reallllllyyyy good (Reilly is an English actress, so in the first couple of episodes, you can hear her finding the accent).
And….just over 48 hours… Washington Hockey Now. Noon. Tuesday. Our beat writer is getting anxious for the launch. She will be the youngest of the NHN crew but easily the most energetic. Going to be in this business for a long time.
Oh, and Happy Father’s Day!