Places all together! At noon today, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins drop the puck in Game 1 of their first round.
Oh man, have we been waiting for the start of this series? The anticipation killed me. At least we don’t have to sit around all day waiting for the game to start. We will do it right.
This core of islanders now has extensive experience that they can rely on when getting on this series. They “literally” know what it takes to win. “Not to mention they have one of the best goalkeepers in the league. They have one of the NHL’s best defensive pairings in Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, who will be vital in neutralizing Pittsburgh’s strong offensive.
The postseason is a clean slate, and islanders can wipe their struggles from the end of the regular season. They’re built for the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I bet they’ll remind us of that this afternoon.
To that end, this season’s playoff slogan seems to be “Defend NY”. That sounds appropriate for the team that conceded the second-smallest goals in the NHL this season.
Playoffs Islanders News
- Game 1 is previewed on the Isles website. [Islanders]
- The entire series was also previewed. [Islanders] So does the NHL site. [NHL]
- Fortunately, Semyon Varlamov seems good today. He trained yesterday after skating the cab and black aces on Friday. [Newsday | NHL]
- Varlamov comes in at No. 5 on the list of playoff goalkeeping power rankings. [NHL]
- He’s also one of the 3 keys to Game 1 as he’s struggled with the pens this season despite his excellent totals. [NHL]
- The islanders made it to the second round during the first season of Barry Defense on Long Island. In its second season the conference finale. The third time is a spell to capitalize on? [Best @ Newsday]
- Climbing this mountain, however, takes one step at a time – especially to survive the grueling East Division playoffs. [Newsday]
- As we know, Offside Tavern has returned as a pop-up for the start of the playoffs. [Islanders]
- Listen to defiance and get involved in today’s game.
Regular islander news
- The Empire State Building glowed blue and orange to support the Islanders, New York’s most successful franchise in recent years. … Which doesn’t say much, I know, but when was the last time we could say that? [Islanders]
Beyond Long Island and western Pennsylvania
Last night, the Washington Capitals scored a bad goal in less than four minutes after extra time to win their first game against the Boston Bruins, who linked the game with a bad goal of their own in the second half.
- Washington starting goalkeeper Vítek Vaněček made his playoff debut and left the game with a lower body injury sustained as he reached in vain to reach Jake DeBrusk’s goal, Boston’s first goal of the game. Craig Anderson, who only played four games this season, was admirable. [NHL]
- Tough break for Dom and the St. Louis Blues – their top scorer David Perron landed on the COVID-19 protocol list. He finished the season with one point per game. [NHL]
- CLOCK: The East Division is by far the most physical, as well as the closest and most competitive in the NHL. [Sportsnet]
- Picks, Picks, and More Picks: ESPN is pretty split on the Isles Pens range.
- However, the selection of series is not enough. We also need some bold predictions. [ESPN]
- A burning question for all 16 playoff teams. [Sportsnet]
- This year’s Norris Trophy is closer than in previous years. Victor Hedman is likely to win it, but his sluggish play on the track should disqualify him. [Yahoo]