Folks, I know I’ve been saying “folks” a lot lately but, well, it seems to be working right now. So I’m going to keep saying folks, perhaps more than would normally be warranted.
Anyway, the Islanders are going to the Eastern Conference Final. It’s time to get sick of a new opponent: the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Isles last played the Bolts in a playoff series in the 2016 Atlantic Division Finals. It was a 5-game Tampa Bay win, but the Islanders won Game 1 and were [crushes thumb and forefinger together] this close to winning either or both of Games 3 and 4 at Barclays Center.
To the extent that even matters. It was four years ago. Both teams are pretty vastly different. It’s more so just to get you all revved up for revenge. Remember Brian Boyle’s hit on Thomas Hickey in Game 3 just before he scored the overtime winner? Of course you do. It was brutal. Now you’re mad.
Good. Be mad. Because you ought to rediscover your hatred of Tampa Bay. It’s always the state of Florida, isn’t it?
Recaps and Stories from Game 7
- I’ve never seen them get this far before. It’s [heart-eyes emoji] [LHH]
- The nerves were, understandably, on edge coming into this game. [Newsday]
- It’s their first appearance in a Conference Final since 1993. [Islanders]
- A dominating Game 7 shutout is one way for the fans to get comfortable. [NHL]
- Thomas Greiss, who was excellent when needed, said it “was the best game [he] ever saw the defense play.” [Newsday]
- It was Greiss’ first career playoff shutout. Pretty cool way to achieve that milestone. [Newsday]
- And it was a top-to-bottom win, an excellent showcase of their depth. [Sportsnet]
- The defense brought the offense last night, scoring the first two goals of the game. [Islanders]
- The total team win was done in style. [ESPN]
- From what Eric Hornick is saying, it seems like this might have been the best Islanders performance in a Game 7 in their history. I don’t think the dynasty played any Games 7. [NYI Skinny]
- VIDEO: The Islanders are “fired up” after this win. [Newsday]
- HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the game because it was glorious. [Newsday]
Let’s hear the full story from the team. First up, Greiss and Brock Nelson:
“It’s awesome. With the guys in the room, we all compete for each other. It’s a great achievement for the whole team and for the fans. I’m happy to help.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 6, 2020
More from Greiss and Nelson after tonight’s dub! ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/11MnhUf1sS
Then, the goal-scoring d-men Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene:
“All the boys played well tonight That was the biggest thing. We got to our identity and played Islander hockey.”— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 6, 2020
Mayfield and Greene share their thoughts on the Game 7 victory! pic.twitter.com/bnz3bjYaKX
And finally, the man himself, Barry Trotz:
“I told them ‘go have fun and enjoy it’ because Game 7s are rare. I said do something special today with the guy next to you and do it for the families and let’s just get it done. Let’s have an Islanders game.” pic.twitter.com/7A1oiZKEA7— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 6, 2020
- Onto the Eastern Conference Final—I still can’t believe I get to say it—where the Islanders will play the Lightning. [NHL] Game 1 is Monday night at 8:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. [NHL]
- It’s a quick turnaround and includes a flight to Edmonton, but the Islanders are flexible and have responded very well to adversity this postseason. [Newsday]
- They’ve returned to the Conference Final for the first time in 27 years. But it’s more than just that, Larry Brooks says. They’ve arrived again. [NY Post]
- Neil Best says the job is not done, but save those thoughts for tomorrow and party like it’s 1993 today. I will! [Newsday]
- Fittingly, Arthur Staple has seven thoughts after the Game 7 win, including Trotz picking the right goalie, getting goals from the defense, and Mathew Barzal’s dominating performances in big moments. [The Athletic]
- Less fittingly, the team site has six takeaways from the series win, including the offense clicking, finding ways to win, and shutting down the Flyers’ stars when it mattered most. [Islanders]
- It will be John Forslund, Eddie Olczyk, and Brian Boucher to call the Eastern Conference Final. Not a bad lineup—because he’s still a stinky Ranger, Edzo hates the Isles, for sure, but Forslund is a great announcer that appreciates the Islanders and Boucher is usually pretty good. Although you could certainly hear the excitement in his voice talking about his Flyers, he had plenty of praise for the Isles’ game. [Newsday]
- Isles co-owner and frontman Jon Ledecky toured the UBS Arena construction site and was excited by the progress. I drove past it on the Cross Island yesterday and it looks gorgeous. [Islanders]
Islanders-Flyers Game 7 was the only NHL action last night, so no other scores.
- Storylines for the Conference Finals include the rotating goalies for the Isles, Golden Knights, and Stars and the Bolts’ long layoff: they have yet to play September hockey. [NHL]
- Dom Luszczyszyn statistically previews the Vegas-Dallas series. [The Athletic]
- The Knights will be without Ryan Reaves in Game 1; he was suspended for his ugly head shot on the Canucks’ Tyler Motte in Game 7 of that series. [NHL | Sportsnet]
- The Stars are hoping that Joe Pavelski’s bond with his old Sharks coach, Pete DeBoer, works to their advantage. [NHL]
- Mike Babcock and Gerard Gallant are among the interviewees for the Capitals’ head coach opening. [Sportsnet]
- Pierre LeBrun interviewed new Panthers GM Bill Zito about working with Sergei Bobrovsky again after their time with the Blue Jackets and his offseason plan. [The Athletic]
- And finally, Pierre McGuire, who interviewed for the Florida vacany filled by Zito, also interviewed for the open Coyotes GM job. We’re so close to getting rid of him! [Sportsnet]