After a two-day pause to discuss issues and next steps for the world outside The Bubble, the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are back at it today to resume their series in a “swing” Game 3 with the series tied at 1-1.
Though the timing of Thursday’s postponement gave players some rest after an overtime game the afternoon before, one variable was not changed in the revised schedule: They will still have back-to-back games for 3 and 4 (though no longer for 6 and 7).
Whether that affects the goaltending assignments for either team remains to be seen, and likely turns on how tonight’s Game 3 goes. Puck drop is ostensibly at 7 p.m. EDT.
By Sunday night, this series will either be in a 3-1 executioner’s position for one team, or we’ll be tied at 2-2 with a long week ahead.
- Though the teams’ heads were “somewhere else” the last two days, they know the games will be every bit as intense, and will require every bit of tactical focus. [Post]
- Stan Fischler and others discuss the evolution of Mathew Barzal, and steps he needs to take to become a superstar. [Forbes]
- As for the two-day pause to address racism and social equity, Islanders coaches and players know that listening is key, action the next step. [Newsday | Post]
- From the Flyers side: Scott Laughton, who has struggled, says he is healthy. And the Flyers also face the goalie dilemma with this weekend’s back-to-back. [Inquirer]
- Brian Compton of NHL-dot-com discusses all of these on XM NHL radio. [SoundCloud]
- Also from the Flyers side, 5 Things they learned from Game 2, where Kevin Hayes woke up. [BSH]
- Arthur Staple sought more thoughts from non-white Islanders fans on their experiences as people of color at Islanders games and the messages from the team. [Athletic]
- Kind of an afterthought with everything else going on, but Simon Holmstrom was assigned to a team in Sweden, which starts play next month. [Isles]
- That raises the question: Will any other Islanders who have been off since March find a new place to play until the NHL and AHL start their seasons sometime this winter? [LHH]
- Here is the full revised schedule for the NHL’s second round (with TBD start times later in the round, of course), starting with today’s tripleheader.
- These playoffs have put several backups in the starter’s spotlight. [NBC]
- Behind the scenes of how the movement to pause games gathered steam. (I’ve seen laughable comments about how “oh, NBA players told you to do it” and other absurdities about how it’s just bending to some conspiracy or popular will. That’s absurdly reductive and ignorant, for example ignoring the actual thoughts and actions of players like these.) [Athletic]
- Here’s what some of the players including Scott Mayfield said during the pause. [NHL]
- These issues particularly hit home now for Jaccob Slavin, whose adopted baby girl is Black. [NHL]
- The Ray & Dregs podcast discusses free agent goalies, and talks to Craig Berube about players who were dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19 in the Bubble.