I know how you think because I often have the same thoughts. There are a few tantalizing centers that could hit the UFA market in July, but I haven’t spent much time on the situation since last August because those players rarely get to free agency. Johnny Gaudreau is at the top of the list, but the Calgary Flames aren’t going down without a fight. We discussed the Pittsburgh Penguins needs and a couple of my gut feelings about what could happen over the next month. And the Eastern Conference is all booked up.
There will be no New York Islanders in the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Eliminated.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: I may have been a little coarse on Sunday, especially regarding the one-upmanship of predicting the Pittsburgh Penguins demise. If one person says the Penguins can’t beat the Carolina Hurricanes, two people predict they’ll get swept and shut out in all four games. It’s a weird fatalism that has only recently taken hold. We also dove into the Penguins goaltending, a couple of gut feelings, and Big Jeff Carter’s disastrous April. Pittsburgh Penguins blog.
The Penguins don’t play again until Thursday. Today is an off-ice workout.
NYI: Bon voyage Islanders. Their disastrous season will not end with a playoff berth. Officially eliminated after another loss. New York Islanders, goodbye.
I don’t see the Islanders returning to dominance next season, either. GM Lou Lamoriello made some serious mistakes last summer, and they don’t appear easy to fix.
Sportsnet: I thought some of you may enjoy–Bryan Trottier remembered his Stanley Cup teammate and friend Mike Bossy.
Washington Hockey Now: If New York is out, that means…cue the organ music…the Washington Capitals are IN.
Philly Hockey Now: Prospect Noah Cates is showing very well in his NHL arrival. However, check this headline from Sam Carchidi: “…Sad Sack Flyers Lose 5th Straight.” Philadelphia Flyers are quitting.
NHL News & the Rest of National Hockey Now:
NHL.com: The Calgary Flames have the premiere free agent: Johnn Gaudreau. GM Brad Treveling said he “will move heaven and earth,” to keep him.
Montreal: Setting records is usually a good thing. Sometimes, a very good thing. However, not in Montreal, where they set a record in the worst way possible. Montreal Canadiens news.
Detroit: The Red Wings are worse than liver spread on toast (Don’t get any ideas, Millennials). However, their farm team in Grand Rapids prospect Jonatan Berggren could set a Red Wings record for points. Detroit Red Wings prospects.
Colorado: The Avalanche can set one of the very best records. They can still tie the NHL’s all-time record for wins in a season. Colorado Avalanche is rolling.
And that’s all there is today. We’re grinding down to the end of a brutal two-year stretch. Next season looks like we’ll be back to normal, as much as normal will ever be again. Like many of us, I think the players are worn out. I don’t yet sense the fierce anticipation of the playoffs across the league. We’ve put the boys through a lot so that we can watch or cover hockey, and so we all make money (players included).
After this little respite, I think you may see a different Penguins team, too. “Boys” in their 30s need a rest, too.