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Islanders Gameday News: Oh mercy, here come the Lightning

NHL and Islanders news as a proverbial measuring stick comes to town.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
Too soon.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last spring the New York Islanders put a franchise demon behind them with a playoff series win over the Florida Panthers, largely at the hands of a nominally "backup" goaltender and a franchise star center.

You probably knew it then and — Game 1 highlights not withstanding — know it now, but the Tampa Bay Lightning were a tall order to overcome in the next round.

That hasn’t changed, and early summer dreams — remember those? — of making a play for free agent-to-be-but-never-was Steven Stamkos are now a distant, quaint memory. Stamkos stayed with the Lightning, who remain an elite team in the East, and the Isles continue to try to figure out how to make the incremental improvements to reach that next level.

Oddly, carrying three goalies isn’t the secret.

Maybe the secret is a combo of additions like Shane Prince, a smart deadline pickup who starred in that Game 1 and shined in his second game back from injury on Sunday, and Anthony Beauvillier, a 19-year-old who’s betraying the team’s rep for overly over-ripening prospects.

But the Isles, from top to bottom in the organization, haven’t figured it out yet. The Lightning are in town tonight to remind them. (Although they weren’t able to remind the Smurfs, who got a hat trick from Michael Grabner.) Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here, if you’re so inclined.

Islanders Reads

  • Want to know more about that awkward three-goalie situation and how they all feel? Status quo, man. Party lines all followed. [Newsday | Post]
  • When Dan and Mike get together, hilarity and a general background level of angst ensues. [LHH Islanders Anxiety podcast]
  • Of course that’s generally an outcome of Dan’s twisted mind. Like Slurpee/7-11 sponsorship of the Barclays Center ice. [LHH]
  • But anyway, speaking of podcasts, the SNY IPB podcast talked Halak and all the Toronto crying about the Matt Martin tribute clip. [SoundCloud]
  • John Tavares reminisces on youth hockey road trips. Don't hit a moose. Still not gonna "embrace winter." [Sportsnet]
  • Six games into the new season, a look at the changes Barclays has made for the fan experience. [Eyes on Isles]
  • Inside some Leafs fans' visit to Barclays to go all cult over Auston Matthews. [Times]
  • Flyers fans disassemble every aspect of Andrew MacDonald's play. [SB Nation]

Good luck resolving the goalie situation, but anyway...:

It Was Halloween

Lest you spend all your time obsessing over things, remind yourself that Islanders players are also humans with adorable kids.

Beyond Brooklyn

Too green for the NHL, too young for the AHL, too good for the CHL, Dylan Strome is in an uncomfortable position the Isles know well. [Five For Howling]

On that note, more on the uncertainty of junior-eligible players as the 10th game approaches. [TSN | WaPo | PPP]

Bruce Boudreau grumpy. Bruce Boudreau have his reasons. [Star Tribune]

Jacob Trouba's holdout and the Jets' determination gives the youngster few options. [TSN]

An on-going class action suit is putting WHL and OHL teams and their murky finances in an uncomfortable situation. [Sportsnet]

Craig Anderson had an amazing return after tending to his ill wife, and it was typical Anderson. [TSN]