It’s been said a number of times already but yesterday was a pure disaster for the Islanders in every sense of the word. An 8-0 loss is so far from what this team is but an absolutely brutal start to the game derailed the team entirely.
In the first 15 minutes of the game, they allowed eight odd-man rushes. They don’t allow that many over the course of three games normally. Naturally, the press conferences have had a tone of flipping the script for Game 6.
Casey Cizikas, a leader and a 10-year veteran for this team said exactly what needed to be said after a brutal loss like that.
I agree, there won’t be a repeat performance from Cizikas and the Isles. A complete meltdown performance is very out of character for this team who tends to play so well in structure night in and night out.
As Mitch said so elegantly on the postgame podcast on the site today, you have to watch the tape and learn from it. The first period in particular, when they allowed the Lightning 19 shots on goal and eight high danger chances can never happen again.
The Isles played a much better game in both Game 3 and Game 4, and with them heading back home I’d expect that to happen again. In what could be the last ever game in Nassau Coliseum the fans will bring the energy, and you’d have to imagine the team feeds off it.
After the shenanigans at the end of Game 5, I expect a chippy contest. The Isles can play that kind of a game but they have to be careful not to get out of control and give Tampa chances on the power play.
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As for Cizikas specifically, his line is going to need to play a major factor in this one. When the team can run all four lines is usually when they’re at their best. Buckle up, Wednesday should be a doozy.