The Morning Skate: Game Sevens, Water Bottles and Worlds

Kevin Schultz

One Islander is still skating in the playoffs and that is Griffin Reinhart, playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Finals. Reinhart’s Oil Kings are facing off against Portland, who forced a decisive Game Seven last night with a 6-5 overtime win in Edmonton. The Oil Kings blew two three-goal leads and will play a seventh game tonight in Portland.
“We got the lead and maybe were a little bit too comfortable,” Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart said. “We kind of played not to lose rather than play to win and I think that ended up costing us and it’s a tough loss today. Tomorrow is a new day and we’ve just got to bounce back.”

One of the Islanders’ team store employees is in critical condition with cystic fibrosis. You can make a donation here.


At the World Championships, Colin McDonald and Brock Nelson have both been in action for Team USA. McDonald was named an assistant caption of the team. The team won their opener 6-1 late last week, beat Switzerland 3-2 on Saturday, and the next game is this afternoon against Russia.

Both Nelson and McDonald scored in the opening game and here’s the GIF of Nelson’s goal:


In the NHL playoffs, there’s been a new theme of water bottle antics. Everyone seems to be playing pranks or just being jerks. First, we had Corey Perry filling Jeff Carter’s glove with water.

And then Boston’s Shawn Thornton thought that was funny, so he did it to PK Subban in the middle of a game. Which is more of being a jerk and less of a prank. The NHL took notice and fined him $2,820.52 for the incident (can’t forget the 52 cents). And finally, last night at the Garden, Henrik Lundqvist made sure he soaked Sidney Crosby on his way by.

But, as Chris Botta pointed out on twitter, this all goes back to the Islanders as Brad Isbister got in on the action a long time ago (and frankly this video is more fun than any of the above links). Except, well, it wasn’t in the playoffs.


In off-season news, Jason Spezza’s time may be up in Ottawa. Bob McKenzie tweets that Spezza is “very much in play in the trade market.” He says that probably comes from exit interviews where Spezza expressed his desire to move on to management.


Also:  The Hockey News helpfully points out that there are ex-Isles doing well in the playoffs. Thanks, guys we had no idea… Where NHL players are born (not many surprises)… Ex-NBA Star Tracy McGrady is now a pitcher for some reason

Around the League: Larry Brooks thinks the Garden has been really quiet this year and has a neat nickname for it: “the World’s Most Silent and Sullen Arena“… And after the Rangers beat the Penguins in Game Six last night, a Pittsburgh reporter calls Sidney Crosby weak (you know, the guy with a couple Cups and gold medals)… The NHL is looking into SportVU, which has already taken over the NBA…




145 comments
slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

i think people are over reacting about halak.  why would he be soo eager to sign this early? it makes absolutely no sense.  he has well over a month to figure out if he likes it here or if theres better opportunities.  negotations dont happen over a 1 hour meeting.  its a slow process.  be patient. 

since72
since72

This Halak situation is beginning to bother some of us.  Why hasn't he been signed already?  I think that his agent may be busting Snow's balls because he can.  He holds all the cards right now.  The nightmare senario is if Halak's agent is asked "What does it take in money and term for Halak to sign today?"  If the answer is ridiculous or worse, you hear nothing but crickets chirping, then we are screwed.  At some point the best offer will be put forward and if the answer is no, then we know where we stand. 

Hopefully, that offer will be much better than anything that he will see from other teams where there will be other goalies who believe that they can be the number 1 and a few bad games puts him on the bench.  Minnesota has cap issues.  Vancouver is a mess.  Pittsburgh may or may not believe they need a goalie depending upon how it goes tonight.  He's not going to want to go to Calgary.  The door has closed in St. Louis and Washington.  The Isles are a viable option for him if the money is there. 

dimaio34
dimaio34

I go halak and Nabokov in goal. If Nabby don't sign go with griess

dimaio34
dimaio34

Who liked Wendel Clark when he played here????

dimaio34
dimaio34

MOntreal wins. What a kill job that was. Game 7 is gonna be off the charts. Sure feels like a kick in the gut. Watching this. Has to be a huge off season like never before to get as far as these teams have gone.

dimaio34
dimaio34

Ok my prediction for the new asst coach is...... Former islanders forward Derek laxdal. He is the head coach for the Edmonton oil kings.

tag1
tag1

We could have all second round series go to 7 Games This last few minutes may take awhile to play

