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Islanders Playoff Gameday News: The Eastern Conference Final starts tonight and it’s exciting

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The Islanders are in the Eastern Conference Final. No, I’m not over it, yet.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning
Fight!

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.

Islanders News

  • 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.

Podcasts Aplenty

  • 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]

Elsewhere

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 CanadiensMax 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]