The New York Islanders seemed to argue that they’ll be heard from again despite losing their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that doesn’t mean that the same cast of characters will be back.
The New York Post reports that the team last spoke to Evgeni Nabokov about a new contract about four weeks ago. The veteran netminder stated that he’d like to return to the team during his exit interview, for one thing.
“I think Garth will make his decision,” Nabokov said. “I told him I would like to stay, but we were fighting for the playoffs and nothing was going on. Now we have to see.”
On one hand, Nabokov was a workhorse goalie for the Isles in 2013. He played in 41 out of the team’s 48 regular season games, going 23-11-7 with a .910 save percentage and 2.50 GAA. Kevin Poulin was the only other netminder to register a win for the team in 2013 (1-3-0 in the regular season).
Still, Nabokov is 37 and had a rough series against the Penguins, sporting a putrid .842 save percentage and 4.44 GAA. While a small sample size of games against a high-powered offense isn’t a fair barometer for what he can do, he isn’t getting any younger and didn’t put up all-world stats in the regular season.
Ultimately, it all comes down to which direction GM Garth Snow wants to go in and what Nabokov demands.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger