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Islanders Playoffs News: Oh, that was sweet

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The Islanders advance to the final four against the Lightning for the second straight season.

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders - Game Six
I do love the handshake line. What a tradition.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Folks, we are heading to the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The New York Islanders put on a clinic of Barry Trotz Clamps to shut down the Boston Bruins in Game 6 at the Coliseum, clinching their second straight series in front of 12,000 loud and faithful.

I was in attendance, and it was the first time I had ever seen in-person a handshake line that was not the end of the Islanders’ season.

The crowd was electric last night. It has to get in the minds of opposing teams and players (and now coaches, too—I am sure that Bruce Cassidy heard all the “New York Saints” chants).

By the same token, it also energizes the Islanders when the crowd cheers every time that they clear the zone, or stop a zone entry, or clog the neutral zone and get the puck deep and hold it there for two minutes preventing the losing team from pulling its goalie. The crowd and the Isles feed off of one another. I am sure that this relationship will benefit the Isles as they rematch the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Islanders Playoff News

Recaps from the Game 6 clincher:

  • This series paralleled quite a bit the last series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. [LHH]
  • They just find ways to win. [Islanders]
  • And last night’s win was thorough. It is that killer instinct. [Newsday] And also some “unwavering zeal.” [Sportsnet]
  • The march was led by a three-goal second period, in which Big Game Brock Nelson had two of them, including the game-winner. [NHL]
  • The Trade Dead-Line had a huge impact on the game, too. Travis Zajac opened the scoring, Kyle Palmieri put the game out of reach, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau contained the Perfection Line. [Islanders 5 Takeaways]
  • The Coliseum crowd got to see its team close out a series on home ice for the second time in two weeks. How sweet it is. [Yahoo]
  • The Isles knew from experience—last year’s series with the Philadelphia Flyers, especially—how important it was to close out a series as soon as possible. They are 2-0 so far this postseason in games with a chance to advance. [Newsday]
  • As Jordan Eberle said after Game 5, the fourth win is the hardest one to get. [Newsday]
  • But the way that the Islanders just grind down good teams helps them turn the tide as a series progresses. They stepped up and made big plays defensively to close it out, too. [The Athletic]
  • “The Islanders are 8-0 in potential clinching games at Nassau Coliseum.” [NYI Skinny]
  • Some key non-Skinny stats from Game 6. [Newsday]
  • LOOK! Enjoy some of the best pictures and reactions from the Islanders’ elimination of the Bruins. [LHH | Newsday Photos | Newsday Video]
  • LISTEN! The Newsday crew breaks down the Game 6 victory and looks ahead to the semifinal matchup against Tampa Bay. [Island Ice Ep. 97]
  • Trotz loved the atmosphere last night.

Onto some other playoff bits:

  • So it will be a rematch with the Lightning. The winner gets a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. [NHL]
  • These Islanders already have created what stands as the second-best era in franchise history. They have made a lot of memories, especially for younger fans like me. [Newsday]
  • This run is exactly what Palmieri and Zajac hoped to accomplish when they agreed to get traded to the Islanders. [NHL]
  • A Boston radio station actually hit “publish” on a piece in which they accuse NBC of favoritism toward the Islanders. The examples that they cite are, shockingly, not evidence of favoritism. [WEEI]
  • Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is Boston’s most polarizing athlete. He is elite, but he seems not to rise to the occasion when it matters most. Personally, I think he is great, and the way that the Boston media treats him is truly unbelievable. [WEEI]
  • He is a free agent, and I think that they will miss him if he goes or retires. [NHL] Not to mention, Rask “wasn’t 100%” and may require surgery for his still-undisclosed injury. [ESPN]
  • Justin Bourne had some thoughts about cross-checking and playoff officiating in the context of Isles-Bruins. [Sportsnet]

Islanders Areener News

  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joined some assorted media members in touring UBS Arena. Bettman was impressed and gave his seal of approval. [Newsday Video | Islanders]
  • He said that it was “phenomenal, incredible, iconic.” [Newsday]
  • LOOK! Newsday subscribers can peek at some updated UBS Arena photos. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

No other NHL games last night; the Islanders’ clincher was front-and-center.

  • New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban made his debut as an ESPN NHL analyst, a job that he will hold for the rest of the season and one that he can probably expect to have when he hangs up his skates. [NHL]
  • Former Penguins and Devils GM Ray Shero reportedly has joined the front office of his home state Minnesota Wild, working with close friend Bill Guerin. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • Scott Burnside takes stock of some pending UFAs’ playoff performance. Taylor Hall, despite his struggles against the Islanders, somehow had his stock raised. He played well against the Washington Capitals, to be fair. Palmieri’s stock is way up, though. [The Athletic]