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Islanders News: A painful end to an amazing season

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But the Islanders may be turning the corner to becoming a champion.

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Seven
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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hoo boy. This is painful. I’ll have more to say about it later today or tomorrow. But right now, it is rough. Coming that close and coming up short is not a fun place to be.

I love the New York Islanders. If you’re reading this, even after that heartbreaker, you probably do, too. They gave us some great memories this spring and early summer and closed out the old barn in style. I’ll never forget this run.

Hopefully, it becomes another lesson learned along the journey toward an eventual Stanley Cup. After all, Barry Trotz says this heartache is part of becoming a champion. And he knows; he experienced it on the way to winning a Cup.

Thank you, LHH readers, for making what we do around here worth it. This has to be one of the best sports franchise fan blogs out there. It’s a real community. I hope that, like the Islanders, we can take away hard-earned lessons from this pain so that we can all celebrate a Cup together next season.

Islanders vs. Lightning Post-Mortem

  • This was way too fun to end now. [LHH]
  • The Islanders played well and created chances, but the Tampa Bay Lightning let nothing through. [NHL]
  • And for that reason, they came up short again. [NHL]
  • The 2021 Stanley Cup dream is over. [Newsday]
  • The pain that these guys felt—and it was palpable, enough even to get my lip quivering—shows that they’re not just happy to be here anymore. [The Athletic]
  • The pain in Josh Bailey’s stare, the pain in Mathew Barzal’s voice, wanting to get it done for veteran guys like Bailey and Andy Greene. My heart sank listening to and watching them last night. [Islanders 5 Takeaways]
  • During the pre-game on MSG+, the broadcast spoke with John Tonelli, who once again said that Barry Trotz reminded him of Al Arbour. And other dynasty-era Isles have said that Arbour was like a second father to them. When you listen to Trotz’s fatherly post-game here, it’s not hard to draw parallels between him and Arbour.
  • They were so close, but now it feels so far away. It takes a lot to get to this moment. [Best @ Newsday]
  • It was one mistake that cost them. One shot. That’s how close it was. [Sportsnet]
  • So you could understand why they were emotional. [NY Post]
  • And this one will sting for a while. [NY Post]
  • But that pain might be part of what it takes to go from contender to champion. [Brooksie @ NY Post]
  • Semyon Varlamov deserves a lot of credit. He was the Isles’ best player in Game 7, the only goal to beat him coming from a defensive lapse while on the man advantage. [Newsday]
  • But even his heroics were not enough. [NY Post]
  • So, the Lightning will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final, starting Monday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. Go Habs? [NHL]

The Before-the-Game Section

  • The Islanders tried to embrace the magnitude of playing a Game 7 with a chance at a Stanley Cup on the line. [Islanders]
  • They knew that trips to the Stanley Cup Final are few and far between. [Newsday]
  • Trotz did, too. He relished the chance to get back to Mount Everest again. [Newsday]
  • Game 7 was for the fans. [Best @ Newsday]
  • Golf Digest, of all publications, felt the need to weigh in on the beer can throwing of Game 6. Go away.

The Podcast Section

  • The full Newsday crew gathered for the final time this season to recap Game 7. [Island Ice Ep. 104]
  • Arthur Staple did the same. [No Sleep Til Belmont]
  • From before the game, Mike and Dan talked about the magic of the Game 6 comeback and their anxiety ahead of Game 7. [Islanders Anxiety]
  • Joe and Noel did the same. [PTIsles]