Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
One narrative is that the Lightning were rusty while the Islanders were sharp, because the Lightning had been off since Thursday. There might be some truth to that. The Lightning were sloppy, at least until the score became lopsided. But the Islanders had a lot to do with it, and it might have worked the other way in the third period.
"They had a little more left in the tank than us," Greiss said.
Another narrative is that the Lightning were unlucky and the game was relatively close. The shots were 19-17 Tampa Bay through two periods, even though New York had a 4-1 lead. "It was just one of those nights were pucks had eyes," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said the same thing.
"You need some puck luck in this game if you're going to win," Capuano said, "and we had that."
Watch the game highlights below...
Took a puck to the face, possible the nose area.
Game 1, Round 2- NY Islanders @ Tampa Bay 7:00 PM ET NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Game 7, Round 1- Nashville @ Anaheim 10:00 PM ET NBCSN, TVAS, SN, FS-W, FS-TN
Feel free to discuss tonight's games.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
The Islanders are here again in Florida after a quick turnaround from the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against a rested Lightning club, but head coach Jack Capuano isn’t whining about the schedule.
“Turnaround can be a mental thing, no question,” he said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “You find out late that we’re going to get on a plane the next day, but we’ve been resilient and there’s no excuses: That’s been the message to our guys, we can’t control what we can’t control. We deserve to be here, our team has battled through so much this year. We had some puck luck and our goaltender played well. The fact that we’re moving on, we should be excited if the games are spread out or back to back. The fact that we’re playing against Tampa should give us enough excitement to continue.”
In his pre-game briefing at Amalie Arena, Capuano touched on a number of topics:
— On playoff experience perhaps being a factor, with Tampa’s deep runs versus this edition of the Islanders’ maiden voyage into the second round: “We got some guys that have played a lot of hockey. At this point of the year, with the way the NHL is, the parity, there’s a lot of teams that are evenly matched.
from Neil Best of Newsday,
Yes, yes, yes, Chris King had part of his call for the biggest Islanders goal in nearly a quarter century “tucked away” in advance.
No, no, no, it will not be recycled, no matter how far they advance.
“There will be one ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ and that one I want to leave where it is and never use it again,” he said Monday, a day after authoring a memorable soundtrack to a memorable moment: John Tavares’ double-overtime goal to defeat the Panthers, 2-1, and send the Islanders to the second round.
“That’s the way I’ll leave it and be happy with it.”
Most fans should be happy with it, too, and it could not have been uttered by a better media representative of the long struggle for playoff prosperity....
So King is enjoying this ride as much as anyone, an “unbelievable” experience, never more so than Monday, when his voice was all over the media map.
ESPN’s “SportsCenter” played his calls of all three Islanders overtime goals against Florida. That was only the start.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We toss around words like "redemption" and "breakthrough" and "leadership" so often, it's possible their real meanings get dulled, washed out a bit.
And then there are moments like Sunday night when John Tavares embodies all of them in, hauling his New York Islanders to a place it has not been since the captain was a 2-year-old toddler.
When Tavares circled the Florida Panthers net and tucked home the game winner 10 minutes, 41 seconds into the second overtime period to send the Islanders to the second round for the first time since 1993, it was as though the slate had been wiped clear for an entire franchise and its long-suffering fan base.
"First and foremost, I think our fan base, they've been dying for it, obviously," Tavares said in the Islanders' strangely muted locker room considering the great weight that had been figuratively lifted from their collective shoulders.
In some ways, his performance and the win for the team wiped the slate clean for Tavares, who had an up-and-down season but who might be the best player on the planet right now.
added 8:02am, Christine Simpson of Sportsnet talked with Tavares post-game, watch below...
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Nick Leddy brought the puck up ice with Nick Kulemin firing a shot that Luongo made the initial save on.
Luongo lost sight of the puck as he lay on the ice.
It was sitting behind him, all alone, and Tavares swooped in and swept it through.
Moments before, the Panthers had a good scoring chance into the empty net as Trocheck and Reilly Smith were both tripped up yet didn't draw penalties which in all likelihood would have ended things much, much sooner.
Should a tripping call have been made?
"Yeah, but it wasn't, so what do you do?,'' coach Gerard Gallant said when asked. "Obviously, you know, if they thought they would have scored on the other end they would have called it. It's a tough call, it's a fast game. It wasn't much but the game would have been over. It's tough to swallow.''
more on the game...
Below, watch what many think thought should have been a tripping call which turned into the Tavares game-tying goal.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The Islanders had a chance to seize control of this series. Instead, they seized up.
Light-scoring Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic beat Thomas Greiss with 10:35 to play to give Florida a 2-1 win Wednesday night and even the first-round series at 2, with Game 5 Friday night in Sunrise.
It didn’t feel like a one-goal game. The Islanders came out disjointed in a game that could have given them a 3-1 series lead. They put only five first-period shots on Roberto Luongo, allowing the Panthers to dictate the pace.
Even after Petrovic’s goal the Islanders were stymied, despite a power play with 3:33 to go. They pulled Greiss with just over a minute to play but could not beat Luongo, who made 26 saves.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Kyle Okposo said after the Islanders failed to win back-to-back playoff games for the 12th consecutive chance over the last 14 seasons.
Game highlights are below...
IMO, could have gone either way.
added 10:04pm, longer YT version below.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
The first playoff game at Barclays Center is out of the way. The building came up big and the game was a thriller for Islanders fans. They filled the stairwells with sound on the way out, chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “Let’s go, Islanders!” — cheers that made the transition from Nassau seamlessly.
And they chanted “Thom-as Hick-ey!” in honor of the defenseman who scored at 12:31 of overtime for a 4-3 win over the Panthers that ended all the questions about what kind of postseason venue Brooklyn might be.
“Incredible,” Hickey said in describing the atmosphere. “I thought our fans were great. We fed off that. I had goose bumps after that anthem. We fed off that and they stuck with us.”
From now on, it is all about the teams and their series, not the arena.
Game highlights are below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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