The first round of the NHL playoffs is well underway. There are a few teams with commanding 3-0 and 3-1 leads as well as a few competitive series in the early going.
The Philadelphia Flyers, meanwhile, are focusing on the offseason. We took a look back at some of the players’ exit interviews last week.
Welcome to the Morning Skate, our roundup of links on Philly Hockey Now as well as other sites around the National Hockey Now network and hockey world!
- The date and odds have been set for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery. The Flyers have the 14th-best chance at the No. 1 pick. So you’re telling me there’s a chance… (Philly Hockey Now)
- Sam Morin thinks he’s one of the toughest guys in the league and wants to be the enforcer that the Flyers need. (Philly Hockey Now).
- The Flyers are entering an offseason of change with the expansion draft looming. On top of that, a core shakeup could be in the cards after a disappointing season. We look at five Flyers that may have played their last game in orange and black. (Philly Hockey Now)
- Alain Vigneault was talkin’ ’bout ‘practice in his end-of-season press conference. He also touched on a variety of other topics including Canadian restrictions, wanting a “normal season,” and feeling like he let “everyone down” this season. (Philly Hockey Now)
- Chuck Fletcher will be at the helm in this crucial offseason. He talked about the Flyers’ need to improve. He said that he’ll need to “be creative” as the Flyers can “upgrade everywhere” this offseason. (Philly Hockey Now)
Around the NHL
Sometimes, it seems Evgeni Malkin has two roles within the Pittsburgh Penguins universe. There are days when the galloping Russian center reminds everyone that he is a former Calder Trophy winner, a Conn Smythe winner, and one of the best of his generation, Russian or otherwise.
But now and again, Evgeni Malkin can send Penguins fans running to the liquor cabinet with head-scratching mistakes, bad penalties, or both. That was the case on Saturday afternoon.
Islanders’ Dominating Effort Too Much For Pens in Game 4 Win – NYI Hockey Now
When the New York Islanders needed to most, they stepped up.
The Islanders’ offense exploded for four goals and Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 at the Nassau Coliseum. The effort was the best the Islanders have had in the series and sends it back to Pittsburgh even at 2-2.
Boston Bruins’ Cassidy: Game 4 Calls On Ice ‘A Complete Head-Scratcher’ – Boston Hockey Now
The Boston Bruins are riding high and up 3-1 against the Washington Capitals in the best-of-seven playoff series after Friday night’s one-sided 4-1 win in Game 4 at TD Garden. But not everything was roses and sunshine for the Black and Gold despite their solid win over the Caps to take a commanding lead in the series.
It seems the B’s had some issues with the referees despite getting the better of things on the scoreboard.
PHPA Executive Director on AHL’s Pacific Division Playoffs: “It’s a crock of s—.” – San Jose Hockey Now
The battle for the AHL’s Pacific Division hasn’t been waged just on the ice at FivePoint Arena over the last couple of days, it’s also been waged off the ice.
When the AHL revealed plans for a Pacific Division playoffs in late April — the only division hosting any type of post-season tournament — the reaction from the Professional Hockey Players’ Association was swift and to the point: The players did not want this tournament. For an AHL player, the PHPA is the equivalent of the NHLPA for an NHL player.
Sergei Bobrovsky had nine of the biggest saves of his Florida Panthers career on Thursday night.
After not starting the past two playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bobrovsky was called out of the bullpen in Game 3. This was not a save situation but a desperate one.
No Pacioretty? No Problem. Vegas Golden Knights Depth Scoring Shines – Vegas Hockey Now
If there’s a team that’s faced adversity and overcome it constantly in the last four years, it’s the Vegas Golden Knights.
Even before blades hit the ice the team had to fight for its own name. They had to fight for respect on the ice, and it seemed that even after an incredible inaugural season that finished with a Stanley Cup Final appearance there were still those who chalked it up to luck. There was a stunning Game Seven loss to the San Jose Sharks after a phantom high-sticking major was whistled against the team resulting in utter collapse. And even this off-season trade winds swirled around the beloved face of the franchise Marc-Andre Fleury as the team prepared for a shortened, COVID-controlled season with its own challenges.
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