Ramblings: Snow and Weight Gone, Cup Final, Guide to Physical Defensemen (June 6)

Ian Gooding

2018-06-05


Maybe this was inevitable with the hiring of Lou Lamoriello, but Garth Snow and Doug Weight are out as Islanders’ GM and coach respectively. This will be an interesting offseason on Long Island, where the main story will be whether John Tavares can be re-signed. I wrote my piece on the Lamoriello hiring here, which included a breakdown on some key Islanders should Lamoriello and his new regime (Barry Trotz?) convince Tavares to stay. Still lots of unknowns here.

To me, as much of a key as the Tavares situation is the goaltending, which finished 28th in the NHL with a team .900 SV%. Jaroslav Halak will probably be gone. Throw out this past season and Thomas Greiss seems like an ideal 1A. So I could see the Islanders targeting a Philipp Grubauer or a Carter Hutton to compete with Greiss. If Grubauer or Hutton don’t seem ideal, you can check out this list at Cap Friendly and draw your own conclusions. The UFA goalie options this summer are 1A at best, with plenty of backups available.

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If Washington finishes the job in Game 5, the player I believe deserves the Conn Smythe is Evgeny Kuznetsov. I think it would go to Alex Ovechkin, though, based on reputation and how long he has waited for a Stanley Cup.

I won’t make any predictions for Game 5, seeing as how I am close to going 0-3 on my conference finals/Stanley Cup Finals picks. I believe, though, that Vegas will come out flying just like they did in Game 4. Watching that game, I believe they deserved a better fate, as the score could have been 1-0 or even 2-0 Vegas midway through the first period with some slightly different puck luck. Game 5 could play out exactly the same way. But we will see.

Full disclosure: I’ve been more wrong about the Capitals than I have been about the Golden Knights up to this point. But chances are, many of you were wrong about the Capitals too. To me, it was the lack of playoff success combined with