In the Game 4 recap, I noted, in the Up Next section, that we didn’t know who the Islanders were going to play in the First Round and that we would know by Sunday evening at the latest. That is still true, but the situation cleared up a little by the end of the day yesterday.
Thanks to the Canadiens ouster of the Penguins (more on that hilarity below, LMAO), we know that the Islanders will be the no. 6 seed in the First Round, locked into a match-up with the no. 3 seed. The no. 3 seed will be which ever of the Capitals or Bruins wins their round robin game on Sunday. So, we still have to wait a couple days, but we know it won’t be the Flyers or Lightning.
To that end, I’ll say this: last season, the Isles swept the Penguins (LMAO) and knew they’d be playing the winner of the Carolina-Washington series, which ended up going the distance. I figured from the get-go it would be then-defending champion Caps, first in the Metro Division and loaded with explosive talent and winning experience. But I was hoping for the Hurricanes, assuming they’d be an easier out. They had skill and a good, energetic system, but were young and lacked, so I thought, the elite scoring ability the Capitals had.
I got my wish. I hooted and hollered watching the ‘Canes take Game 7 on the road in overtime. And we saw how that turned out. So I refuse to “hope” to face any team in the next round anymore. Now, I just hope the Islanders prepare well for and win the series with which they’re saddled.
I await, with open arms, either of Washington or Boston.
- Hear Barry Trotz speak about the all-around solidity of the victory:
“I liked our focus today. There was only one end goal which was to be the better team today and win a hockey game.”— x-New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 7, 2020
Trotz excited over the team-first effort in Game 4. pic.twitter.com/A66QT3p10C
- The key to the game, coming in, was to stay the course. The Isles did just that, and then some. [The Athletic]
- Anthony Beauvillier, who was critical to today’s win and, wholly, the series win, is just having fun out there. [Newsday]
- He’s been a luminary and is showing a knack for coming through in clutch situations. [Islanders]
- He and his good buddy, Mathew Barzal, will need to continue to keep this level of play and consistency going if the Islanders are going to make a run here. [The Athletic]
- Hey! Let’s hear, from these two guys, their thoughts about the win:
“How we played all series defensively, how hard we were in the corners and in our battles. That’s kind of our identity.”— x-New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 7, 2020
Barzal and Beauvillier chime in following the series-clinching win. pic.twitter.com/VL4FOXfVTC
- With the Islanders up 3-1 yesterday afternoon, Aleksander Barkov was robbed of a surefire goal into a wide open net by the stick of one diving Ryan Pulock. [Newsday]
- Some numbers of note from the Qualifying Round against Florida: New York spent 1:20:01 of 2:40:00 of the series (just over half, for you mathematicians) with a lead, but only 0:31:43 of the series trailing. [Islanders]
- LOOK: Check out some photos from a memorable Game 4 win. [Newsday] While you’re at it, check out some highlights from the win, as well. [Newsday]
- Our old puppy pal, Radar, found his purpose: he was paired with a 16 year-old swimmer. [Islanders]
- This is what happens when you’re the only successful one of nine NYC Metro Area teams: you get the Empire State Building all to yourself, even if you’re from Long Island. (Yankees fans, don’t yell at me.)
Friday’s Elimination Bonanza
All six games on Friday were elimination games—in only one of those games did the team on the brink stave it off, and the team that did it looked dead and buried. Yesterday’s NHL results were, in chronological order:
- The 11th-seeded Coyotes finishing off the 6th-seeded Predators in four games with an overtime win;
- The 12th-seeded Habs banishing the 5th-seeded Pens from the bubble (on Sidney Crosby’s birthday!) in a Game 4 that remained scoreless for over 55 minutes before Montreal broke through and helped Carey Price finish off his shutout;
- The 12th-seeded Blackhawks dispatching the 5th-seeded Oilers from their own arena in Game 4;
- The Maple Leafs reversing Thursday’s 3-0 meltdown against the Blue Jackets by erasing a 3-0 deficit of their own in the final four minutes of regulation before forcing Game 5 with an OT win; and
- The Canucks winning their series against the Wild :11 into Game 4’s overtime after trailing and coming back multiple times in the contest.
Beyond the Blue and Orange and the Playoffs
- The Islanders killed a guy: the Panthers are expected to part ways with long-time General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon after their Qualifying Round defeat. [Sportsnet]
- The Seattle Kraken will have the first Black full-time NHL team play-by-play announcer in Everett Fitzhugh. [NHL | The Athletic]
- The Wild’s Kevin Fiala is still navigating his newfound hockey stardom. [ESPN]
- His teammate, Minnesota goalie Alex Stalock, loves to talk and didn’t stop doing it until his team was eliminated. [The Athletic]
- According to Eric Duhatschek, the fit for a top pick coming to a new team is important and he’s got some ideas about the best fit for Alexis Lafreniere. [The Athletic]
- The always good DGB Grab Bag: Playoff Week 1 Edition. [The Athletic]
- And finally, in the Fun Department: the players haven’t had to adhere to a strict dress code in the bubble as they normally would. But their fashion choices are all over the map. [ESPN]