Proteau’s Blog: Exile Island

• Are you sitting down? Good. In the shock to end all shocks, Alexei Yashin says he doesn’t want to be bought out of his obscene contract, which has four years and $26.45 million remaining on it.

“It’s not something Alexei and I would go to management and ask about,” Gandler told Newsday. “If they inform us, then, that’s what it’s going to be. I wouldn’t be surprised if people below (Islanders owner Charles Wang) have discussed this.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone but Wang has discussed this. Yashin didn’t put up a single point in the first round of the playoffs and only managed seven shots on net. If he had any kind of pride at all, he’d go to the team and tell them he’d take the buyout and run.

• The Senators bolstered their case for a deep playoff run with a 5-4 win Thursday over the Devils in New Jersey, while the Sharks leaned on No. 1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov to win 2-0 and claim home ice advantage from the Red Wings.

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Both Detroit and New Jersey were extremely sloppy at the start of the game – and once they did wake up, San Jose and Ottawa locked them down with superior play through the neutral zone. As well, the Sharks had as many blocked shots (18) as the Red Wings had giveaways, while the Senators forced the Devils into playing a freewheeling style of hockey, which everyone knows isn’t New Jersey’s game.

As I noted Thursday, it’s always dangerous characterizing a series after one game, but would anyone bet against a Sharks/Sens Stanley Cup Final at this point?

I would bet against a Sharks/Sens final, because to get there they still have to go through the other two front runners, Buffalo and Anaheim. At this point it looks like a four horse race, but there’s still at least 75% of the second round to go.
– Dan, Pittsburgh