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He Shoots He Scores FHL News

Islanders Come Back From 3-1 Series Deficit to Win Cup!

By Trevor Robb (Islanders) On Thursday 22nd June 2023 / 8:33pm

Arthur Staple (NY Post) - The New York Islanders are the 2023 DecHL Stanley Cup Champions defeating the Dallas Stars in a thrilling Game 7 today at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders' top line came to play as Alex DeBrincat opened the scoring just six seconds into the first period and the capacity crowd erupted. Jeff Skinner of the Stars tied things up at the 7:36 mark, but Mika Zibanejad regained the lead for the Islanders on the powerplay after Stars winger Alex Chiasson took a cross-checking penalty.

In the second period, Zibanejad scored two goals to make it 4-1 by completing the natural hat-trick giving the Islanders a three-goal lead. However, the Stars would not accept defeat, playoff-scoring leader Elias Pettersson would make it 4-2 at the 11:21 mark of the second period.

In the third period, Alex Chaisson would redeem himself by scoring his first goal of the playoffs bringing the Stars within one of the Islanders. At the 7:03 mark, Adrian Kempe of the Islanders would take an Interference penalty and the Stars' Robert Thomas would score his 6th goal of the playoffs and tie the game up at 4-4.

Once again the Islanders would find themselves heading to overtime in a Game 7 just like they did in the last series against the Senators. At the 2:52 mark of the first overtime period, it was all over! Alex Ovechkin would score his league-leading 18th goal by getting his own rebound off his initial shot from a Devon Toews pass to secure the 2023 Stanley Cup Championship.

Alex Ovechkin was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP for his 18 playoff goals including 2 series overtime game-winning goals, one in the Senators series and this one to win the Stanley Cup.

"What an amazing feeling, this team is a remarkable group of guys, and our coaching staff and management supported us through the playoffs. We were down 3-1 in the series to the Devils and Sorokin stepped in the net, not allowing a single goal in that game. We won 5-0 that night and that was the turning point for us in these playoffs," explained a jubilant Ovechkin.

"After the Stars handed us that 9-1 thrashing in Game 4 to go up 3-1 we sat down as a group and decided that we weren't going to play the Stars style of hockey. Coach Bylsma wanted us to go back and play Islanders hockey by focusing on defense first. We played one game at a time and won Game 5 and regained momentum. Winning our first road game in this series in Game 6 was a huge boost and our dressing room came to play tonight. I may have scored the game-winner tonight but it was a whole team effort to get us here," Added Ovechkin.

This was the Islanders' second consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Last year the Islanders lost to the Edmonton Oilers in 6 games after finishing 1st overall to capture their first President's Trophy. I asked General Manager and Owner Trevor Robb what the team took away from last year's defeat to go on and win the Championship this year.

"Going into last year's playoffs I was chatting with San Jose Sharks GM, Gord Trann [2-time Stanley Cup Champion GM in 2015 and 2021] and I asked him if our 2022 roster was good enough to win the Cup. We had Brad Marchand, Mark Stone, Victor Hedman, Brendan Tanev, and Chris Tanev on the team, and while he said the roster was good to win, he was concerned about the lack of youth we had. In his experience having a balanced roster with younger guys and veterans was his key to success. When we got to the finals and fizzled out in 6 games, it hurt. However, when the season opened and the team was faced with losing 8 players to free agency, I had to trade some of our core assets and I made sure to bring in some youth. Bringing in Adrian Kempe, Troy Terry, and Noah Dobson, and matching the Ducks' RFA poaching contract on Jake Bean added some youth to our roster. Bean had a great series finishing with 8 points in the playoffs and a +3 in the Finals," explained Robb.

"I'm proud of this team when we were down they never gave up. I'm proud of our fans. I said that when I took this team over 11 years ago that I would bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island and it finally happened. We didn't make the playoffs for the first 6 years after I took over the reins even though we had star players like Evgeny Malkin, Brent Seabrook, John Tavares, and Duncan Keith. I retooled the roster in 2019 and we have made the playoffs the last 5 years in a row, finally earning the Cup finally this year," added Robb.

I caught up with head coach Dan Bylsma and asked him about his decision to go with Sorokin in Game 5 of the Devils series down 3-1 in the series. Was that the turning point for him in these playoffs?

"Saros had played well in the Rangers series and we ran with him in the first 4 games of the Devils series. However, he sustained a minor injury at the start of the Devils' series, and while he could still play I could see it was affecting his ability to perform up to his full capabilities. Sorokin took over the goal duties and ran with it. He had the full confidence of the team because, during the regular season, I never ran the team with one of them being the number one starter. Both goalies were capable starters and I treated them like 1A and 1B starters both finished with similar regular season records, save percentages, and goals-against averages," explained Bylsma.

When asked about his decision to start Saros in Game 4 of the Finals where the Islanders lost 9-1 Bylsma had this to say.

