The New York Islanders did not have a regular practice yesterday, just off-ice stretching and video, and that sounds appropriate. After a seven-game series and cross-continent flight to begin the conference final with a thud, it’s not fitness and drills that they need. They likely needed some rest, and some time to examine how to keep the Lightning from repeating Game 1.
“Today was about regrouping and trying to get a little bit of clarity in what we need to do,” said Barry Trotz yesterday. “A lot of stuff we did [in Game 1] is fixable, but we’ll have to have a much better and tighter game than we did.”
A few things are almost destined not to repeat, just based on the way the bounces go: No way the Lightning shoot that accurately and lethally for this whole series. (But they are still the most dangerous firing squad the Islanders will face even if they go all the way.)
The opponent is too dangerous for me to feel guarantee the Islanders will control enough of play to deserve victory in Game 2. But under Barry Trotz they will absolutely bounce back.
The 8 p.m. EDT game will be carried on NBC Sports (U.S.), and CBC and TVAS (Canada). It will also be streamed on fuboTV.
- Trotz discussed the “resent and refresh” approach to yesterday: “We gave a lot of players a lot of information the last 48 hours. We went from an emotional high to an emotional low. What you have to learn is that those are acceptable, those are part of the playoff process and what we do tomorrow is the only thing that really matters.” [Isles]
- Here’s video of Trotz’s full remarks. [Isles video] No real update on Cal Clutterbuck, who is a “possibility” for Game 2 but everything is TBD today.
- The Isles are eager to rebound. [NHL]
- They know they need a short memory and not let Game 1 haunt them. [Newsday]
- Five fixes they need to make for Game 2: Aggressive goalie, get around Tampa sealing the boards, don’t make too many lineup changes...[Athletic]
- The development of Mathew Barzal’s complete game continues: “Barry has been there to kind of just keep me calm and make sure I’m always looking at the big picture,” Barzal said. “Keeping my mindset focused on the goal, which is winning the hockey game and winning the series.” [Post]
- Arthur Staple talked to Ray Ferraro about the series for his No Sleep Till Belmont podcast. He recalled a similar daunting jump from Game 7 against the Penguins to Game 1 in Montreal back in ‘93. He also heaped praise on Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. [Athletic]
- Andy Greene has become a fixture in the lineup, but Trotz reminds us of love for Johnny Boychuk, who’s sitting out as a result. [Post]
- Developers always say this, but it sounds like UBS Arena at Belmont really was designed with hockey and music in mind. “We’ve shrunk the number of suites ... We don’t have a lot of breakage within the bowl itself. So it’s tight and it’s steep and it kind of sits on top of the ice to give it that Coliseum feel.” [NYI Hockey Now]
- Meanwhile, they’re fixing to downsize Nassau Coliseum. #neverending [Newsday]
The young guns handled the player media availability yesterday:
“I personally liked our attitude after the game last night. We knew it wasn’t acceptable but at the same time we knew it’s a seven-game series, it’s first to four. So, if we get tomorrow's game, it’s a completely different series."— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 8, 2020
Hear from Barzal and Toews: pic.twitter.com/DGGRAqQtpe
Mat Barzal on Barry Trotz saying he looks more like a hockey player now:— jamie stuart (@N12jamiestuart) September 8, 2020
"I think I'm going to have a few more scars on my face after this one's over." #Isles
- Robin Lehner got another shutout last night (ouch) as Vegas tied their series with the Stars 1-1. More teams are turning to tandems right now. [TSN]
- Miro Heiskanen is a young star blueliner on the rise. [Sportsnet]
- Three of the four conference finalists are likely fatigued and it shows. [Sportsnet]
- As expected, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund will test free agency. [NHL]
- But the Canucks and UFA goalie Jacob Markstrom are talking contract. [NHL | TSN]
- Famous doctor and former NHLer Mark Recchi has been hired to join Lindy Ruff on the Devils bench. [TSN]
- Questions on the goalie merry-go-round this offseason, the Wild, the Leafs, the Penguins. [NHL]
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