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

i don't know if anyone else is watching the montreal game on the nbc sports stream, but boy what a lousy product.  a couple of times it never came back from break and i had to refresh missing several minutes.  then once in a while it freezes and rebuffers which takes another couple of minutes.  i like watching on a laptop but this can be painful.

dimaio34
dimaio34

Hey what was your opinion of Wendel Clark when he was here??? He's one of my favorite players ever

fourcups
fourcups

Nino should have kept his mouth SHUT. If he had he would have played last year with Regin & Bouchard. On top of that he would be playing golf now not breaking his ass in some play-off series.

mrcisback
mrcisback

  49 days and counting for Halak to sign with the Islanders. Lets see how far this thing gets for Halak to either sign or walk away.

puckznpadz
puckznpadz

@slapshot18_rs I do not see Halak siging until after the draft.  I think he is going to want to see what kind of improvements the team makes.

orange2327
orange2327

Because folks on this blog rightfully so are skeptical that he will sign with wangs islanders. Not like players are dying to come here.

shlo
shlo

@since72 I am not too worried. I don't believe in "instant gratification" when it comes to contract negotiations. Halak has a market value, he may get little more because we are desperate. His options as you stated are somewhat limited. So you play the give and take little longer. As far as Pitts is concerned, not sure that Halak is an upgrade over Fleury. 

I still think that he'll sign here for stability- no goalie controversy - he'll be number 1

and the money will be more than fair.

tpjm
tpjm

@dimaio34  I don't want nabakov anywhere near this team. His time has passed. 

dkdk
dkdk

My only reservation with Nabby is he has never been a backup before and I don't know how he would look going in once every 2 weeks. I guess no worse than what we are used to, but I would like a guy that has been successful in hat role already and could assume a bigger role if needed, like a Greiss. But halak has to sign and quick.

orange2327
orange2327

Watching these games tag1 you see how weak we are in the vital areas its gonna take a huge offseason to get us back in the dance. Snow isnt capable of doing it in my opinion. Lets see if halak signs. Still say that s iffy.

Don22
Don22

@dimaio34 I liked him too. But he was nearing the end of his career by then and he really didn't want to be playing with the Isles. Not because of the team, but he wanted to be back with the Leafs.  Smaller guy who could hold his own with the best of him and never backed down.  Wish the Isles could have had him earlier in his career.

snostorm
snostorm

@fourcups  I mean really what gives him the right to ask for a trade off of this Island of misfit toys.

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

@mrcisback  it's a lot less than that.  more like 35.  this ain't getting done at the wire, imo.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@orange2327  yes i totally get that - but thats all the more reason he would take his time.  where does the urgency come in for him? theres no reason in the world this has to be a fast process for him.  i get the skepticism, but be realistic, theres no reason for him to be rushing to sign. 

since72
since72

@shlo Is Halak an upgrade over Fleury?  Interesting question.  If Pitt decides to go another way and change goalies, would you trade for Fleury should he become available?  It is hard to imagine a senario where they pick up a Miller, Hiller or Halak and keep Fleury around.  Would you rather a guy like Fleury or go after Elliot or Gustavsson should the Halak deal not happen?

orange2327
orange2327

I think pitt could be in the mix for halak if MAF crashes and burns again. Halak might not be much better but flower is an absolute disaster waiting to happen in the playoffs.

tag1
tag1

Who are we beating out to even get in the playoffs next season? The Isles have a lot of work to do to get in next season and it better be more than just a goalie

myisles72
myisles72

@snostorm @fourcups  Because he hadn't proven a thing, and was 20 years old.That's why he didn't have the right to ask for a trade. There is the claim that he was kept in the NHL for salary floor reasons. Well, he got to play in the NHL younger than he should have been because of it! He should complain about getting that chance? I don't care who he played with. You think JT would have had only one goal in a season even buried on the fourth line? You earn your minutes on the top lines. I never saw much from him. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I believe that players should play hard for the team that drafted them. Garth didn't handle it well, but Nino should have shut his mouth.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

however dont get me wrong, id much rather him sign asap.  i just dont see it as a major issue that he hasnt been signed yet, and i dont think its snow's fault that he hasnt been signed yet. its a slow process. 

