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Islanders News: Love for Bailey, Trotz as Isles prepare for Flyers

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A once-frequent Islanders playoff opponent hasn’t been on the card since 1987.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
“Philadelphia Kenobi? Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long, long time.”
Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Other than the Canucks, is it fair to say that the Islanders and Flyers — if you went back to mid-winter 2019-20 — are the two teams who are the biggest surprises to be among the final eight competing for the Stanley Cup right now?

That’s the fun of the second (in a normal year) round. Any team that wasn’t a home-ice seed in the opening round is in “We believe we think we can DO this!” mode, which Newsday is happy to exploit. (I realize the Flyers were technically a home-ice seed, but still. All due respect, they kind of pandemic’d their way into that position and are not viewed among the Tampa-Boston-Colorado-Vegas set.)

The games start soon, and quickly: Game 1 Monday, with Games 2 and 3 on back-to-back nights.

Islanders News

  • Josh Bailey was on horrible teams for the first 10 years of his career. Now he’s on a good one, so of course he’s going to do what he’s supposed to do. He wants to win.” [Islanders Anxiety podcast]
  • Hot take, as Staple surveys his scout, executive and coach again for the next round: “It’s about physicality and goaltending and team defense for the Islanders. And I still don’t trust Carter Hart as opposed to (Semyon) Varlamov. I think Varlamov could be the difference.” [Athletic]
  • Series preview: The Islanders’ discipline vs. the Flyers’ timely scoring. [NHL]
  • The Isles won three times against the Flyers in the regular season, but Barry Trotz says that was a long time ago and it means nothing. [Post]
  • Five things to know about the Islanders, according to our friends at Broad Street Hockey. [BSH] (Seriously, we get along great with our friends at BSH, and I kind of look forward to the banter from this series. This is how one of their top analysts saw the Islanders in July, before Pelech and Trotz Hockey returned.)
  • Newsday is really pumping the “It’s Lou, and we believe” angle with their pre-series hype. [Newsday]
  • Column: Lou Lamoriello is among the greatest. [Post]
  • Inside the Barry Trotz system as it exploited the Capitals, including John Carlson. [Architected-Hockey]
  • Isles Seat Podcast: The “Gentlemen’s Sweep” [Apple]
  • The second-round schedule is, shall we say, condensed. [Newsday]
  • Shot at AP77 there: If you still don’t believe in Josh Bailey, there’s not hope for you. [Eyes on Isles]
  • The Isles were the last team to vacate their early-rounds hotels for “Hotel X.” [Post]
  • Behind the beach-style airplane banner that flew over Toronto encouraging the Islanders. [ESPN] (Scott Mayfield, among others, appreciated the showing.)
  • Barry Trotz: “At this point, it’s sort of ingrained into your DNA what you need to do.”

Elsewhere

  • The conference semifinal round opened up with the Stars beating the Avalanche in Game 1, with Grubauer getting injured. (And Erik Johnson, though not by golf cart.)
  • The Lightning and Bruins expect a “pretty intense” series. [NHL | TSN]
  • But Steven Stamkos is out for Game 1. [NHL]
  • Despite losing to the Flyers, all of the sudden, Marc Bergevin looks like he knows what he’s doing again. [Sportsnet | TSN]
  • More thoughts on possibilities of blowing up the Flames, a story we would not get if the Leafs were still in the playoffs. (But they’re not. Because they didn’t even win their play-in round.) [TSN]
  • What happened to the soon-to-be-dethroned Blues? They played “like a junior team.” [NHL]
  • Marc-Andre Fleury’s self-professed genius agent (same guy who represented Halak) is stirring up trouble again in the most bizarre way. [Knights On Ice]
  • Despite Agent Walsh’s exploits, Fleury is still with his teammates. [Sportsnet]
  • Future St. Louis Blue Taylor Hall is a free agent, and he’s not after the money, he’s just after some winning. [NHL]