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Brewed On Grant: Unbound Delegates

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The story of the unbound delegates in Pennsylvania was a nice distraction while it lasted. Unfortunately for Cruz and Kasich, Trump swept 5 states last night (including Pennsylvania) and it looks like the "Stop Trump" folks may not have a real play in Cleveland. 

20160427 Unbound Delegates

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Lightning - Islanders preview - 04-26-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Lightning vs. Islanders

Lightning Leading Postseason scorer: Right winger Nikita Kucherov, 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists).

Islanders Leading Postseason Scorer: Center John Tavares, 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists).

Lightning Expected Starting Goaltender: Ben Bishop, 4-1, 1.61 GAA, .950 SV%.

Islanders Expected Starting Goaltender: Thomas Greiss (below), 4-2, 1.79 GAA, .944 SV%.

Lightning Postseason Statistics

Islanders Postseason Statistics

Lightning Injuries: Right winger J.T. Brown ("upper body"), center Steven Stamkos (blood clot) and defenseman Anton Stralman (broken fibula) are out. Defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knee) is on injured reserve.

Islanders Injuries: Left winger Josh Bailey (undisclosed) is questionable. Center Mikhail Grabovski (head), goalender Jaroslav Halak (groin), left winger Anders Lee (broken left leg) and defenseman Brian Strait ("upper body") are out. Defenseman Ryan Pulock (undisclosed) is on injured reserve.

Lightning with Stanley Cup bling: Center Valtteri Filppula.

Islanders with Stanley Cup bling: Defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy.

Something worthwhile about the LightningThe Lightning has the NHL's top postseason penalty killing success rate (96.0 percent).

Something worthwhile about the IslandersThe Islanders lead the NHL in postseason shots allowed per game (39.2).

Something useless about the Lightning that is vaguely connected to the PenguinsFormer Penguins center John Cullen scored the first road short-handed goal in Lightning postseason history. He scored in a 4-1 loss to the Flyers in Game 5 of a 1996 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Something useless about the Islanders that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins center Bryan Trottier is the Islanders' all-time leading postseason scorer with 170 points.

Former Penguins on the LightningAssistant coach Brad Lauer.

Former Penguins on the IslandersDirector of player development Eric Cairns, Greiss, general manager Garth Snow and Strait.

Who needs to be the difference for the Lightning: Victor Hedman (top), Jason Garrison, Braydon Coburn, etc. The Lightning's blue line needs to contain the Islanders' top forwards such as Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen.

Who needs to be the difference for the Islanders: Greiss. Much as he did in the first round, Greiss needs to steal some games for the Islanders to beat the Lightning.

Best Lightning YouTube Video We Could Find: Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier's overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Capitals in Game 2 of a 2011 Eastern Conference semifinal series:

Best Islanders YouTube Video We Could Find: Islanders left winger David Volek's overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Penguins in Game 7 of a 1993 Patrick Division final:

EN Prediction: Even with some considerable injuries, the Lightning has too much depth for the banged-up Islanders to truly compete with. Additionally, Bishop gives Tampa Bay an edge in net. Lightning 4-2.

(Photos: Mike Carlson/Getty Images and Rich Schultz/Associated Press)

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Murray's mask inspired by Herron - 04-26-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Like a lot of Penguins fans in his age group, rookie goaltender Matt Murray doesn't know who Denis Herron is. 

But he sure likes his mask.

In his first career home playoff game Saturday, a series-clinching 6-2 rout of the Rangers in Game 5 of a first-round series, Murray, 21, debuted a very retro and familiar looking mask to match the Penguins' throwback black and yellow jerseys. 

It was inspired by one of the masks Herron wore during his multiple stints with the Penguins. While Herron's had an old-school "face-hugging" mask (AKA "Jason mask") and Murray sports a modern fiberglass mask with a cage, the artwork is basically the same; Four sets of black and yellow "triangles" pointing at one another.

A third-round pick in 1972, Herron spents parts of 10 seasons with the Penguins over three different stints in the 1970s and 1980s. Considered a good goaltender on mostly bad teams in Pittsburgh, Herron appeared in 290 games for the Penguins, third-most in franchise history. 

Earlier today, Murray talked about his mask.

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How did you choose that design?

“I was actually just 'Google-ing' pictures before the season started. They told me I needed a helmet design for the third jersey. I thought it would be cool to do a little throwback so I just 'Googled' some old Pittsburgh jerseys and I saw he had a similar design to that one. I thought it looked pretty good."

Do you know anything about Herron?

"I don't, no. Just to be honest, I was just looking at pictures online."

It's a pretty basic design. Did that appeal to you?

"Yeah because it's a throwback. I was looking for an old-school looking kind of helmet to match my gear. I just liked the simplicity of it I guess."

You probably aren't going to adopt brown pads anytime soon.

"No, I don't think so. I know some guys do for an outdoor game or something. I like how it looks. I've never worn brown pads so I don't know if I'd be going to that soon."

Note: Thank you to EN Reader Matt Shaffer for alerting us to this.

(Photos: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images and GameWornAuctions.net)

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Empty Netter Assists - Fleury's struggles - 04-26-16

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins

-“It’s one of the toughest things I’ve been through. Some good days, when you think you’re back, and some bad days, when you think it’s never going to get fixed.” - Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (above) on his struggles with concussion symptoms. 

-“I definitely don’t have his shot. I don’t score the way he does, so I’m not going to pretend that I do." - Captain/center Sidney Crosby on Capitals captain/left winger Alex Ovechkin.

-The Penguins will have several offdays between games. Is that beneficial or detrimental

-Right winger Phil Kessel. Playoff producer

-How did journeyman NHL goaltender Alex Auld help goaltender Matt Murray reach the NHL?

-Head coach Mike Sullivan speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Left winger Chris Kunitz speaks:

-Defenseman Kris Letang speaks:

-Goaltender Matt Murray speaks:

Kelly Cup

-Goaltender Brian Foster made 43 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a series-clinching 2-1 win against the Florida Everblades in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday. Wheeling won the series, 4-2. Wheeling will play either the Manchester Monarchs or Toledo Walleye in the semifinal round.

-After the Jump: The Blues knock off the defending champion Blackhawks.

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One Man, One Vote

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Pennsylvania's primary day is finally here! Don't forget to go out and vote ... even if that vote can be ignored by an unbound delegate! Think of it, Pennsylvania could be the last great hope for a contested GOP convention! Yippee! 

20160426 One Man One Vote

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