It was a fun Monday night for hockey fans on social media as the Toronto Maple Leafs completed their collapse against the Montreal Canadiens. Toronto led the series 3-1 after four games, but they choked yet again as the Canadiens won the series in Game 7 on Monday night.
Both the Maple Leafs and Oilers are now out of the playoffs. There are plenty of superstars watching the NHL playoffs from their couches: Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin, just to name a few.
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!
- Seth Jones may want out of Columbus. Should the Flyers be interested in the right-handed defenseman to fill their biggest 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)
- 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)
Around the NHL
What to Make of the Penguins Failure? 2 Places to Start – (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
The Pittsburgh Penguins social media universe did not burn itself down as it did in the past two years after an early Penguins playoff exit. Perhaps losing is more acceptable after three times rolling craps. Perhaps deep down, fans didn’t believe the Penguins would beat Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders, or perhaps it’s the cold fear of what comes next.
The Penguins have been a star-laden team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang for a generation of hockey fans. While the fans have adopted a sibling rivalry between Crosby and Malkin, the stars have not.
But now, we wait and wonder if the Big 3 will stay together.
Cizikas Leads Islanders to Game 2 Overtime Victory Over Boston – (NYI Hockey Now)
Casey Cizikas wouldn’t have been the first person that came to mind when trying to pick a game-winner, but the fourth-liner came up big when the New York Islanders needed him the most.
Cizikas scored the game-winning goal on Monday on the breakaway to clinch Game 2 for the Islanders in overtime, 4-3 and send their series with the Boston Bruins back to Long Island even at 1-1. The OT winner was Cizikas’ first postseason goal since April 21, 2015, against a Barry Trotz-led Washington Capitals team.
‘Ill-Advised’ Play Sinks Bruins in OT Loss To Isles – (Boston Hockey Now)
BOSTON – On a night when there were definitely a few funny bounces going against the Boston Bruins, it was one final one in OT that ended up sinking them in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders in Game 2 at TD Garden.
With the Boston Bruins and Islanders going back and forth looking for the overtime winner, young B’s defenseman Jeremy Lauzon opted for a cross-ice pass from the left point to a player that wasn’t there to receive the puck. Instead, the pass bounced off Charlie Coyle’s skate and kicked out toward the Boston zone where Casey Cizikas picked it up and snapped home a game-winner for the Islanders.
Avs Have Way More Skill than Vegas, but can they survive the Vegas cheap shots? – (Colorado Hockey Now)
The Avalanche just destroyed the Vegas Golden Knights tonight, in one of the best-played games I’ve ever seen them play. They have already established that they have a lot more high-end skill than the VGK, but this could have been a truly ugly night in what had shades of the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore 2004 scandal in Vancouver.
Ryan Reaves should be nowhere near an active hockey playing surface for the next several days, after a blatant attempt to seriously injure Avs defenseman Ryan Graves in the third period of Colorado’s 7-1 Game 1 win at Ball Arena.
Kyle and JD debate if Alexander Barabanov is a true top-six forward. We start by discussing his role on the San Jose Sharks and who he was playing with, then why he was traded by Toronto (5:00). We then dissect his KHL statistics and how those should adjust to the NHL (9:30), what his future role should look like (15:00), and if he will be on the San Jose Sharks during the 2022-23 season (18:00). Plus we explain how you can win an awesome prize just for leaving a review (20:00)!
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Photo: Heather Barry Images