"After dropping the next two games after our Game 1 win putting us down 2-1 Saros came to me and said that he was 100% healthy and could go in net if need be. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and switch things up. However, the team in its entirety didn't show up to play that night. The score of that game was no reflection on the performance of Saros, we simply did not play well as a whole and we needed to regroup," added Bylsma.

"Being down 3-1 after Game 4 I had to readdress our focus. From that game on we would play Islanders hockey and not try to match the offense of the Stars. Our focus was on defense, all defense! Defend, defend, defend! Focus on defense first and the offense will follow. That strategy worked as you can see by the results," added Bylsma.

The New York Islanders become the third team to win the Stanley Cup having won the President's Trophy for finishing 1st overall in the regular season standings in the same year. The San Jose Sharks did it in 2015 and the St. Louis Blues won both in 2019. The Islanders are locked in for another season their only UFAs this offseason are Adam Pelech and Jimmy Vesey. The Islanders will most likely try to auto-sign Pelech this offseason leaving Jimmy Vesey to go to the open market. With that in mind, the Islanders' roster today looks to be in good shape to make another run at the Cup next season.




2012 Montreal Canadiens (7) over Arizona Coyotes (3)
2013 New York Rangers (6) over Edmonton Oilers (1)
2014 Anaheim Ducks (8) over Philadelphia Flyers (6)
2015 San Jose Sharks (1) over Buffalo Sabres (15)
2016 Tampa Bay Lightning (9) over Nashville Predators (13)
2017 Edmonton Oilers (5) over Washington Capitals (4)
2018 Columbus Blue Jackets (4) over Anaheim Ducks (9)
2019 St. Louis Blues (1) over Detroit Red Wings (11)
2020 Montreal Canadiens (8) over Edmonton Oilers (15)
2021 San Jose Sharks (6) over Toronto Maple Leafs (9)
2022 Edmonton Oilers (7) over New York Islanders (1)
2023 New York Islanders (1) over Dallas Stars (11)

Stanley Cup Champion in BOLD
(Overall Regular Season Rankings)



View comments (1)
Jesse OReilly (Blues) On 24th June / 1:44am :

Congrats to the Islanders!!

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Proposal for New Draft Rankings to Follow NHL for 2024

By Gabriel Whiddon (Whalers) On Monday 19th June 2023 / 9:55pm

Recently the Commish said the the current SIM allows him to use the bottom 5 teams for the draft lottery allowing those to move up a max of 5 spots. The current NHL uses a weighted system for all non-playoff teams where each of the 16 teams that miss the playoffs will have a chance to win with the teams earning significantly better odds at winning a high pick if they are lower in the standings. It’s also worth mentioning that a lottery win doesn’t guarantee one of the top-two picks in this year’s draft as teams can only jump a maximum of 10 spots, meaning that only the top 11 teams have a chance of landing the first overall pick. If a team ranked 12-16 ends up winning the lottery (unlikely but definitely possible) they could only jump up 10 spots to the sixth position, dropping every team below that spot by 1 spot. There is also a redraw for the second overall pick with the same rules applying of a team jumping a max of 10 spots.

I took this years Dechl final standings and assigned a team from the real NHL that finished in the exact same position from the real NHL standings and then used a site called Tankathon (https://www.tankathon.com/nhl) to redraw the teams for our draft. See chart below.

(Tankathon.com Mock Results)
1   Philadelphia Flyers Anaheim Ducks   Columbus Blue Jackets - (MON) ↑4
2   Pittsburgh Penguins Columbus Blue Jackets   Vancouver Canucks - (CHI) ↑2
3   Vancouver Canucks Chicago Blackhawks   Philadelphia Flyers - (ANA) ↓2
4   Winnipeg Jets San Jose Sharks   Pittsburgh Penguins - (CBJ) ↓2
5   Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens   Winnipeg Jets (SJS) - ↓1
6   Arizona Coyotes Arizona Coyotes   Arizona Coyotes
7   Montreal Canadiens Philadelphia Flyers   Montreal Canadiens
8   Las Vegas Golden Knights Washington Capitals   Las Vegas Golden Knights
9   Nashville Predators Detroit Red Wings   Nashville Predators
10   Chicago Blackhawks St. Louis Blues   Chicago Blackhawks
11   Tampa Bay Lightning Vancouver Canucks   Tampa Bay Lightning
12   Detroit Red Wings Ottawa Senators   Detroit Red Wings
13   Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres   Boston Bruins
14   Minnesota Wild Pittsburgh Penguins   Minnesota Wild
15   Florida Panthers Nashville Preditors   Florida Panthers
16     Calgary Flames    

In this case I ran the Tankathon simulator only once and came up with these results. If we had used this system for the Bedard sweepstakes this year. The Columbus Blue Jackets would have won the lottery this year jumping 2 spots. In the redraw for the second overall pick the Vancouver Canucks would have scored with a 2 spot jump as well. I look forward to your thoughts.

Gabe Whiddon - Hartford Whalers

View comments (3)
Alec McMillan (Oilers) On 21st June / 12:20am :

I do not mind changing the setting for future.... if someone wants to put a poll up on the forums server maybe?  Looks like sim now support multiple lottery winners (up to 3) and 16 teams so we can implement this.

