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Islanders-Lightning Game 3 Preview: I'm Back Bitches

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I’m back in the saddle after missing Game 2 like true Dorito Dink [valid reasons, trust].

It seems like I didn’t miss much in the 4-1 loss from what I was told. The Fourth line couldn’t creating energy like they did in Game 1. As Tampa Head Coach Jon Cooper reuniting the triplets and throwing them out seemingly every time the BFLE hit the ice was/is the perfect match for Clutterbuck-Cizikas-Martin, so I would expect to see more of the same tonight. As much as this team runs through John Tavares, the same argument can be said about the best fourth line in hockey. If they’re not revving the team isn’t revving.

Heading into tonight the story is the same as it’s always been. The fourth line needs to find a way to get into the triplets’ heads, Greiss and the defense need to be able to handle the quick counterattack Tampa possesses, and by all means, pass. the puck. to JT.

The only lineup change coming seems to be Bailey in for Strome, which is something none of us are happy about. Strome has clicked well with Princey since being scratched and their style of play fits this series perfectly – Fast paced, finding open ice, and a ton of silky passing. Have to assume Cappy is thinking defense by going Bails over Strome, but regardless, that’s a hard pill to swallow.

This team thrived in Game 1 by allowing the fourth line to set the pace, while the top-6 capitalized on any and every chance they got. Find a lane, get the puck on net, and see what can happen. Pucks On Net Life™ is one of the easiest ways of life to live yet so many Islanders refute the process. If you can see the net, shoot the puck. Why else do you think fans are telling you to shoot from their obstructed seats, because we know how to play the game better than the players. Duh.

First game in Brooklyn since JT did JT things and sent this team into the 2nd round, I would expect as close to a Coli-like experience as ever, and this team thrives off that shit. Get loud get rowdy, get behind this team and allow them to rise to the occasion.

Random notes and thoughts:

  • JT continues to lead all skaters with 6 goals this post-season, while his 11 total points is just 1 shy of tying Jamie Benn for the lead. Tavares is truly proving just how elite of a player he is these playoffs. Simply the best showing we’ve ever seen out of #91, so regardless of how long this run goes, try to enjoy JT doing JT things to the utmost extent while you can.
  • Jaro Halak seems to be pretty close to returning from injury, though I wouldn’t expect to see him back in the lineup the moment he’s ready. Greiss is the guy until he drastically shits the bed this series, which I just can’t see happening at this point in time.
  • For those keeping tabs, Isles prospects Josh Ho-Sang(OHL), Mat Barzal(WHL), and Ant Beauvillier(QMJHL) are all playing in their Junior League Championships this week. JHS has 21 points in 13 games, while Barzal has 19 in 13 and Beau 26 in 16. All 3 have a chance of going head to head in the Memorial Cup tournament in the upcoming weeks and can follow in Michael Dal Colle’s footsteps by being the 2nd straight Isles prospect to win the [Memorial] Cup. Good on the youngins’