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

i hope you are too.  thats not my point though - no one understands why he hasnt he signed yet... there are many variables. its not hard to figure out why he hasnt signed. theres a lot to learn and think about an organization before you commit to them long term.  thats all my point was. 

orange2327
orange2327

Ok fine lets see if he signs before july 1 or goes ufa. I see he goes ufa I hope I'm wrong.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

and if it wasn't may 13, maybe id panic too. but, it is may 13. 

orange2327
orange2327

Thats your opinion fine. This is wangs islanders nobody is jonesing to come here+ snow is a lousy gm so you can understand the trepidation.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

halak is not doing anything to benefit the islanders point of view.  this is business, this is how business works, and everyone here knows that, but theyre panicking because nothing ever goes the isles way.  but him not being signed by now becuase we traded for his rights two weeks ago is not the biggest deal in the world, and its not a sign of anything bad/good either. 

orange2327
orange2327

Theirs is no reason for him but for the isles POV its different. They must declare their intent by june 1 regarding the draft pick to buffalo. Besides the longer it goes the more teams that will be interested in him and he might have second thoughts.

shlo
shlo

@since72 I would not trade for Fleury, just because I don't like him.(not too business like..)  What do we know about Fleury's contract? does he have a no trade? I suppose Pitts will go for Hiller if they wanted to change goalie. He may be hurt, that's why he is not playing- something is not right with the Hiller situation.

It will be interesting.

orange2327
orange2327

I agree pitt will have no choice but to replace fluery should he be at fault or play a big role in their loss.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@orange2327  maybe  but they might have the pedigree to go for the top UFA. i would guess they would target miller first. 

since72
since72

@orange2327 Yeah, this is a very important game for him.  He gives up 4, regardless of how the Pens play in front of him, and he will be the scapegoat.  Pittsburgh will be compelled to replace him.

dkdk
dkdk

It is true that I think we will improve, but what also is true is that the teams that tag and orange have named will also surely spend more money than we will. So our improvement will need to be organic while the others could go shopping.

orange2327
orange2327

I'm not saying they cant improve but with wang as our owner and snow as our gm and cappy as our coach that remains problematical at best.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

haha but the islanders cant improve? literally just named every team in the east and said theyre gonna be improved. no one has any idea what the team will look like next year so why cant they improve as well?...

tag1
tag1

And chances are teams like the Caps and Leafs who missed the playoffs will improve

orange2327
orange2327

Just my thoughts too tag1. Who are we gonna leap frog into the playoffs?? Every team in the eastern conf playoffs this year will probably be no worse than they are this year. Cbj will be better so will detroit. Rags always make the playoffs. Bruins and habs are way ahead of us.

Don22
Don22

@myisles72 @snostorm@fourcupsI would even give him credit if the reason he demanded the trade was because he didn't want to play on the team with Wang owning it and Garth running it.  But that wasn't it.  he demanded a trade because he felt he was entitled to time on the top line, even though his play and attitude didn't warrant it.  He didn't want to pay his dues like all of the rest before him.


I hope we all get the chance to post here 5 years from now so we can see the direction his career goes.  My bet is he bounces around a few teams and never really fulfills his potential.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@mrcisback

And if many of us do not like Poulin and Nilsson, that shows all we need to know about Snow's prowess at drafting or lack of same.

dkdk
dkdk

MrC .... Ideally we can get 50-55 games from halak if he signs (he is good for an IR stint most years) and the rest from a GOOD backup that could become a number 1. I don't think you can give that many games to Nilsson or Poulin or even Koskinen.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@dkdk   I agree DK. If we sign Halak then we have a top 10 goaltender. I also like the 3 you mentioned as a back ups. I really had enough of Poulan/Nilsson. Its also time to move in another direction other then Nabakov. Make Nabakov the goaltending coach if he wants the job.

dkdk
dkdk

I don't think there is a good plan B. There are options like Reimer but no one offers a guarantee of an improvement over Nabby.

Reimer could be good and be another khodobun. He could also be another joey macdonald.

Ideally I want halak AND Reimer or Greiss or Elliott.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@dkdk   I guess we'll have to trade for goaltender then. I.E. Reimer?

dkdk
dkdk

Right, the problem is if he doesn't sign by then.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@dkdk   DK if Halak signs before June-01 it will be an easy decision 2015 1st rounder.

dkdk
dkdk

They need a goalie in place by time they tell buffalo which pick we are shytting away .... I mean handing to them.

mrcisback
mrcisback

@gleichzahl @mrcisback   The official free agency period does start July-01 but your right the Islanders will probably have to know what Halak is going to do by say June-01.

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

@mrcisback @gleichzahl  i'm not referring to the official deadline.  i'm saying if they don't close the deal a couple of weeks before that, it's over.  they have plenty of time to figure out whether it'll get done, well before the deadline.  the silence already is starting to worry me.