NHL Playoff Preview: Will Crosby Return to Face the Islanders?

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Both have had impressive runs of regular-season and playoff success, with the Canucks coming within a game of the Stanley Cup and the Sharks getting to the Western Conference finals, and both are starting to face questions of what that will mean if they don’t win it all. In any playoff matchup, you know that someone will be eliminated, but Sharks-Canucks has an element that reminds one of the dread created by, say, The Hunger Games or Game of Thrones — an unsettling feeling that not only is one team going to die, it’s not going to be pretty for anyone involved. The problem with the Sharks and Canucks, more so than in any other series, is that the losing team will have fallen in the first round for the second straight year. For either side, that will be unacceptable. Big Questions: Will Logan Couture continue his ascent? (We know he gets up to play teams like Edmonton, because he measures his game against some of their young talent, so will showcasing his skills in front of Canadian audiences provide a similar lift?) How will Todd McLellan and Alain Vigneault, two of the leagues most actively analytic coaches, deploy their player combinations? Will Ryan Kesler stay injury-free? Will Patrick Marleau shed the ridiculous cloak of playoff underperformance? Any Bad Blood? The Sharks and Canucks have met only once in the playoffs, the 2011 Western Conference finals won by Vancouver 4-1, before the Canucks lost in seven games to Boston for the Stanley Cup. But that series was certainly filled with rancor, particularly after a Game 2 incident in which Ben Eager was called for boarding Daniel Sedin and Vigneault said : “In our mind anyway he went out and tried to hurt our player, the potential NHL MVP. source: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/60355/nhl-playoff-preview-will-crosby-return-to-face-the-islanders

2013 NHL Playoffs: 5 Most Important Players for the New York Islanders

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Back in 2007, the then No. 8 seeded Islanders won just one game against the Buffalo Sabres . Since then it’s been nothing but fourth and fifth place finishes for the Atlantic Division. The one shining beacon through those rough years has been John Tavares, selected No. 1 overall by the team in 2009. Throughout the next three seasons after being drafted he provided the only excitement Islander fans had and continuously showed signs of becoming a superstar. Finally in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, Tavares put it all together and became a top 5 player in the NHL . He finished third in the league in goals scored with 28 and was in the top 20 in points and shots on goal. His emergence helped lead the Islanders to a 24-17-7 season, which in the end was just enough for a No. 8 seed to set up a matchup with the No. source: http://www.rantsports.com/nhl/2013/05/01/2013-nhl-playoffs-5-most-important-players-for-the-new-york-islanders/

New York Islanders Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 1: Watch Live Stream Of 1st Round Game Online For Free; Preview

EDT and will take place from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. The game can be seen on  NBC Sports Network  or locally on  MSG+  (Islanders broadcast) and  Root Sports Pittsburgh  (Penguins broadcast). If you can’t get to a television, you can watch the live online stream by clicking  this link  but please, do so at your own risk. Follow Us : The Islanders come into the 2013 NHL Playoffs as the eight seed in the Eastern Conference. They finished the season with 24-17-7 record for a total of 55 points. What makes this appearance for the Islanders special is that it is their first postseason appearance in six years, even though they were picked to finish dead last in the East by  The Hockey News . Young superstar John Tavares leads the Isles into this latest playoff run, after he led the team in points during the regular season with 47 and in power play goals with nine. In goal, Evgeni Nabokov had an career resurgence with the Islanders posting a 2.50 goals against and .910 save percentage during the shortened 48-game season. For the Penguins, Game 1 may be a challenge. Their captain Sidney Crosby  announced on Wednesday that he would not play  in Game 1 after not being cleared by doctors. He has been out since March 30 after sustaining a broken jaw after being hit in the face with a deflected pick. He admitted to the press that he has no return date set. source: http://www.isportstimes.com/articles/7106/20130501/new-york-islanders-vs-pittsburgh-penguins-watch-live-online-stream-free.htm

Former Otter Boyes, Islanders find success

Rangers This tight series will be decided by goaltending, and Henrik Lundqvist is the best in the league. Prediction: Rangers in 6 games Finals No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 6 N.Y. Rangers The Pens are built to win the Cup this season. They will earn their chance to claim it. Prediction: Penguins in 6 games WESTERN CONFERENCE Quarterfinals No. 1 Chicago Blackhawks (36-7-5) vs. No. source: http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/local/link?urlid=4669472

 

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