That was brutal. They played their game and dictated the pace for 59 1⁄2 minutes, but one breakdown in the last :30 kills them.
Only real bright side I can think of is that Barry Trotz’s Capitals went down 0-2 in the 2018 First Round. They stormed back to win the next four games and the series and went on to win the Stanley Cup. Of course, it wasn’t the Eastern Conference Final, and they were playing the Blue Jackets, not the Lightning.
Recaps from a heartbreaking Game 2:
- Jenny is right—that breakdown in the final :30 could’ve been avoided if Trotz didn’t put Andrew Ladd and Leo Komarov out to be slalom poles. The image of Ladd watching that pass go right by him will haunt me. [LHH]
- It was “world-famous Olympic diver” Nikita Kucherov, as Jenny referred to him, with the winner. [NHL]
- It was a stunner. But Trotz liked a lot about their game, save for the last :30. [Newsday]
- Arthur Staple makes sense of exactly what happened in those last :30. [The Athletic]
- Matt Martin, the Isles goal-scorer, said the team still believes they can win the series. [Islanders]
- Brock Nelson, who was very clearly a target last night, was okay after going through concussion protocol as a result of Alex Killorn’s douchebaggery. Probably should’ve gone through it again after Barclay Goodrow’s appalling cross-check to the head. [Newsday] As an aside: f*** Tampa. They know they’re easily the better team and they’re still going for cheap head shots. I hope they never get their names on the Cup.
- The penalty killing units were much better tonight, holding off Tampa Bay’s lethal power play. [Newsday]
- Good news: the Islanders have an all-time series record of 3-9 when trailing 0-2 in a series; bad news: the last time they pulled it off was 1984 against the Canadiens and they’ve lost the six times they’ve been there since. But more good news! That 1984 win was one of only two, ever, where a team trailed 0-2 in a Conference Final and won. [NYI Skinny]
- PHOTOS: Because you know you want to see more! [Newsday]
Let’s hear from Martin and Nick Leddy:
“I liked our response as a group. We came out and played the right way for 60 minutes. When you come out, have 4 lines rolling and everyone’s buying in and doing what it takes to win games, sometimes you live with the result.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 10, 2020
More from Leddy & Martin pic.twitter.com/ohpWuISFfC
And from Nelson:
“We’re in a bit of a hole and I'm sure a lot of guys have been here before. You just have to come out and fight right from the drop of the puck in Game 3.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 10, 2020
Nelson addresses the media following Game 2. pic.twitter.com/mgBcIB9jYk
And finally, from Trotz:
“We had our energy, we had our game today, we just didn’t get the result. I liked a lot about our game other than the last 30 seconds. We just have to improve upon that even more and go after the next game.” pic.twitter.com/pFPfqCN6Hr— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 10, 2020
Onto the rest of the news.
- The premise of this article is that the Islanders could’ve shown their resiliency with a win last night. They didn’t win, but I think they showed it. [Empire]
- However, now comes the true test of their character. What team are we going to see for the rest of this series? [Best @ Newsday]
- By the numbers, the Islanders have been one of the best teams throughout the postseason, offensively AND defensively. [Sportsnet]
- Doc Emrick will be on the call for Islanders-Lightning starting in Game 4; John Forslund will shift to the West as Kenny Albert returns to football coverage. [Newsday]
- GM Lou Lamoriello is a finalist for the 2020 Jim Gregory Award for GM of the Year. [LHH | Islanders]
- LISTEN: Our very own Dominik went on the Let’s Go Blues podcast to discuss the Isles and their chances this summer, as well as St. Louis NHLers.
- LISTEN: Patrick Flatley joined Andrew Gross to chat about how the 2020 Isles compare with the 1993 Isles. [Newsday: Island Ice | Newsday article about it]
We’re in uncharted territory around these parts: the Islanders will play the only NHL game of the night for the rest of this season.
- Long-time face of the franchise Mikko Koivu likely won’t be back with the Wild next season. [Hockey Wilderness]
- John Tortorella doesn’t let out much about himself. But his assistants do! And say hello to old friend Brad Shaw, one-time Isles assistant and interim head coach. [The Athletic]
- The Ice Garden digs into the archives for the only time checking was legal in women’s IIHF, back in 1990.