Michael Leibov from the Action Network and the Islanders Anxiety Podcast is with us. All right, so from the perspective of the Islanders, I know it's 2-0 down in the series to Carolina, but based on the way the games are played, do you feel like the Islanders aren't in a terrible spot? They are not, but they have to win tonight.
I mean, as obvious as that sounds, the win tonight really changes everything here because the Islanders have done what they do best in this playoff series, which is they play the physical style of hockey and they grind you down and that stuff starts to show up later in the series, but if you can't make it a long series as an underdog, you won't be able to reap those rewards, and ironically enough, it'll be our biggest rival who looks like they will be able to reap those rewards. So the Islanders, they've done what they're supposed to do, I think, on the road outside of winning. They put some water in the basement for the Hurricanes and they're playing the right way. They're certainly executing their game plan. They just haven't been able to capitalize enough and haven't got the bounces yet, so we'll see, but yeah, it's a nerve-wracking spot to be in because we do feel like they deserve a little bit better, but that doesn't matter at this time of year. The water in the basement, I think you're referring to, is the physical play. 50-some-odd hits in game two, and I know a lot of people are calling it dirty. I think it's playoff hockey, and you're pushing the envelope as much as you can because that's the advantage that the Islanders have over Carolina, but is that what you're referring to?
Yes, yes, it's online. I like to steal from a famed boxing trainer, Teddy Atlas. He would talk about body shots, putting water in the basement because those things will start to show up in the later rounds as fighters kind of tire out, and I think that's kind of the Islanders' game plan here is turn this thing into this long, grueling series, and they've had success doing it in the past in spots where they were the underdog like they did to Boston a couple years ago. The Islanders and Bruins played to an even two series through four games, and by game five and six, the Bruins were just absolutely sick of seeing the Islanders, as you could tell.
But the whole point is they got to get to the business end of the series. They need to take the Hurricanes into the deep end of the pool, otherwise, like I said, it doesn't matter. So, Ilya Sorokin, how would you give your goaltender, who I still think is one of the elite players in the sport, what kind of grade would you give him through two games?
I would say he's probably been a solid B, honestly. I know there was a lot of folks that were playing for him for game two, and I'm sure that Jesper Fast's game winner was not the best goal he'll give up, but there was so much going on on the ice at that time, and I don't know if anybody was watching what was going on except for the Hurricanes, to their credit. He kept playing to the whistle, and it was a great pass from Stahl, and he got beat, and the Ajo own goal and the goal of the helmet, I don't think you can really point to the goalies for those things. Those are very flukey, once in a season kind of goals.
They just happen to happen on the same night. That said, he was really good in game one, and he's got to be the difference for the Islanders to have a chance, and that's part of the reason about lengthening, why I think the Islanders getting a win and lengthening the series, even by one game, really gives them an edge, because that goaltending disparity should show up, and it only shows up more and more as you get deeper into a series. So if he can have one of his trademark game-stealing performances tonight, I would shoot him right up from a B to an A+.
Alright, final thing from Michael Leibov of the Action Network and the Islanders Anxiety podcast. The big guys for the Islanders have hit the score sheet. Paul Mary scored. Brock Nelson has scored. Barzil has scored.
Good sign, because those guys are feeling good about themselves? Yes, I think that Barzil goal especially was huge. He looked much more like the player we know and love around these parts in game two than he did in game one. One of my friends put it perfectly that game one was a kind of a look into the future on how Matt Barzil will look like and play like a 37-year-old player. But game two, he looks like vintage Barzil, and those guys are on the score sheet. Now the Islanders just need the Anders-Leys and Bo Horvats to show up a little bit here. I think that most of the players are heading in the right direction, but as I keep saying, none of it will matter if they don't get the win tonight and they're forced to climb out of an 0-3 hole. So a big game from Horvat and a big game from Lee would certainly quiet some of the skeptics up here who are a little frustrated with how they're going. Talk to you Sunday morning. Talk to you Sunday.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 17:31:14 / 2023-04-21 17:33:46 / 3