This team, folks. The New York Islanders know how to get the job done when it needs to be. They knew that allowing the Boston Bruins to take a 3-1 series lead would have been, as Game 4 hero Mathew Barzal put it, “a death sentence,” especially going back to Boston for Game 5.
The game was incredible—these two teams have played some excellent playoff hockey during this series. It was going to take a bit of a fluky goal to win it; boy, was it fitting that Barzal got it to make up for the... ahem... “slash.” Butch Goring knows.
Nice call but the ref,slashing, really. Apparently he has never been speared in the family jewels— Butch Goring (@91Butch) June 6, 2021
We will have at least one more playoff game at the Coliseum. That’s a lovely thought. But I am getting ahead of myself here. First, the Islanders have to go to Boston for Game 5. Let’s get a nice win there.
A fun night with the best fans in hockey. pic.twitter.com/cAe7HQ0QsG— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 6, 2021
Islanders vs. Bruins News
Recaps from a wild and wonderful Game 4:
- It was the Islanders’ best game of the series, just as the Game 4 win to tie the series at 2-2 was against the Pittsburgh Penguins last round. We love to see it. [LHH]
- That was everything that playoff hockey was supposed to be, as Andrew Gross wrote about the Isles’ comeback. [Newsday]
- I was there last night, and the Coliseum was electric. As the Islanders 5 Takeaways notes, the roof nearly blew off when Barzal gave the Isles the lead.
- The Isles won despite falling behind, the fourth consecutive time that they have done that in these playoffs. [NHL]
- The Bruins scoring first did not reflect the flow of the game, though. The Islanders controlled most of it, playing their hard-edged, physical, forechecking game. [NY Post]
- In playing their game, the Islanders embraced their four-line identity. It was on full display last night. [Sportsnet]
- One thing is for certain: This series has been physically exhausting for these guys. And it will only get harder as the tensions continue to rise. The Islanders love that. [NHL]
- The tension even escalated into two fights. Taylor Hall squared off with Scott Mayfield, and Jarred Tinordi danced with Matt Martin. [Newsday]
- Call it a case of right place, right time for Barzal on the game-winning goal. [TSN AP] Listen to that building erupt.
- It was a dazzling enough goal for Arthur Staple to break out the Barzometer. Also, the lockdown after the Barzal goal: spectacular work. And, David Krejci and the Bruins thought that Barzal was faking it on the spear-no-wait-slash. See Butch Goring’s tweet above.
- Even if it was a bit of a fluky goal, it does not diminish the excellent work that Barzal has done in this series in rising to the occasion. [Best @ Newsday]
- The New York Jets returned to the Coliseum, coming for a Saturday Game 4 just as they did two weeks ago against the Penguins. Dan Feeney crushed more beers on his head, the legend he is, and he even inspired Clark Gillies to do the same. [NHL]
- The Islanders have played 40 playoff games under Barry Trotz; only Boston has played more games (46) in the same span. [NYI Skinny]
- LOOK! You can see the Jets, as well as the crowd’s and Barzal’s celebration, in this collection of photos from Game 4. [Newsday]
- Listen to Trotz. He is wise.
Trotz Postgame Availability pic.twitter.com/CcbKVwziDO— x - New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 6, 2021
Onto some other East Division Final Bits:
- The Islanders are not stressed about the “new” challenge that the Bruins pose. And it has shown in their play. They do not seem to be fazed by much. [NY Post]
- Trotz is right, though: You can never relax in the playoffs. [Newsday]
- That works well with the Islanders M.O., which is that they come up big consistently, even without having the big names on the roster. [Best @ Newsday]
- The Barzal line, entering the game, continued to be a hot topic. Also, Trotz greatly misses Oliver Wahlstrom and Anders Lee in a series like this. [NY Post]
- Despite the success that Kyle Palmieri has had spelling Leo Komarov post-penalty kill—having scored twice in three shifts taken in the last two games with Barzal and Jordan Eberle, including the tying goal last night—Trotz says not to expect Komarov to come off that line. Komarov, to his credit, helped the game-winner happen. [Newsday]
- Meanwhile, Anthony Beauvillier once again has raised his game in the playoffs. He is always “dangerous” out there. [NY Post]
- The Islanders take pride in their physicality, but they were still a bit shaken by Brandon Carlo’s injury from Cal Clutterbuck’s hard-but-legal hit. [Newsday]
Beyond Long Island and New England
One other NHL playoff game from yesterday: The Tampa Bay Lightning took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes with their win in Game 4. The Lightning led early, let the ‘Canes take a two-goal lead, then stormed back with four unanswered goals.
- Auston Matthews, Jaccob Slavin, and Jared Spurgeon are the Lady Byng Trophy nominees. [NHL]
- Minnesota Wild prospect Marco Rossi has resumed skating after a brutal bout of and recovery from COVID-19. It is great news for the young Swissman. [NHL]
- 16-year-old Taya Currie, a goalie, became the first female in history drafted into the OHL when the Sarnia Sting took her 267th overall. [NHL]