Game 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals ended in a familiar way for New York Islanders fans. With a too many men on the ice call that went unnoticed by the officials.
Think back to Game Seven of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final between these same Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders. Anthony Cirelli has the puck deep in the Isles zone on the PK. But as he makes a pass to an oncoming Yanni Gourde, you can count seven skaters on the ice.
Seven. And Tampa is on the penalty kill. Sure, two of those skaters are right next to the Tampa bench, and technically according to the NHL rule book they count as being "off the ice" (see rule 74.1) but that still leaves five guys on the ice. One too many.
Not to mention how Palat's Game 2 winner versus the Isles in 2021 had seven players on the ice. That's two (TWO) games decided on missed too many men on the ice.
Sounds familiar to Kadri's goal on Wednesday night. When it seemed that six players were on the ice when the goal was scored to end proceedings on Game 4 and put Colorado up 3-1 in the series.
But what struck me was how Islanders fans were almost reveling in the irony of it all for Tampa. Tampa ended things for the Islanders almost exactly a year ago with a missed too many men on the ice call, and now here is Colorado, putting Tampa on the brink in the same way.
It's almost poetic at how this has come to be and now Islanders are out here soaking it all up. We all know we aren't where we want to be, but man it feels good to take a shot at a rival.
Here are some of my favorite reactions of Islanders fans reacting to Kadri's OT goal in Game 4:
Again, we aren't where we want to be. We all wish the Islanders were in the Stanley Cup Finals. Hopefully, with the right moves in the offseason, the Islanders will be there.