Mark Budey (Capitals) On 21st June / 1:33pm :

I like this idea 

Jesse OReilly (Blues) On 24th June / 1:43am :

I like this!!

New Comment

Oiler organization petitioning league for early ending to season!

By Alec McMillan (Oilers) On Tuesday 9th November 2021 / 3:35pm

Edmonton (AP) - Rumours are swirling that the Edmonton Oiler board of directors is pressuring the league to call an early end to the season.  The Oilers and their farm team the Condors are combining for the best start to the season the organization has seen.  The red hot Oilers are off to a league leading 10-1-1 to be almost matched 10-2 start by the Condors.

"We are the best, everyone knows it, just give us the titles now!" an unnamed player was quoted as saying after the teams last win.  Parade plans are already underway.

Yes we are now prepared for a 20 game slide by both teams after posting this and putting us back in our place of fighting for a wildcard spot! :)

New Comment

Yet another new website!

By Alec McMillan (Oilers) On Wednesday 11th August 2021 / 7:57pm

Last website I bought was a pain in the ass to deal with and to update.  This one is VERY similar and comes with the sim, so I'm already paying for it yearly.  Working on functionality and getting team logos to show up.....but I think I may be sticking with this one with portal being secondary but will see.  At least all the data is here as far as I can tell so far!

View comments (4)
Ryan Dyck (Lightning) On 11th August / 8:20pm :

Looks pretty good so far!

Trevor Robb (Islanders) On 11th August / 10:18pm :

Hey this one allows comments and you can login!


Quentin Robb (Jets) On 11th August / 11:43pm :

loving this so far

Roger Storoschuk (Ducks) On 19th August / 2:12pm :

Alec what is this costing you?

New Comment

Jets add more depth at deadline

By Quentin Robb (Jets) On Wednesday 26th May 2021 / 9:18pm


The Athletic - Winnipeg

By Murat Ates      May 26, 2021

Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Jets were none too quiet as buyers this season. Being led by the dynamic trio that is Crosby-Boeser-Schenn, the Jets had somewhat of a mid-grade core outside of that first line. After a few deals that see Martin Jones and Ron Hainsey leaving for salary cap purposes and prospects like Kristian Vesalainen, Max Jones, and Jack Rathbone being used in a string of other trades, the Winnipeg Jets round out their core with key additions in Jordan Eberle, Marcus Foligno, and Ian Cole. 

Firstly, Jordan Eberle arrives carrying a 55-point season (25-30—55) through just 79 games with the Buffalo Sabres. Also attached was his pending UFA status at the age of 31, carrying a cap hit of $2,695,000. This was quickly solved upon his arrival as GM Quentin Robb, like he did with defence man Alex Pietrangelo, wasted no time in finalizing a contract extension with the newly acquired right-winger. For the next three seasons upon the conclusion of this current one, Eberle will be paid out a yearly salary of $4,313,000, just under double of his current yearly salary, with an added signing bonus in the first year. “When we made the deal to get Ebs onto our roster, both sides knew that this wasn’t going to be a short term thing”, said GM Robb this morning. “We wanted to get the contract nonsense out of the way early so the focus could continue to be on our push to the playoffs.”

Along with Eberle comes two other depth additions in Marcus Foligno and Ian Cole, who come from a middling rebuilding team in that of the New Jersey Devils. At age 29, Foligno comes in as a pending UFA with a so-so season with the Devils, having put up a half point-per-game pace with 39 points (16-23—39) in just 76 games. His current cap hit of $3,983,000 is set to expire this off-season, and as of right now, no immediate plans have been made upon a contract extension for the nearly thirty-year-old vet. 

Lastly, Ian Cole arrives as a defensive replacement for Ron Hainsey, whom is a pending UFA and is breaching the age of 40. With 29 points (5-24—29) in 81 games with the Devils, along with a whopping -25 plus/minus rating, the blueliner looks to get back into the swing of things on a contending team in a shutdown role. Unlike Eberle and Foligno, Cole already carries a longer term with a significantly higher cap hit for his services, which will see him make $5,586,000 per year for the next two years after the completion of the 2020-21 season, bringing him to the ripe age of 35. 

With these new additions brought on significant cap issues at the start, with the Jets already spending right up to the cap max of $72.4M. This inevitably resulted in the aforementioned Ron Hainsey leaving, along with Martin Jones, in a deal with the Los Angeles Kings. With an added 2021 3rd Round Pick acquired from the Vancouver Canucks just prior being sent to the Kings (with $10,000,000 in cash in exchange), the Jets were able to shed a combined $8.4M in salary to make room for their three new acquisitions. Now that all is said and done, the Jets still remain under the cap by a mere $2M in salary. 

Now, Winnipeg will look ahead to the rest of the schedule in hopes of clinching their spot into the playoffs and contending for the league’s ultimate prize.


Murat Ates (@WPGMurat)


(Photos: NHL via Getty Images)

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