At first, I thought the volume of penalties was going to doom the Islanders. And when Casey Cizikas missed that wide-open rebound try, I was like “ah man, it’s gonna be one of those games.”
And it wasn’t.
In fact, it turned out to be a beautiful comeback: a collapse by the Capitals, unable to hold back the Isles, who were by far the better team at even strength on the balance of the game.
Damn, it feels good.
- We love to listen to Barry Trotz speak after every game, don’t we folks? More and more people are saying it.
“i think with josh, he is a quiet, very competitive, very intelligent hockey player that when the moment is big, he seems to be very relaxed and poised.”— x-new york islanders (@NYIslanders) August 13, 2020
trotz talks about bailey’s impact on the team and more. pic.twitter.com/rYdhjNnwuv
- Josh Bailey scored the game-winning shorty and set up the fourth goal by touch passing his own rebound to Anthony Beauvillier for a one-timer. This pleases Trotz. [Newsday]
- Anders Lee hit Nicklas Backstrom harder than it looked like he anticipated, but answered for it in a fight with Tom Wilson and later scored the game-tying goal in the third period. What a captain. [Newsday]
- Backstrom left the game after the hit and did not return. This development left Washington without two of its top three centers—Lars Eller was still in quarantine after leaving and returning to the bubble. [Sportsnet]
- Meanwhile, Caps coach Todd Reirden, a man ostensibly in charge of the aforementioned Wilson, called Lee’s hit “predatory.” Interesting. [ESPN]
- Arthur Staple got his anonymous coaches and executives together again to chat Islanders-Capitals. [The Athletic]
- Game 1 was a lovely way for the Islanders to play with prospective suite buyers, sponsors, and advertisers for UBS Arena watching with Jon Ledecky at the “Preview Club” in the Flatiron District. [Newsday]
- Spizzwolf returned with some takeaways from Isles-Panthers ahead of Game 1 yesterday. [LHH]
Yesterday’s NHL First Round scores include the Bruins and Hurricanes Game 1, itself delayed by Tuesday’s marathon five overtime Lightning-Blue Jackets game, going to double overtime with Patrice Bergeron scoring the winner. The late ending delayed the start of Isles-Caps. Also, the Avalanche beat the Coyotes 3-0, the Flyers topped the Canadiens 2-1, and the Canucks won 5-2 against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues.
- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25,000 for his comments about Boston’s second goal, which Carolina unsuccessfully (though, in my opinion, meritoriously) challenged for a hand pass. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Montreal may have trailed most of the game, giving the lead back to Philadelphia about :10 after they tied it, but it was a close game arguably won by Flyers goalie Carter Hart. [Sportsnet]
- The Penguins aren’t firing head coach Mike Sullivan yet, but they are moving on from three of his assistant coaches. Big names, too: Mark Recchi, Sergei Gonchar, and Jacques Martin. [NHL]
- It’s a difficult job, being an NHL soundboard operator in a season where it is actually your responsibility to make the crowd noise. [ESPN]
- And finally, Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas originally wasn’t going to do anything drastic to his team no matter this season’s result; the Qualifying Round may have changed his plan. That and more from Elliotte Friedman, including a send-off to the now semi-retired Bob McKenzie. [31 Thoughts]