Today’s Game 2 against the Hurricanes is pretty much a must-win. But it doesn’t cause me too much worry, really. I feel confident about this afternoon’s contest. The Islanders know they need this one, and they’ll come out desperate.
Leave your FIGs for today’s game here. Recall the playoff rules.
- I had forgotten to include Eric Hornick’s Skinny after Game 1, his first in a week and a half, but it has some interesting tidbits. [NYI Skinny]
- Arthur Staple identifies what went wrong in Game 1 for the Islanders and why they won’t let it affect them going into Game 2 and the rest of the series. [The Athletic]
- The Isles are confident they can recover in Game 2, but Jordan Eberle did call this one a “do-or-die” game; coach Barry Trotz “strongly disagreed,” pointing out the Capitals in the First Round this year and last year. [Gross @ Newsday | NHL]
- They certainly expect to be sharper and to score more frequently than not at all. [NHL]
Trotz speaks about shaking off the mental rust, which usually goes away after a game. [Islanders VIDEO if you prefer a separate webpage]
- Josh Bailey has moved on from his failure to convert his breakaway opportunity in Game 1. [Stephenson @ Newsday]
- However, if they’re going to beat the Hurricanes, they do need to unleash the offensive Kraken. [Best @ Newsday]
- Robin Lehner has a bone to pick with Carolina, against whom he is now 0-5, though this was his first crack at them behind a good team with the Islanders. [Gross @ Newsday]
- Lehner is quite at stopping the puck, but Jon says he’s quite bad at playing it. Nearly cost him a goal in Game 1. [LHH]
- On the other side of things, Jordan Staal’s OT goal gave him goals in three consecutive games as he leads the way for this young Hurricanes team. [NHL]
- But ‘Canes fans recognize it was an Islanders mistake, specifically Cal Clutterbuck’s, that led to that goal. Still, gotta capitalize on your opportunities if you’re gonna win in the playoffs and they did. [Canes Country]
- And they also recognize that Game 1 was Petr Mrazek’s game; his team didn’t leave him out to dry, but they didn’t play their best game in front of him and he kept them in it against some high-danger chances. [Canes Country]
- Phenom and last year’s no. 2 overall pick Andrei Svechnikov is a game-time decision for today’s game. He’s recovering from a concussion given to him by the fist of Alexander Ovechkin in Game 3 of their First Round series with the Capitals. [NHL]
- Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour admits that all this overtime could catch up with his team eventually, but his players downplayed that idea. [NHL]
- In any event, here are 5 Keys to today’s game: 3 for the Isles, 2 for the ‘Canes. The Islanders need to get one early, while Carolina needs to tighten up in their own zone. [NHL]
- Trotz feels the Islanders still have room to improve despite their quicker than expected growth this season. This is a good read. [Gross Column @ Newsday]
- His players feel that he definitely deserves the nod for the Jack Adams Award. [Islanders]
- Eight days after being taken off the ice on a stretcher, no movement whatsoever, Hershey Bears defenseman Aaron Ness, a former Islander and Sound Tiger, was back on the ice for Game 5 in Bridgeport. Glad to see he’s okay. [Soundin’ Off pregame]
- The Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead on a Matt Lorito goal and a 2-1 lead on a tally for Oliver Wahlstrom, set up by Kieffer Bellows, but the Bears tied it up both times and sent the game to OT. Bears forward Brian Pinho ended the game in OT, and Bridgeport’s season is over. On the bright side, it’s time for the Islanders to get some Black Aces, if they so choose. [CT Post | Sound Tigers]
- At the NFL Draft, the Giants selected Wisconsin linebacker Ryan Connelly, who just so happens to be a cousin of our captain, Anders Lee. [Newsday]
Yesterday’s Playoff Action
There were two games yesterday, and there was a little bit of road team revenge as the away team won both games to even their respective series at 1-1.
- In the afternoon, the Blues hosted the Stars in Game 2. There was a frenzy of scoring in the first, including three goals between the two teams in a span of 1:12, but Dallas held the lead at 3-1. The Blues got one back in the third, one that the Stars unsuccessfully challenged for goalie interference, but Ben Bishop didn’t allow St. Louis to get anything else, and Roope Hintz hit the empty net for his third point of the day. 4-2 Stars over the Blues to knot the series up.
- And in the nightcap, the Blue Jackets visited the Bruins for Game 2. Much like the Sound Tigers game, the home team took 1-0 and 2-1 leads, only for them to be tied, both times by Artemi Panarin. Some chances for both teams in the third didn’t hit the net, and same thing in the first overtime — Columbus had a power play in the first overtime but Boston held them off. The Blue Jackets got another overtime power play in the second extra frame, and on this one they did convert. Matt Duchene grabbed the rebound and snuck it through the five-hole of Tuukka Rask. 3-2 Blue Jackets over the Bruins, also to knot the series.
- The Calder Trophy nominees were revealed yesterday afternoon: forward Elias Pettersson of the Canucks, goalie Jordan Binnington of the Blues, and defenseman and 2018 no. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin of the Sabres. [NHL]
- The revamped second line of Mats Zuccarello, Jason Dickinson, and Roope Hintz has been a huge boon to the Stars, making them more than just a top-line team. They were huge in their Game 2 win in St. Louis. [NHL]
- After the debacle in the Sharks-Golden Knights Game 7, Eric Duhatschek outlines the need to extend video review in his latest notebook. Also, he says playoff chaos is good for the league, and I would have to agree. [The Athletic]
- Longtime sports executive Tim Leiweke has some great stories, like how he kept the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in his trunk after the Kings won it in 2012 en route to the Stanley Cup win. But he thinks the upcoming Seattle team could be “the greatest story.” [The Athletic]
- Both the U.S. and Canada lost in the semifinals at the U-18 World Championships and will play each other for the bronze; Russia and Sweden will play for the gold. [NHL]