The final goodbye: Nassau Coliseum’s ice removed for good

Jared Clinton
Nassau Coliseum (via Bobby Cassidy/Twitter)

For the final time in the long, storied history of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, crews removed the ice surface and scraped away the last of the New York Islanders’ season.

After seeing its final NHL action 10 days ago, Tuesday was demolition day for the ice surface, and Newsday videographer Bobby Cassidy caught some fantastic photographs of the rink’s last moments. Read more

Islanders defenseman Hamonic nominated as Humanitarian of the Year

Jared Clinton
Travis Hamonic (Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic had one of the best seasons of his young career on the ice. It’s his year away from the rink, however, that should be helping the 24-year-old blueliner make some new fans.

For his work in the community, especially with youth in the New York area, All Sports United, a non-profit group that supports philanthropic acts by professional athletes, has nominated Hamonic for the honor of Humanitarian of the Year.

Hamonic’s work in the community gained mainstream national attention in November when ESPN program E:60 documented Hamonic’s story. Read more

Are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry best 1-2 draft punch in NHL history?

Ryan Getzlaf (left) and Corey Perry  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When fans of the Anaheim Ducks watch games such as Thursday night’s thrashing of the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their playoff series, there’s a good chance they thank their lucky stars that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are under contract for the next four seasons. (Oh, and if you happen to have both of them in a playoff pool, you’re probably clicking your heels together today as well. Click-click.)

They’re also probably pretty happy that Perry had such a poor showing in the CHL Prospects Game in 2003 and that Getzlaf was likened to “a poor man’s Patrick Marleau,” in THN’s Draft Preview that year. Because if not, Getzlaf would not have tumbled to 19th and Perry to 28th in that year’s draft and the Ducks would not have had the chance to take them. Read more

Habs’ Carey Price, Isles’ John Tavares and Caps’ Alex Ovechkin named finalists for Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

John Tavares (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

The NHL announced Wednesday this year’s finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player: Montreal Canadiens goaltending dynamo Carey Price, New York Islanders captain John Tavares, and Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. And although it could be a closer race than many believe, the sense among more than a few media members is that the award is likely to go to Price. Read more

The NHL got the Kronwall suspension right. But what about Alex Ovechkin?

Alex Ovechkin (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Emotions run high during the Stanley Cup playoffs and, in turn, so does vitriol toward the NHL’s Department of Player Safety every time a questionable hit occurs. The victimized team and its fan base demand supplemental discipline. The perpetrating team and its fan base proclaim the player’s innocence. After the decision, one side ends up enraged.

The Detroit Red Wings and their tribe of keyboard warriors are furious with Niklas Kronwall’s Game 7 suspension. Sorry, Detroit, but you shouldn’t be. The Kronwall case wasn’t even vague. He hammered Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov with violent force directly to the head. It’s rule 48: illegal check to the head. Or, as the league stated specifically, it’s rule 42: charging. The DOPS had an excellent chance to send a zero-tolerance message by sitting down Detroit’s best blueliner for a series-deciding game. Consider the test passed with flying colors. The rationale behind the decision:

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Watch Evgeny Kuznetsov display skill, patience to win Game 7 for Capitals

Evgeny Kuznetsov (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s a reason we picked Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov as one of the five potential Game 7 heroes for Monday’s tilt between the Capitals and Islanders, and that’s because whenever the puck had been on his stick in the first-round series, the 22-year-old looked incredibly dangerous.

With the teams tied 1-1 late in the third period and the clock approaching seven minutes remaining in regulation, it was Kuznetsov that struck. Picking the puck up on the right wing boards, he found open ice by spinning to his forehand and then walked to the front of the net where he waited out Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak before burying what stood as the game- and series-winning marker: Read more

Capitals outlast injury-ravaged Islanders in Game 7, but face much tougher test against Rangers

Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were two players who helped the Capitals Beard-A-Thon. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In their first-round series against the New York Islanders, the Capitals bent, but didn’t break. A microcosm of that theme could be seen in Game 7 Monday in Washington, when the Caps allowed the Isles to pull even early in the third period, but hung on until Evgeny Kuznetsov scored this terrific goal that turned out to be the deciding marker for both the game and the series:

The Islanders got a tremendous showing from veteran Jaroslav Halak in net, but their injury-depleted lineup (which was without defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky, Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic) couldn’t keep the Capitals at bay all night, and their offense couldn’t get much of anything going in the area of Washington goalie Braden Holtby. Indeed, the Islanders managed just 11 shots on net all night, including only four in the final frame. The Caps had 11 shots in the first period (and finished with 26). The supporting cast that had taken the pressure off of superstar John Tavares in the Isles’ wins in this series were silent – defenseman Johnny Boychuk led the team with five shots on net, and nobody other than Frans Nielsen (who scored their only goal) had more than one shot on net – and Tavares himself didn’t have a single shot. It’s amazing Halak was able to keep the score as close as he did.

But although Caps fans should be pleased to see their team’s first playoff series win since Washington beat Boston in 2011-12, they should be aware the team the Capitals are facing in the second round – the deep, skilled and experienced New York Rangers – will be a far more difficult team to eliminate from post-season play. Read more

After crazy puck bounce, Isles’ Jaroslav Halak juts out right pad to make brilliant stop on Capitals’ Jay Beagle

Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak battles for the puck in front of Capitals players in Game 7 Monday in Washington. (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Although Detroit’s Petr Mrazek made one of the saves of the year Monday against Tampa Bay, it may not even be the save of the night, because, after a crazy bounce of the puck, Islanders netminder Jaroslav Halak lunged across his crease to stop what looked like a sure goal for Washington’s Jay Beagle in Game 7 of their first-round series Monday.

The teams were tied at a goal apiece in the deciding game when Capitals defenseman John Carlson shot the puck into the Isles’ zone from just inside the center ice line. But the puck caromed oddly off the end boards and bounced out to Beagle, who fired it directly at the net, and Halak – who had been moving around the far side of his net in anticipation of stopping it – had to kick out his right pad in desperation to stop it from going in: Read more