One should not be looking, for nor content with, moral victories at this point, but that sight you see friscalating on the horizon is the Islanders learning something about themselves and making a statement to the rest of the league.
This was mentioned some in the Game 3 post-game threads, but no matter what happens from here on out the Islanders have established a new level of expectation. Along with that, they've drawn in and served the loyal, the returning, and the long-suffering fan. That's important for the zeitgeist and for the bottom line.
Regardless, one of the many different things about the playoffs is how media suddenly cover the Islanders again. Here are more recaps:
New York: Newsday on penalties and Crosby | Tavares just says he saw worse |Hey look, the Times cares! (I like this, because this means my mother will say "I saw in the paper the Islanders did something, but I don't remember what." | The WSJ (don't forget to tip your bankers) | Daily News bothers | Bloomberg is apparently supposed to cover hockey, probably for SEO reasons.
Isles Blogs (where the passion was well captured): The Checking Line | Eyes on Isles (multi-popup warning) IPB from the post-game | Plus good stuff from Christian Arnold at NY Hockey Journal and Hockey Guys on Kyle Okposo
If you were hung over or attending to neglected Sunday duties after yesterday's game, you missed some things in the other three series. Namely:
- Minnesota won in OT on a crazy shot, meaning only two playoff teams have yet to win a game.
- One of those teams, Vancouver, lost again after being blitzed in the third period. They really lost the plot. Patrick Marleau was great again. What, no comment from Jeremy Roenick? Hopefully Vancouver still has company in the winless department after tonight.
- The Senators and Canadiens got absolutely medieval. I'm not kidding. Medieval. Here's one of the milder parts:
I remember when I thought Montreal and Boston, or Montreal and Toronto (LOL), had bad blood. This is a new level. Each team had something like five to six players on the bench by the end. Which led Mike Babcock's former assistant, Paul MacLean, to call a "Capuano Timeout" in the last minute of a 6-1 game. His old mentor approves:
Newsday's Isles beatwriter Arthur Staple, an occasional Man of the People, opined:
When a game like OTT-MTL happens in reg. season, team gets fined and opposing prez declares gm a disgrace; in playoffs, hey, that's hockey!— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) May 6, 2013
Meanwhile, away from all this is the World Championships, which thankfully we aren't worried about due to Islanders players playing in the actual playoffs ... except Nino Niederreiter, who scored again for Switzerland in their win over Canada:
Tangent: It still tickles me to see Skodas in arenas -- actually in arenas -- as promos for international hockey tournaments. Skoda is the de facto national car brand of the Czech Republic, though it was fully consumed by Volkswagen in 2000.
Before then and particularly during the Cold War, it wasn't exactly known as a good car. But it was a car. And it was the brand everyone had. "To je skoda" in Czech literally means "That's a pity." Last night PGI and I discussed old poor cars we grew up with, and in the '80s a Skoda would definitely qualify.