Bill Masterton finalists preview

The finalists for the Bill Masterton trophy in the 2015- 2016 NHL season were recently announced. The finalists were the Florida Panthers\’ Jaromir Jagr, the New York Rangers\’ Mats Zuccarello and Pascal Dupuis, who announced his retirement on December 8.
     Jagr, who had 27 goals and 39 assists in 79 games to help the Panthers win the Atlantic Division for the first time ever at the age of 44. He was first on the Panthers in points, and second in goals and plus / minus rating with a +23 season. He also was the oldest player in NHL history to have 60+ points.
     Zuccarello sustained a fractured skull and brain contusion during the 2015 Stanley cup playoffs and lost the ability to speak for 4 days. He rehabbed during the offseason and had a career high in games [ 81], points[ 61], and goals[ 26].
     Dupuis was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November 2014 and didn\’t play for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season. He played 18 games at the start of this season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and had 2 goals and 2 assists before his retirement due to health concerns; he left two games after falling ill because of the blood clots. Dupuis does attend all Penguins games and provides feedback to the coaching staff and players.
      I think that Zuccarello will win the Bill Masterton memorial trophy. The decision was tough being an Islander fan but Zuccarello most likely will win the trophy because of his ability to set career highs coming off a major injury

Game 2 jitters

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the New York Islanders faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 2 of round 2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In game 1, the Islanders won 5-3 and Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop was pulled from the game in the second period. Tampa Bay has won all game 2s under coach Jon Cooper after losing game 1. Lately, for the Islanders the opposite has happened with New York losing game 2 after a game 1 victory. Early in the game, Islanders Cal Clutterbuck and Nick Leddy collide and Tampa Bay goes down the other way and sloppy back checking by Matt Martin leads Tyler Johnson wide open as his backhander beats Thomas Greiss for the first goal. Ondrej Palat, who scored the first goal in game 1, gets an assist. Victor Hedman gets a helper too. Later in the period Greiss allows a weak five-hole goal against Jonathan Drouin to make it 2-0. The goal was Drouin\’s first career playoff marker. Valtteri Filppula gets the only assist. But that was not all in the 1st as a power-play shot by the Islanders\’ Thomas Hickey deflects off Nikolay Kuleman and the Islanders make it 2-1. Hickey and round 1 game 5 hero Alan Quine get helpers. In the second period, with Tampa Bay on the powerplay, a shot by Hedman goes off the Islanders\’ Calvin de Haan\’s skate and caroms in 3-1 Tampa Bay. The other two goal scores, Johnson and Drouin, got assists on the play. The Islanders were terrible offensively the entire game going from outshooting Tampa Bay 14-5 to being outshot 28-18. Hedman\’s goal was the only in the period as the Lightning went into the locker room up 3-1. With just over 2 minutes left Johnson shot from his own zone goes in an empty net and Tampa Bay ices it 4-1. That was the final score of the game as the Lightning tie up the series at 1. The refs were not afraid of calling penalties as there was 18 minor penalties in the game. Game 3 will be in Barclays Center, Brooklyn on Tuesday, May 3.

Still Struggling

On Friday, April 29,2016, the New York Yankees played their archenemy, the Boston Red sox in Boston. The pitching matchup was Masahiro Tanaka against Henry Owens. The first run was in the top of the first when Alex Rodriguez homered. 1-0 Yankees. Later in the game, Didi Gregorius gets plunked in the bat with two outs and no one on. A single by former Red Sock Jacoby Ellsbury got Gregorius to second and he then scored on a hit by Brett Gardner. 2-0. Later in the game a 2- run double by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the 7th ties up the game 2-2. That ended Tanaka\’s night. Then in the eighth, Pitcher Dellin Betances allows a two-run homer to David Ortiz. 4-2 Boston. That was the final score. Pitcher Koji Uehara gets the win, Betances gets the loss and Craig Krimbel gets the save.    

The Hatrick hero

On Thursday, April 28th, 2016, the Washington Capitals faced the Pittsburgh Penguins  in game one of round 2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Penguins goaltender Matt Murray had made many good saves until a shot by Jason Chimera forces Murray to give up a rebound and it\’s buried by Andre Burakovsky 1-0 Washington. John Carlson and Chimera get assists. That was the only goal of the 1st. In the second period, a nice play by the Penguins\’ Nick Bonino forces Washington defensemen Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov to collide and then Bonino\’s shot is saved by goalie Braden Holtby and defenseman Ben Lovejoy gets the rebound 1-1. Bonino and Carl Hagelin get assists. Not much later a wicked backhander by Evgeni Malkin hits the post and goes in 2-1 Pittsburgh. Assists go to Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang. But the Penguins didn\’t have the lead for long as T.J. Oshie scores unassisted and the Capitals tie it up. That\’s the last of the goals in the 2nd. Quickly in the 3rd, Oshie scores again making it a 3-2 game. Alex Ovechkin gets the only assist. About 5 minutes later, Bonino scores his first goal of the postseason. 3-3. Assists go to Hagelin and Phil Kessel. The game then went to overtime. Almost half way through, A wrap around chance for Oshie appears to go in, and the review shows so, and Oshie completes the hatrick, and Washington wins game 1 4-3.

Other scores: No other NHL game. MLB: A\’s 3, Tigers 7. Brewers 2, Cubs 7. Phillies 3, Nationals 0. White Sox 2, Orioles 10. Braves 5, Red Sox 3. Cardinals 0, D-backs 3. Marlins 5, Dodgers 3. And Pirates and Rockies postponed.      

Bye Bye Bishop

On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the New York Islanders played the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 1 of round 2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs in Amalie arena, Tampa Bay. Quickly into the game, the Lightning\’s Ondrej Palat scored. Assists go to Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov. The Lightning didn\’t have the lead for long as 2:39 later Travis Hamonic\’s shot leaks through goalie Ben Bishop\’s pad. 1-1. Assists go to Alan Quine and John Tavares. Later in the period bad back checking by Tampa Bay leads to a nice pass from Ryan Strome to Shane Prince and Prince makes no mistakes and buries the puck past Bishop 2-1. Brock Nelson got an assist along with Strome. The line\’s next shift was similar as Prince scores again with 3 seconds left as Strome and Nelson get another assist 3-1 New York. In the second period, a penalty by Jonathan Marchessault gave the Islanders a power play goal by John Tavares ending
Bishop\’s night. That\’s 4GA on 13 shots. Assists go to Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielson. A scary moment for the Islanders when Alex Killorn\’s dumped in puck hits head coach Jack Capuano in the nose. Former Stanley cup winner Doug Weight then took over as head coach. In the 3rd period, goals by Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula got the game to 4-3. Matthew Carle, Victor Hedman, Killorn and Jason Garrison all got assists. Luckily for the Islanders, Cal Clutterbuck\’s empty net goal made it 5-3. Casey Cizikas and Calvin de Haan got assists. More good news is that Capuano was on the bench to see the goal. Final Islanders 5, Lightning 3.
other scores: Predators 2, Ducks 1. MLB: Yankees 2, Rangers 3. Padres 9 Giants13 Phillies3 Nats0 Chisox4 Jays0 Braves4 Bosox9 O\’s3 Rays1 Reds2 Mets5 A\’s4 Tigers9 Indians6 Twins5 Pirates9 Rockies8 Cards11 Dbacks4 Royals2 Angels4 Astros7 Mariners4 Marlins 2 Dodgers 0 Brewers and Cubs postponed.