The Lightning knew that if they could jump on the Islanders early on, they could get a head start on a team that was likely a bit tired after traveling from Toronto to Edmonton on Sunday after their 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. in the seventh game of the second round on Saturday.
This is exactly what Tampa Bay did.
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Islanders coach Barry Trotz and his assistants are very experienced, so I think their approach for Game 2 of the best-of-7 series in Edmonton, central city for the conference finals and the Stanley Cup final, Wednesday will highlight their players’ ability to reset themselves.
I suspect they wouldn’t be making a lot of video. They should talk a lot.
The players know they were embarrassed. The message is to go back to how they played earlier in the playoffs when they beat the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Flyers.
The biggest thing Islanders probably need to do is be more persistent and get a line of control. Brayden Point line, but also a pair of defense as much as possible. Point (two goals, three assists), Nikita Kucherov (one goal, four assists) and Ondrej Palat (one goal) dismantled them in Game 1, combining for 11 points.
Video: NYI @ TBL, Gm1: Net PPG points, second goal on tip-in
When I was with the Ottawa Senators, we used the center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to play against Point, and he did a great job, and he did a great job playing against the best players when we went to play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference final in 2017. If the Islanders can play Pageau more against the Point line and put a stronger supporting cast around it, they should.
The Islanders gave up four goals in the race. The Lightning is all about the transition and getting the pucks out of their zone.
The Lightning don’t expect much when they take a stand. They’re quickly out of the defensive zone, and if you watch a lot of what Point and Kucherov are doing, they’re already on the ice and they’re on the attack. This is what makes it difficult to play against them.
They have defenders Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev on the left side, and these are the main drivers of the washer. The Lightning play four defenders on the right side, Kevin Shattenkirk, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn and Erik Cernak, and they play more of a defense role first.
Video: NYI @ TBL, Gm1: Hedman buries laser for PPG
I think the Islanders need to bring pucks into the zones and create a situation where they can put some pressure on the Lightning defenders. They have to focus on trying to get into puck battles to negate Tampa Bay’s ability to easily transition the puck out of the defensive zone.
The Lightning also scored two goals from when the Islanders didn’t do a good job around their net. They allowed the presence in net and they allowed the pucks to reach the net from the blue line.
I had Tampa Bay for 23 scoring chances, and he scored eight goals. New York had 16 chances and two goals, but basically had six 5-on-5 chances. So that will have to improve for the Islanders to be successful.
The only guy who played really well for them was Brock Nelson. He had four or five good chances, but the other forwards didn’t do much.
The Lightning should be prepared for an Islanders team that will try to get inside in a more offensive way and get the upper hand on the goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. New York needs to take fewer penalties because the Tampa Bay power play starts to heat up, 3 for 6 on Monday after struggling earlier in the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see how the Islanders bounce back. I think this game is essential. If the Islanders can’t respond in the way they need to, then I don’t think the series will go very well for them.
It’s hard to say going into Game 2, but Tampa Bay has a real sense of confidence and depth it lacked last season. Adding cross references Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow to put on a control line with Yanni Gourde helped them, and they’re a bit heavier in the back.
People continue to look back at the lessons the Lightning learned last season when they were swept away by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I think those messages remain in the foreground. the state of mind of the players.
The big challenge for the Lightning on Wednesday is that they know the Islanders were embarrassed by Monday’s result and that they will play better. Lightning must match this increased performance.