Leave it to the Islanders to get caught in a stir in the media. When it’s not some rogue fan stirring up a hoax about a Rick DiPietro car accident, they’re stuck in a mess having to deal with MSG Network not renewing the contract of television color commentator Billy Jaffe. Chris Botta from Islanders Point Blank shares the news and give his thoughts on Jaffe.
Despite the Islanders finishing 30th and 26th in the league the last two seasons, I never saw anything but 100% positive analysis from Jaffe. In fact, no one more optimistically and studiously told the story of the slow and steady recall better than him. If there was a dispute between MSG and Jaffe, I would think the Islanders would push to keep one of their biggest public advocates. In addition, he was a regular volunteer for the Islanders at draft parties and on segments for Islanders TV.
Speaking as a guy who has done some very amateur work in the radio booth as a color commentator, remaining positive when things are down in the dumps is, indeed, very difficult to do at times. Considering Jaffe has been the Isles color man for four years makes him worthy of an award for perseverance through dire times.
Jaffe has also done work for Versus and ESPN in the past and considering that Versus doesn’t have their own army of broadcasters on staff (everyone in the booth for Versus has a “day job” with another team) perhaps having Jaffe on board to be the main color man for the network would make for a smooth move and one that’s good for PR as well.
Then again, I’m not a broadcasting executive, so what do I know?
Chris Botta gets to the bottom of things fast and shares the info via Twitter:
Multiple sources confirm: MSG had contract done for Billy Jaffe, Islanders shot it down. Reason: not positive enough.
That makes things look a lot more ugly on the Islanders behalf. That said, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but this just doesn’t look great for the Islanders for letting a guy go for not being enough of a “company man” for their liking.
The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.
San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.
The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.
Here’s the goal:
Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.
Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.
Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.
Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.
The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.
Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.
The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.
It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.
After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.
In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.
You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.
It’s nice to see that Vlasic was in a joking mood after the game:
Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:
You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.
After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.
“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.
“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”
After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.
“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”
And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.
—Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta
Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.
Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.
Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:
“Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”
To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.
This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.