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s18 - The Islanders Playoff Edition [WB11]

2021-07-05

New York Islanders

July 4, 2021

WB # 11

The New York Islanders Playoff Edition

Well kids the Islanders made the play downs for a chance to take home Lord Stanley's Mug. The Islanders brain trust made every effort they could, save trading 1st and 2nd round picks. The additions seemed to spark the team back into the playoff picture, one which was quite blurry only weeks before the season would end.

Gm Bourque

" It was my first season here and I wanted the fans to know making the playoffs was always our goal. Now part of me said dont move up the standings just let things be and get the best draft pick we could. But then there is always the other side that says draft picks are never a 100% for sure bet, get the team into the playoffs."

Assistant Captain Brian Campbell

" I can tell you that the players on this hockey club, really appreciated our Gm having in faith in us and realizing the situation with Jeremy and Mike, you want to know that management has your back, that we all play this game for the playoff experience. a chance to live our dreams, or at the very least watch them play out with your team mates."

The New York Islanders drew their interstate rivals from New Jerseyi the first round. The season series between the two teams was very close with New Jersey holding a slight edge going 3-2-1. The series on paper and in view of the recent history looked like a competitive battle was about to take place.

Game 1:

The Islanders traveled to New Jersey for game one. Vincent Lecavalier opened the scoring at 1:29 of the first period with New Jersey on the powerplay. New Jersey out shot the Islanders 9-3 and headed into the second period with a 1-0 lead. At the 0:28 mark of the second period, Paul Statsny scored  on a nice feed from the late pick up Sami Pahlsson to even the score. But once again at the 10:02 mark of the period, while once again on the power play New Jersey took back the lead as Zach Parise made the Islanders pay for their petulance. The Islanders had outshot their rivals 22-11, as they threw the kitchen sink at Fernandez. The third period saw New Jersey take over the game out shooting the Isles 16-8, if not for a strong period from Prusek the score would have been much wider. The 2-1 finish was justified. New Jersey led the series 1-0.

Game 2:

Once again the Isles were in the barn of New Jersey. A nights rest and some soul searching had the lads from New York, believing they were ready to play. Fernadez and Prusek entered game two both having had brilliant first games. Only one would repeat that feat. True to their word the Islanders were a motivated bunch. They would out shoot New Jersey 50-44 in this game, but Prusek would not be as sharp and Fernandez would be other worldy as he would stop all but one shot. TJ Oshie gave New Jersey the early lead in the first. Once again the Isles responded early in the 2nd on a goal by soon to retire Jeremy Roenick. But before the period would come to a close New Jersey's Jamie Langenbrunner would give the lead to the home team. Although shots were even in the third New Jersey would add three more and take game two 5-1 and a two game lead in the best of seven series.

Game 3:

The Islanders were greeted on home ice by a raucus excited crowd. Game three in New York was just what the reeling Isles needed and the boys responded, once again however, New Jersey would score the games first goal at the 9:34 mark. The islanders answered by scoring scoring first at 11:56 as Jeremy Roenick scored his 2nd of the series, then again less than a minute later on a Mike Modano wrist shot. The Isles left the period up 2-1. That would be the high lite of the game for the Islanders. New Jersey would score the only goal of the second period and the game was tied going into the third. Even though the Isles out shot the boys from New Jersey, 13-7, Fernandez shut the door and New Jersey added two to take game three, 4-2 and a strangle hold on the series 3-0.

Game 4:

The Islanders would get another chance to send the home town fans home in style in game four. It was New Jersey who would smell blood in the water on this night. New Jersey out shot the Islanders, 49-31. The Islanders were el feugo out of the gate to the delight of the home fans, they scored thegames first two goals, JP Dumont at 7:02 and then Brian Campbell at 15:50. The Islanders looked in control, but the never say never boys from New Jersey, scoed before the period ended and the lead was cut in half. The second period was very tight and no team would put the bisket in the basket. With a 2-1 lead the was the first time in the series the Islanders were feeling they could bring it home. But New Jersey would prove they were the team of destiny and would not let the fact that they were on the road or that the Isles were playing with confidence deter them. New Jersey, frankly imposed their will on the Isles, out shooting them 24-4 in the most one sided period in the series. The Islanders would get a goal from against the play by Milan Michalek, but once again the power play would kill the Islanders as New Jersey got two on the man advantage and took game four 4-3, which flatered the Isles. New Jersey finished the sweep and sent the Islanders to the golf course, Roenick and Modano into retirement.

The Islanders had hoped for more from these playoffs, but sometimes when you work so hard to make the playoffs you expend so much energy you have little left when you get there. New Jersey looked fresh and received championship goaltending. The Islanders were frustrated time and time again, such as it is. But this was a good season for the Islanders with a Gm taking over after the season had began and they have three first round picks in the upcoming entry draft. There is a lot to be thankful for and a lot of hope for better days yet to come.

....out for now....peace

860 words