As Jenny said, this sport is terrible.
That’s certainly how my emotions, or more accurately my completely drained energy reserves, feel after that double overtime loss in Game 6. The Islanders, particularly their ridiculous top line, had the better of play for most of the night and probably deserved a good bounce, rather than a stick break (Scott Mayfield on the winner) and an unfortunate carom (Devon Toews on the equalizer) when batting a pass out of the air.
But despite it all, I will say this: I enjoyed the comfort of watching the Islanders mostly play “the right way,” going to the right spots, providing the right backup on pinches, and generally tilting the ice in the third and both overtimes.
It sucks to watch overtime knowing that any roll of the dice the hockey gods decide to throw may kill you. But it’s at least a little comforting to know that if you lose, it’s likely due to that rather than to being terribly outplayed. I wasn’t hanging on by my fingertips hoping the Isles lucked into a win; rather, I was watching with the knowledge that they were doing the right things to win, but sometimes hockey is just a rude bastard.
Finally, I’ll look on this beyond-the-rivalry bright side: Oskar Lindblom returned to play after nine months, and he got a win. I’ll concede Game 6 for that nice story while hoping that this episode ends on Saturday.
- As noted, Jenny drew the short straw on a night that was supposed to be a celebration, and now we owe her therapy coverage. [LHH]
- Barry Trotz “didn’t like” a few of the decisions that preceded goals against, but he knows they had plenty of chances to win that game. [Isles]
- The Flyers feel they have the recipe for overtime: just funnel pucks to the net, and eventually you get the right screen or deflection to score, damn it. [NHL]
- There’s a comfort in getting multiple chances to clinch the series. [Newsday | Post]
- And evidently it’s okay if you are ready to panic. [Newsday]
- But the Islanders are not. [NHL]
- This was after the Game 5 loss, but still applies: Barry Trotz knows just what the Isles need. [Post]
- From the Flyers perspective: Kurt recaps for BSH
- This will be the 9th Game 7 in Islanders history, and a couple of them have involved that other orange team. [NYI Skinny]
- If you’re a younger fan, you’ve surely heard that the Islanders haven’t made a conference final since 1993. You may not realize that the “we really need a new arena” saga goes back well, well before that. (Like, technically the dynasty took place while people knew a new arena would be needed.) [Newsday]
- A Long Island native who covers the Blackhawks talks about having those odd fandom feelings stirring again. [Athletic]
- Barry Trotz reminds us that you grow through adversity. (Also: he didn’t see much adversity against the Panthers and Capitals, the pushovers.)
"One thing you do as a team when you fight through adversity, you grow. You grow as a group. So, this is part of our process." pic.twitter.com/G5gU95BnkG— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 4, 2020
“These moments don’t come around often. Game 7s are special & we have a chance to go to the conference final. Our goal is to win a cup. I’m really confident in the group that we have & look forward to a big game in a couple days from now.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 4, 2020
Martin & Brassard postgame interview: pic.twitter.com/LqGFYZSbJQ
Barry Trotz on Semyon Varlamov: "They scored two out of the first three and I let him battle through."— Joe Pantorno (@JoePantorno) September 4, 2020
Said "We'll see," which I assume means about his status for Game 7. #Isles
In a Hart-like performance, Thatcher Demko made 48 saves while shutting out the Golden Knights to force a Game 7. That will be one of two Games 7 out West tonight, while the Lightning sit at home (er, Edmonton) laughing at the rest of the would-be final four combatants.
- As a follow-up to the events and discussions that paused play last week, the NHL and the Hockey Diversity Alliance have formalized a partnership. [NHL]
- The Bruins weigh whether they need to “get younger” ... [NHL]
- ...but one of their younger guys, Torey Krug, is headed to UFA and isn’t going to offer yet another hometown discount. [NHL]
- The Jake Allen trade was an interesting move in an offseason that should include lots of goalie musical chairs. [TSN]
- Nikita Kucherov is skating but is technically “uncertain” for the conference final, but I bet he’s playing in Game 1. [NHL]
- On the value of teammates for the NHL’s young superstars. [TSN]
- Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t know if he’ll be a Ranger anymore, but that’s for this winter, and right now he’s got kids to put in school. [Post]