The Islanders are poised and ready to take game 7.
If you thought you were about to lose power from that giant gust of wind that felt like hurricane Sandy. Well no worries, it was just the entire Islander nation letting out a sigh of relief after Cal Clutterbuck netted the empty net goal sealing the win for the Islanders. Yes, our beloved Isles laid it all out on the ice and forced game seven.
For the young squad they had the weight of the entire Islander history on their backs. They did not want to be the players that would be known who lost the last game at the Nassau Coliseum that not only ended the series, but ended the era of the home to the team. The pressure of facing elimination and being that team that failed to keep the Barn rocking was not an option.
For the entire season each game is one closer to the end of the Nassau Coliseum being the Islanders home. We all know that this is it, no matter how the politics play out from now or five years from now the Islanders are going to Brooklyn. The only thing that this Islanders group can do to extend what has been a fantastic roller coaster ride of a season is win.
That is exactly what they did yesterday afternoon. They played not just to stay alive in the playoffs, but to keep that vacancy sign from going on in the Coliseum’s window. This Islander team has had to play with that stress all season. The Coliseum is rich with great memories but we all know that it is the last memory that always stays with you. A series ending handshake with the Isles on the losing end in the first round would have followed this team forever.
The challenge that was on hand yesterday was so much tougher to come out and get that win then any of us fans could comprehend. The resilient effort that the Isles played with sending the series to a game seven deserves a standing ovation to our boys. The win could have went either way with both teams having a chance to take the lead. Jaroslav Halak played his best hockey in the playoffs so far stopping 38 shots. What is so special about this group is they will use this win as a confidence builder and bring it all Monday in Washington.
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The Capitals have a terrible history in games 7’s and the Islanders have pushed the Caps into the corner. The Capitals are 3-9 in-game 7 and 2-7 at home. The Islanders are going to come out and bang bodies, take shots and win. The Caps needed to end the series yesterday, watching their reaction after the loss you could see the defeat in their eyes. A look that the Islanders have never had all season. Even after the beating they took in-game 5 they never looked as if they were down and out. That is what playoff experience brings and the Isles have that now.
There was never a sense of urgency with the Isles, a depleted defense and facing elimination the team not once acted as if they were broken. You have to tip your hat to Jack Capuano with keeping the team calm. Granted we have all called for his head but the coach does keep his troops level-headed and believing in themselves. That mindset is where the Caps and Isles truly defer.
Captan John Tavares is getting the national exposure that he deserves. He is the leader on the team and has shown it on and off the ice. The maturity that Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy bring to the table has spread throughout the locker room.
The goal for the Islanders is to score early and quiet the crowed. I don’t have to close out with a bold prediction because seeing the future is easy. The Islanders are going to win.