I won’t lie to you folks. That loss made me one cranky, cantankerous individual. But the Islanders played well. Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek just made himself look like a world-beater last night, and were it not for goaltender interference (which it was not), the Islanders might have ended the game in regulation with a 1-0 win.
But it’s only Game 1. As much as I don’t like looking at “CAR LEADS 1-0” on the NHL’s website, I’m quick to remember that in the 2016 Second Round, after Game 1 against the Lightning, the site read “NYI LEADS 1-0,” and that didn’t end so well.
Besides, we’ve still got something that the Hurricanes do not: Barry Trotz. Who, by the way, was named a Jack Adams finalist just before the game started last night. This seems like it’s gonna be a long series, though.
Round 2, Game 1 Recaps and Reactions
- They did a lot of things right and got a lot of in-close and high-danger chances, but Mrazek shut the door. [LHH]
- Neither team was at the top of their game and the ice wasn’t fantastic, but it made for a tense and exciting game. [Newsday]
- Robin Lehner was very sharp, and even almost stopped Jordan Staal’s game-winner, getting a toe on it. [NHL]
- Losing a 1-0 goalie duel for your first loss of the playoffs could definitely be worse. They were in it until the end. [Islanders]
- There didn’t seem to be a lot of panic in the Isles’ room after the game — no panic, even. [NHL Column]
- For what it’s worth, even the writers at Canes Country acknowledged the goalie interference call wasn’t a great one; they were, of course, happy to take the break, though. [Canes Country]
- The Barclays Center wasn’t like the Coliseum, but it definitely wasn’t the reason they lost. And the place does get loud — if they were able to notch a goal, especially the first goal, the building would’ve exploded. We were all anticipating it. [Newsday]
Trotz liked a lot of what the Islanders did last night, but thought they got “too cute” on the rush they had that fell apart on Cal Clutterbuck’s unwise pass when he had a wide open lane to shoot; the play went the other way and resulted in the Carolina game-winner. Also, he had an opinion on the goalie interference call, but didn’t really voice it. [Islanders VIDEO]
- As mentioned previously, Trotz earned a nomination in the Jack Adams race for coach of the year, joined by Jon Cooper of the Lightning and Craig Berube, who took over the Blues from Mike Yeo and drastically turned their season around. [Newsday | LHH | NHL]
- Garik follows the Hurricanes as well as the Islanders, so he has an inside scoop on the Islanders’ Second Round opponent. [LHH]
- And Jon breaks down the dangerous and effective players on the Hurricanes, of which there are many. [LHH]
- LISTEN: On this episode of Islanders Anxiety, Dan and Mike preview the series of the two underdogs. [LHH]
- Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal have been dynamite together since last season, and they’re back together again here in the playoffs. Shayna Goldman dissects what makes them so lethal together. [The Athletic]
- Relevant to the Islanders: Justin Bourne asks if it’s better to be the rested team or the rusty team? [The Athletic]
- The Sound Tigers host a decisive Game 5 tonight against the Hershey Bears at 7:00 p.m. [CT Post]
The other game from last night was Game 1 of the Second Round series between the Avalanche and the Sharks. Colorado jumped out to 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but San Jose was able to tie it each time, and didn’t allow any more goals to the Avs’ high-powered offense as they themselves got three goals in the second period, and added an empty-netter to win 5-2 and take a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Before that game, Fear the Fin wondered how they were going to hold back Nathan MacKinnon. They did a decent job last night, only allowing him (and similarly lethal Mikko Rantanen) one assist (each) on a power play. [Fear the Fin]
- What kind of return would you actually agree to trade for one of the Penguins’ core members, like Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang? [Pensburgh]
- That article comes in the afterglow of this one, where Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford was noncommittal on Malkin being a part of the core going forward. [The Athletic]
- Speaking of being noncommittal, the Maple Leafs didn’t guarantee that coach Mike Babcock would be back next season. [NHL]
- Gary Bettman may have officially suspended Slava Voynov for the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs, but by doing so, he left the option open after that for Voynov to return. The NHL’s stance on violence against women leaves a lot to be desired. [Copper & Blue]