Playoff overtime is such an alternately evil and glorious beast, and last night’s Game 5 extra period was a fine example. Though the lone overtime was just 12 minutes long, it featured a heart-stopping array of crossbar, post, breakaway, odd-man rush and then some shared by each side.
The “destiny” part of me felt it was the Islanders’ game to win after they completed another late, third-period comeback to force overtime. The decades-seasoned fatalist in me cautioned that maybe things were meant to end with cruelty instead.
Of course I know the hockey gods care not for either interpretation and, in fact, do not exist except in our own impatient heads. But that didn’t stop me from sitting in the same chair, at the same desk, in the same room, where I sat for the Alan Quine, Thomas Hickey (“BROCK!”), and guy-whose-name-I-oddly-forgot overtime goals over the Panthers in 2016.
Alas, 2020 is a different year, as it stubbornly reminds us on a daily, soul-crushing basis.
The Islanders, for the most part, have provided psychic relief from that attack on the soul. And even last night, if I’m honest, was, psyche-speaking, much better as an OT loss that put another scare into the Flyers rather than a ho-hum 3-1 loss that it at one point appeared to be.
Sometimes, I need a superstition to be authoritatively, spectacularly broken to keep my OCD mind from returning to it. So screw that chair and that desk. For Game 6’s overtime, I’m sitting wherever I damned well please.
- In case you didn’t see it (in which I question what you’re doing here rather than Etsy), the Islanders erased a 3-1 deficit late before overtime again went to the Flyers: [LHH | Newsday | Post | Isles | NHL | BSH]
- Game 5 loss not ideal, but don’t panic. [Best @ Newsday]
- Okay but maybe panic? NEW SUBPLOT: Sean Couturier (lower body) and Mathew Barzal (eye) both left the game with injuries. No real updates (nor links), but this is a factor in the remainder of the series.
- Before last night’s game, Dan and Mike discussed the fun of the Isles’ run, and the surreal experience of hearing Canadian hockey media wake up to it. [Islanders Anxiety]
- Like all of us, Ryan Pulock was happy to discover that Adam Pelech was going to be available for the playoffs after all. (The only good thing the pandemic ever did.) [Newsday]
- Anders Lee is basically a natural captain. Oddly I’ve never heard him use the, “It starts with me” quote-by-numbers crutch. [Newsday]
- The bubble has become second nature to the Islanders. Embrace the uncomfortable, and all that. [Post]
"Obviously you’d like to have, I’d like to have, the breakaway back. [Toews] obviously thought maybe his squeaked through, and a couple of other looks. That’s hockey.” -- Brock Nelson #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) September 2, 2020
“You want to close it out as quick as you can and we weren’t able to do that tonight, that’s on us. We’ll have to regroup and focus on one game. That’s all we have to do is focus on the one game.” pic.twitter.com/Es3BAuZIh7— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 2, 2020
In the other game last night, Thatcher Demko stepped in to stone the Knights, keep the Canucks alive, and put another dagger in the silly “teams in the bubble are too easily tempted by the siren song of going home when facing elimination” narrative.
- Zdeno Chara is old but hasn’t decided on retirement, because you asked him only minutes after his team was eliminated (teehee) from the playoffs. [Sportsnet | Post]
- Speaking of Chara, who’s injured many a player in his day, his latest victim Nikita Kucherov should have an update today. [NHL]
- Late breaking news: Bill Zito, who is not the guy who used to be on ESPN2 before doing local MSG stuff, will be the next GM of the Panthers. [TSN]
- Thirteen teams will have cap overages thanks to bonuses earned by players (mostly in these playoffs), but the Islanders are not one of them. [TSN]
- Nathan MacKinnon would tie some history if he gets a point tonight, though you know he’s more concerned about keeping the Avs alive. [NHL]
- Now HERE is a question: Would the Predators be better off if they’d never fired Barry Trotz? [Athletic]
- Is Patrik Laine trade bait as the Jets seek to right themselves? [TSN]
- Sidney Crosby had wrist surgery but should be ready for whenever next season ends. Because this season is over for the Penguins. ‘Cause they lost. Like, weeks ago. [NHL]
- Two analytics-inclined writers use this year’s (small) samples to maybe show it’s harder to stave off elimination in the bubble, a hypothesis quickly undermined by multiple teams, well, avoiding elimination. [Athletic]
- Five questions with former Islander Tom Fitzgerald, except not about the Islanders but rather some team I guess he manages now. [NHL]