VEGAS — It’s in the New York Islanders DNA. They are the NHL’s scrappy, never-quit team that finds ways to win. Even their Stanley Cup teams had an element of scrappy. The Boston Bruins are learning that, too, in a series now tied at two. The Colorado Avalanche called a big team meeting in Las Vegas. And we have some Pittsburgh Penguins trade speculation that actually makes sense.
It seems PHN set off a good Evgeni Malkin debate, but as usual, I think too many folks missed the crucial, essential second layer to the argument. It sure isn’t as easy as “trade Malkin for a younger version!”
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: In the much-debated, much-commented column, we established Malkin’s place in the Pittsburgh Penguins org. Everyone has to pay the piper, including the org, Malkin, and fans.
Vegas Hockey Now: I was a busy boy yesterday. I’m also covering the Vegas-Colorado Round Two series, and one thing has become abundantly clear. This is the Vegas Golden Knights’ series to win…or lose.
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I know you want the trade speculation first. The Edmonton Journal floated a player we’ve long included as someone who would fit if the Penguins go for “size” or toughness.
Edmonton Journal: The Oilers have needs after a quick playoff exit. One player who could be on the move? Zack Kassian and Oilers Insider Bob Stauffer believes a Penguins trade is possible.
Kassian has had some big playoff performances. He’s also a guy who is a fierce physical player with good skates. He’s the type of player who could make Mike Sullivan and Brian Burke happy.
To the NHL playoffs!
NYI: The Islanders got the better of the Boston Bruins in Game 4. This Islanders team just finds a way. They were beaten soundly by the Pittsburgh Penguins and got a little lucky with the Penguins goaltending, but now they are tied with the big bad Bruins. The Islanders won, 4-1. Was this their best game of the postseason?
Boston: From the Boston side. The Bruins blue line wasn’t so hot in Game 4.
Bruce Cassidy had a few interesting comments following Game 4. One of them was to flatly call out the officials, “We haven’t gotten many calls.”
The Islanders have perfected their craft.
Colorado: Vegas has boat raced the Avalanche in the last two games. They’ve been outshot 74-32 in the last five regulation periods but managed to win Game 2. They had a lead in Game 3, too. But something has to change, or they are in deeeeeepppp trouble.
Sportsnet: The Hurricanes’ lack of discipline cost them bigly. Tampa Bay has the Storm Surge on the edge of dissipating after a WILD second period in which each team scored four goals. That’s the first time in over a decade that’s happened. Tampa Bay scored two more for a 6-4 win and 3-1 series lead.
NHL.com: The Lady Byng finalists were announced. Still my least favorite award… Auston Matthews may get some hardware…
London Free Press: 16-year-old goalie Taya Currie was drafted by the Sarnia Sting. So? She is the first female to be drafted into the OHL.
Currie is only 5-foot-7, so hopefully, she grows another six inches, and we can see her get some real playing time.
NHL.com: Minnesota Wild first-round pick Marco Rossi was hit hard by COVID in January. He skated for the first time this weekend.
Detroit: Coverage of the World Championships–the Detroit Red Wings have a kid who looks to be ready to make an impact in the NHL–remember the name for next season: Moritz Seider of Germany. He’s showing pretty well.