Folks, this is it. The Islanders begin the Eastern Conference Final tonight in Edmonton against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I’m so excited. I think we match up well with Tampa, even if they’re much more well-oiled a machine than the Islanders previous opponents.
Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. Buckle up.
Welcome to Edmonton.
Edmonton, we’ve arrived. pic.twitter.com/PsgzKi9ZOn— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 6, 2020
- Here’s the schedule for the series. No back-to-backs, no odd start times. It’s very nice. [LHH]
- Barry Trotz and his boys are ready and willing to take the challenge of the Lightning. [Newsday]
- Andrew Gross breaks down the Isles and Bolts by position—the only edge the Isles have is behind the bench—and he and the staff make predictions. [Newsday]
- And the official team site does the preview thing. [Islanders]
- Both teams know their opponent will be their biggest test yet this postseason. [NHL]
- But there is a way the Islanders advance. Arthur Staple identifies some series x-factors, including Mathew Barzal maintaining his level of play and finding a way to contain Victor Hedman. [The Athletic]
- The goaltending duel between Andrei Vasilevskiy and either or both of Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss should be interesting. [NHL]
- The Islanders have to make some slight adjustments. [IslesBlog]
- The Lightning were waiting for a while on their opponent—that question has been answered, but others remain. [NHL]
- Another one was answered: Steven Stamkos will NOT be available to Tampa during this series. [NHL]
- The 2020 run is thrilling the guys that made the 1993 run. Fun to know they’re still rooting for the Islanders. [NHL]
- The Islanders and Lightning have some playoff history: a pair of 5-game wins by Tampa. [LHH]
- Trotz is building on his legacy by guiding the team with longest Conference Final drought back to the Final Four. [Best @ Newsday]
- ESPN does the series preview and prediction thing. They all think it’s Tampa’s year, too. Good, I say!
The fans make the Isles’ job worthwhile.
#Isles fam! Your constant support is a driving force that has kept the boys pumped throughout the postseason!— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 7, 2020
Keep the passion & support coming! Reply with a short video message for the team as they get ready for the Eastern Conference Final in Edmonton! pic.twitter.com/giyKeRjbdM
- Andrew Gross is joined by Newsday colleagues Neil Best and Colin Stephenson to preview the Eastern Conference Final in Island Ice Ep. 46.
- Isles Buzz calls it “a podcast 27 years in the making.” I love that. [LHH]
- PTIsles hosted Chris Botta to discuss the Flyers series and the Eastern Conference Final. [LHH]
- And of course, Islanders Anxiety discusses the Game 7 win and moving on to the Eastern Conference Final in a super-sized episode. [LHH]
Last night’s NHL score was Anton Khudobin and the Stars putting up a 1-0 shutout on the Golden Knights in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. Dallas leads the series 1-0, as well.
- Craig Custance gathered his anonymous scout, coach, and executive for picks. All three see a Vegas-Tampa Stanley Cup Final in our future, but they think the Islanders will be a tough out. [The Athletic]
- Entering the Conference Finals, there were 4 young defensemen among the top-15 playoff scorers. They’re changing the position. [The Athletic]
- The Flyers’ ultimate downfall was not being able to score when it mattered most. [NHL]
- The Canadiens’ Max Domi changed agents but has not asked for a trade, apparently. [Sportsnet]
- The Wild’s Matt Dumba won the King Clancy Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. [NHL]