I know I keep returning to this trope, but it’s going to be that way until this stuff start to feel normal: The Islanders won Game 2 of a “qualifier” best-of-five series on Aug. 4 against the Florida Panthers, so 24 hours later they have a chance to sweep in a noon Wednesday start in Toronto. A clincher today would mean...16 more wins to the Cup.
Presumably they’ll be wearing their “road” whites today for Game 3. Because now it’s Florida’s turn to be the home team in Ontario.
- But before we get to that, recaps of Game 2: How it happened [LHH] Praise be the special teams [Isles | Newsday] Trotz: “When we just understand what we are and how we have to play, then we’ll be successful.”
- The post-game perspective from Cats Country [Litter Box Cats | Panthers]
- Previewing today’s Game 3: Do or die for Florida. [Isles]
- Um, should the Panthers sit Bobrovsky? He hasn’t really been the problem, and I’m not sure the guy you committed max term to is the one whose self-worth you want to shake at the end of year one. [NBC Sports]
- Trotz spoke of this after the game: Jordan Eberle’s patience with the puck buys him a lot, including the time to create a perfect shooting lane for the go-ahead goal. [Newsday | Isles]
- He also spoke about Andy Greene, a “true pro” who jumped right into Game 2 due to Johnny Boychuk’s injury. “We acquired him to play big minutes, and it was a very difficult decision not to start him in Game 1.” [Newsday | Isles]
- I’m here for ripping Mike Matheson, who’s been an undisciplined mess. But otherwise, this is saying Florida’s “DNA” is bad. “Or maybe it was when defenseman Mike Matheson, in the second season of an eight-year deal, took a double-minor penalty...then followed that up with a lazy tripping penalty.” [Burnside at Athletic]
- The many ways that the Isles’ arena at Belmont will be the “home of the future.” [MSG Networks]
Yesterday’s scores also included the Rangers getting swept out of here, the Canucks tying their series with Minnesota, the Flames taking a 2-1 lead, and the Leafs tying their series with the Blue Jackets.
- Scary scene as Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin takes an awkward fall and is taken off on a stretcher, casting a pall on Game 2. [NHL | TSN]
- Claude Julien says the Canadiens will need changes after allowing the Penguins to tie their series. [Sportsnet]
- As a reminder, with the Rangers eliminated, we’re now just five days away from the second lottery that will fix the first-overall pick in their favor. [NHL]
As a reminder, today’s game is at noon EDT. So, if you’re lucky(?) enough to be following a conventional work schedule, the Isles could be in the next round by the time you’re done today.