Congratulations to the Islanders for really fighting their way into the playoffs, finally making it in via a shootout in game 82. Coach Ted Nolan started the season asking for character players: guys like Mike Sillinger, Chris Simon, Brendan Witt, and Richard Park. Simon, obviously, didn’t 100% work out, but Park, a tough, fourth-liner, has been a monster lately, pushing the Isles into the playoffs. Park has eight goals on the season — three in the past two games. I’m not quite sure how the Isles are going to match up against Buffalo, but for now, it’s just cool to have all three local New York City area teams in the playoffs.
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The Red Wings locked up Pavel Datsyuk with a seven-year, $46.9 million contract, continuing the league-wide trend of not letting any first-line players hit the open market. I wonder if this is what GMs had in mind when they negotiated the last collective bargaining agreement. If you can consistently score around 30 goals in the NHL, you’re pretty much guaranteed five to seven-year contracts at a clip.
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Also, yesterday’s Times had a huge loveletter to Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. Interestingly, no mention was made of his alleged role in the canning of coach Claude Julien.
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Boston coach Dave Lewis has a list of things to work on with the Bruins next season: 1. systems; 2. meetings; 3. communication; 4. discipline; 5. structure.
So what exactly was he doing with the team this season? Was he just emailing everyone? I’m not an NHL coach, but those all seem like pretty standard first-season priorities.