The New York Islanders kept their season alive by besting the Tampa Bay Lightning in a double-overtime Game 5. I wish I could say that the game was an exciting one, but it felt more like filler material, especially with the third round and overweight sticking to it. .
But the Eastern Conference Finals will continue for at least one more game, and there is nothing wrong with that.
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about last night …
New York Islanders 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (2OT) (TB lead 3-2)
With the Islanders facing elimination, coach Barry Trotz went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, putting his lineup in a blender. “Lines were shuffling,” Jordan Eberl said. “I don’t even know what the lines were.” Although New York played a structured game, it did not generate much offense. The Islanders had just 24 shots in about 90 minutes. It was a battle of wills – through the first overtime period, teams combined for more blocked shots (52) than shots on target (49). But in the end, it was Eberle who scored nearly four real-time game winners after the initial puck drop.
Trotz’s message to the team before the game: “Let’s have fun with this. We worked very hard. Let’s have no regrets.” Lightning coach John Cooper liked the way his team played and he thinks he will be fine if he continues to play this way. “I like our chances,” Cooper said. “We believe in what we are doing.” Full repetition.
Question of the day: How far can islands in this chain push electricity?
Since the conference playoff format was introduced in 1982, teams with a 3–1 lead in the conference finals won 97% of the time (34–1). History is on the power side. But it’s 2020, and not only can it be anything, but the Islanders are like a cockroach of bubbles. The team of trots will not go away yet.
So now, instead of the Stanley Cup Finals starting on Thursday, we’ll get Game 6 of this matchup. To win, the Islanders will once again seek production from their top stars. Don’t be surprised if Trots keeps shuffling lines. And if they can actually get the clicking power play (the Isles were 1-for-3 on Tuesday, but there were some rough stretches on Man Advantage), this could be a turning point.
If lightning feels pressure, they do not leave this thing. “It came down to a play,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said of the loss. “This is tough for us. How do you respond that will define you as a team. We are not worried.”
On the next show…
Game 6: No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 New York Islanders (TB lead 3-2) | 8 PM ET Thursday
The Lightning had their first chance at shutting down the Islanders. Can they get it done on Thursday? One thing to monitor: Did Breyden Point, who missed Game 5 (as well as Game 3) return? “It’s too hard to tell right now,” Cooper said directly following Game 5.
The Islanders gained momentum on Tuesday following an Elimination-Strong double-overtime win (in which they recorded just 24 shots). “I think coming in [Edmonton] Bablu said that we were quite upset, I would straighten up, “Trots said.” But I think as the series has gone, we have gained a hold in that area. “
Jordan Eberl, F, New York Islanders
In the city where he played the first seven seasons, Eberle scored perhaps the biggest goal of his NHL career. (This will be the biggest goal of his hockey career, but his heroic moments in world juniors are still a big deal for Canadians.)
“He puts a lot of pressure on himself when he’s not scoring,” Trots said. “They have a very high level of expectations on themselves,” he said.
Simeon Varlamov, G, New York Islanders
The Islanders ‘goalkeeper gave 36 of 37 shots (.973 percent saved) to keep the Islanders’ season alive. “I didn’t get a chance to play too many playoff games in my NHL career,” Varlamov said. “I’m happy to be here today and play in the playoffs. We’re playing in the conference finals, it’s a big deal for us, our fans on Long Island, everybody’s eyes and routing for us.” In addition, they had the best celebration of the night (see below).
Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman scored his eighth goal of the playoffs, the most goals scored by a defenseman in a single playoff year as Rangers’ Brian Lecht scored 11 in 1994.
“He has definitely earned the right to return as a coach.” – Stars GM Jim Nell on his interim coach Rick Bones. There is no question that Bowness – who at 65 is the oldest coach in the league, and has more than 30 years of coaching experience – has landed a job with the Stars next season. The question is: will they consider him something that he thinks is appropriate?
All day long
Kevin Schtenkirk has been a revelation for the Lightning this season. After being bought by the New York Rangers, Schottenkirk revived his career this season with Tampa with a low-risk, one-year deal, and a decent market as a free agent for this offseason Will happen. However, this was not his best moment. In double overtime, Schottenkirk fired a shot from the point, and the Islanders bounced for the game-winning goal. This is a play he cannot easily make.
Stettenkirk really really shot
– Bar South Ann Kelly ™ (@BarSouthNCelly) September 16, 2020
Social post of the day
Sometimes leaving the bubble is not all bad, as Vegas Merry defenseman John Merrill learned after his team’s elimination:
– Jess Molina, MSW (@JesMolina) September 15, 2020
Bubble moment of the day
New York Islanders, They Are Not Going Home!
6 games like… pic.twitter.com/iUSsC2UC3Y
– New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 16, 2020