Islanders-Lightning Rematch, Chicago Signs Reichel, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Islanders-Lightning Rematch, Chicago Signs Reichel, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

We are getting closer to finding the final four teams that will play for the chance to lift the Stanley Cup as the New York Islanders join the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Semifinals after defeating the Boston Bruins, 6-2 in Game Six of their second-round series. The win sets up a rematch from last season’s Second Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals between the Lightning and Islanders, which the Lightning won on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.

•   After falling behind the Bruins with losses in Games One and Two of the series, the Islanders stormed back with four-straight wins to complete the series comeback.

•   Early in the second periods, with the game tied 1-1, Islanders veteran Brock Nelson answered the bell with a slick steal and score.

•   Later in the period, Nelson scored the eventual game-winning goal and set the Nassau Coliseum off!

•   New York would go on to add three more goals on their way to a 6-2 win in Game Six, advancing to the third-round fo the Stanley Cup Playoffs in back-to-back postseasons.

•   Not one of the flashiest or most notable players in the league, but with his two-goal performance last night, Brock Nelson joined some great company in Islanders franchise history.

•   Some more Islanders history was etched with Nelson’s name with the win last night, too.

•   His six goals in 12 games this postseason are the second-most he has scored in a playoff run, the most being last year’s run with nine goals in 22 games.

•   With the win, the Islanders are set to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning for the second year in-a-row in the third round of the postseason. Last year, Tampa Bay won in six games before moving on to defeat the Dallas Stars in the Cup Final.

•   How about the job Lou Lamoriello has done since becoming the Islanders General Manager just over three years ago.

•   While the news of the night came from the Nassau Coliseum, the news of the afternoon came from the United Center offices at 1901 West Madison Street.

•   The Chicago Blackhawks announced yesterday the news we had all been waiting for, 2020 first-round draft pick Lukas Reichel to his entry-level contract.

•   Reichel signs at the maximum for an entry-level deal with a $925,000 AAV Cap hit through the 2023-24 season.

•   The 19-year-old joins the Blackhawks next season after two successful years in the German DEL with Eisbären Berlin and is coming off an impressive showing at the IIHF World Championships with Germany. He’ll likely have every chance during training camp to earn a spot in the Blackhawks’ NHL lineup.

•   Speaking of the Blackhawks, former two-time Cup Winner with Chicago Brandon Saad and the Colorado Avalanche are on the brink of elimination tonight as they take on the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Six, trailing the series 3-2.

•   While the Avalanche have lost three-straight, Saad is having one of his best goal-scoring stretches of his career with seven goals in nine games in the postseason. The seven tallies are the second-most goals he has scored in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, behind only his eight goals during the 2015 Stanley Cup run with the Blackhawks.

•   How about a former Blackhawk with New York Islanders connections? A Happy Birthday to Brent Sutter!

•   June is Pride Month and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association has been around for years helping the LGBTQ+ community and hockey community in the city. The Athletic’s Scott Powers profiled the organization and the work they have done. Highly recommend checking it out.

•   Also coming from the guys at The Athletic this week, Mark Lazerus dug into the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft and what the Blackhawks might do to navigate their second expansion draft in five years. Check out the full breakdown below.

•   In media news yesterday, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, older brother of Blackhawks goaltender Malcolm Subban, has joined ESPN for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to be an in-studio analyst. Subban is a natural in front of the camera and I would not be surprised if he moved into a TV analyst role once his playing career is over. A reminder that ESPN and Turner Sports hold the TV rights to the NHL for the next seven seasons. This could become a regular practice by the network to have current players not in the postseason come on to be guest studio analysts during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

•   Speaking of the ESPN and Turner Sports broadcast rights, it appears more talent from the NHL on NBC production are finding homes with Turner Sports and ESPN for the next seven years.

•   Very much on board with all of these personalities that are going to be continuing covering the league. It also appears that Kevin Weekes’ role with ESPN will be in-studio work as well a live game coverage as well. He will also continue to work with the NHL Network.

•   In NHL Awards news, the 2021 Hart Memorial Trophy Finalists for NHL MVP have been announced.

•   Are we really surprised? Again, this should be a landslide win for Connor McDavid, since we are not including Playoff performance in the voting process.

•   Finally, a note to be aware of for tomorrow.

•   That will do it for today. Have a good Thursday, everyone!

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.