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Islanders vs. Bruins Game 3 Gameday News: Lots of love for heart-and-soul Cizikas ahead of Game 3

I think a win on home ice to take a 2-1 series lead would be just swell.

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NHL: FEB 25 Bruins at Islanders
I’m sure that there will be plenty of yapping tonight.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Islanders tonight welcome back to Nassau Coliseum the Boston Bruins for Game 3. These two teams, both of whom play physical games, got an extra day to rest.

I am predicting a mildly tentative start, followed by the Islanders riding the wave of the crowd.

Islanders Playoff News

  • Trotz will likely stick with the same lineup that won him Game 2. [Newsday]
  • Meanwhile, Craig Smith should return to the lineup for the Bruins after missing Game 2. [NHL]
  • Trotz indicated this during his off-day availability on Tuesday, but winning the way that they did in Game 2—blowing the lead and winning in overtime—probably did more for his team than would have a comfortable regulation win. [Newsday | NY Post]
  • There are no mysteries between these two teams with very similar playing styles. [Newsday]
  • Neil Best questioned the value of home ice, but Matt Martin shut that right down. [Newsday]
  • Casey Cizikas may be a grinder, but he makes up a large part of the Islanders' identity, and he was the hero in Game 2. [Newsday]
  • He is the classic meat-and-potatoes player, beloved by his teammates, current and former. Colin McDonald, Michael Grabner, and Calvin de Haan all confirmed it. [The Athletic]
  • Trotz had a lot of praise for Barzal’s game in Game 2, despite not scoring. [Newsday]
  • Charlie McAvoy may have been born and raised in Long Beach, and his family may have operated a plumbing business there for nearly a century, but he is a Bostonian now. [The Athletic]
  • LISTEN: In this episode of Islanders Anxiety, Mike admits to thinking what I thought on Monday night: That the Bruins comeback was a result of my schadenfreude with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Surprised we have not yet seen this, but the Boston Globe put out a piece about GM Lou Lamoriello’s Rhode Island roots and their interaction with this series against Boston.
  • According to Dom Luszczyszyn, Stanley Cup-winning teams all have had a certain makeup. No current contender meets every criterion, but the Isles come close. [The Athletic]
  • Game 5 on Monday night back in Boston will start at 6:30 p.m. ET. [Islanders]

Islanders Regular News

  • Stick this straight into my veins: What if the Maple Leafs had pushed Kyle Dubas—and not Lamoriello—out the door? [Toronto Sun]
  • Semyon Varlamov was not named a Vezina Trophy finalist on Tuesday. [Newsday]
  • LISTEN: Patrick Flatley was the latest guest on Talkin’ Isles. He talked about his full tenure as an Islander, as well as playing for Team Canada at the 1984 Olympics. [Islanders]

Beyond Long Island and New England

Two NHL scores last night: The Montreal Canadiens won Game 1 on the road against the Winnipeg Jets, and the Colorado Avalanche knocked off the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime to take Game 2.

  • Montreal-Winnipeg Game 1 will be remembered for what transpired at the end, though: As Habs forward Jake Evans put the puck in the empty net to seal the deal, Jets center Mark Scheifele trucked him, knocking out Evans before he hit the ice. Evans needed to be stretchered off. He will have a hearing today with the Department of Player Safety.
  • Ryan Reaves plays an important role for the Golden Knights, but his actions on Sunday night complicate his value. [Sportsnet]
  • Per Steve Simmons, this Leafs’ collapse cuts deeper than any that have come before it, as far as this core is concerned. And it is up there all-time, too. [The Province]
  • Simmons again: Who will be the first Leaf to get the boot? That is the question on the minds of LeafNation.
  • Dubas claims that it will not be Mitch Marner. No sir, absolutely not. [NHL]
  • Justin Bourne attempted to perform an autopsy on the 2021 Maple Leafs, dissecting where, exactly, it all went wrong. [Sportsnet]
  • The Leafs admitted that they knew that the path to the semifinals was as clear as it could have been and missing that opportunity stings most. [Sportsnet]
  • Nathan MacKinnon is the Conn Smythe front-runner thus far. [The Athletic]
  • Oh yeah, the Draft Lottery was last night. No major changes, other than the Seattle Kraken moving up from no. 3 to no. 2. The Buffalo Sabres pick first. [NHL]
  • Pekka Rinne’s contract with the Nashville Predators has expired. He has not ruled out playing for another NHL team. [NHL]
  • The City of Calgary will host the rescheduled 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in August. [IIHF | Ice Garden]