The Capitals came out looking to set a tone in the first period, but it only lasted so long before the Islanders inflicted their will on Washington. What a gorgeous game. It started off with a thud, but I never felt nervous about that. And even after Alex Ovechkin’s second goal, I felt a little deflated, but I knew it wasn’t a big deal.
Brock Nelson silencing Ovi’s celebration 15 seconds later? Mama mia!
Then the third period was just [Italian chef kissing fingers]. A clinic.
I watched the NHL site’s recap clip like seven times this morning. It never got old, but it didn’t do justice to the beauty of that third period suffocation. Luckily, MSG is airing it again right now. Currently watching the third period on MSG Go as I write this.
The only shame of this is that everyone’s (necessarily, of course) in a bubble in Toronto for this year’s playoffs. Could you imagine if the Islanders were taking a 2-0 series lead back to the Coliseum for Games 3 and 4? Ooooh baby it would be rocking.
What does Barry Trotz have to say about last night’s win? Great question. Let’s find out:
“our group gives you an honest effort night in and night out. they understand the importance of the end goal of winning a hockey game and how you’re going to go about doing it.”— x-new york islanders (@NYIslanders) August 15, 2020
trotz talks about the team following game 2. pic.twitter.com/yK4MB4qI6y
- The Islanders have the third-seed Capitals in an 0-2 hole and they face an uphill climb going into Game 3. [NHL]
- Trotz mixed and matched his ‘D’ pairs last night, not always sticking with Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews-Scott Mayfield, and Nick Leddy-Andy Greene. I like it—they should be comfortable playing with any other defensemen. Sign of a team that can handle anything. [Newsday]
- It was Trotz hockey to a ‘T’ last night. [TSN]
- They never wavered, even after conceding two tallies to the greatest goal-scorer of his generation. [Best @ Newsday]
- And the penalty-killers came up big when the refs gave Washington its power play chances in the third. [Newsday]
- LOOK: Here are some photos from last night’s victory. [Newsday]
- I thought Greene was a solid pick-up at the deadline, even if they may have overpaid. But man has he been excellent playing his off-side with Leddy. [Newsday]
- Trotz has coached through a lot of adversity. Though he hasn’t had to coach through anything like a bubble shielded from a pandemic, his overall experience gives the Isles an edge. [Newsday]
- With the Caps and their fans crying about Anders Lee’s hit on Nicklas Backstrom, Arthur Staple reached out to Lubomir Visnovsky, who was on the receiving end of a much more vicious hit from knuckledragger Tom Wilson in the 2015 First Round. [The Athletic]
- The ECHL affiliate Railers signed forward Jacob Hayhurst, an undrafted rookie out of Michigan, for the 2020-21 season. [RailersHC]
- Stan Fischler remembers the scene in the Isles’ locker room after they upset the Penguins in 1993. [Maven’s Memories]
Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Avalanche stealing another game from the Coyotes late in regulation to go up 2-0 in the series, the Canadiens absolutely smoking the top-seeded Flyers to tie the series there, the Canucks surviving the Blues’ last-second tying regulation goal to win in OT and go up 2-0, and the Flames shutting out the Stars to take a 2-1 series lead.
- Feeling statistical? This article has links to stats from every game yesterday, including the Isles’ Game 2 win. [On the Forecheck]
- Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who got the NHL media hacks to fire up their take machines the other day with some comments about the atmosphere, opted out of Return to Play to be with his family—his wife just gave birth to their third child. [NHL]
- Connor McDavid said the Oilers defense is “not where it needs to be” after their Qualifying Round loss. [NHL]
- Scotiabank Arena Zamboni driver David Ayres is keeping an eye on the Hurricanes during the playoffs. Remember when he suited up for them and beat the Maple Leafs? HAHAHA [NHL]
- Speaking of the Leafs, President Brendan Shanahan has “complete faith” in GM Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe. [PPP]
- And yet, they are up against the flat salary cap next season and still need to find some defense. Tiniest violin in the world. [PPP]