New York Islanders heading into uncharted waters in Game 7


The New York Islanders will be playing the biggest game of most of their lives on Monday night in hostile territory.

Most players on the Islanders have never played in a Game 7, and for some this has been their first trip into the playoffs. So far the Islanders have played very well against the Capitals, as the series has been very enjoyable to watch.

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For one Islander, Game 7 is a chance to live his dream and be a hero.

“This is what you do when you’re a kid in your driveway, playing Game 7 and scoring the big goal,” Okposo said after practice Sunday. “That’s what you dream about since you’re 5 years old. It’s exciting, but you have to make sure you keep your emotions in check. Once the puck drops, it’s another hockey game.”

It has been a long time since the Islanders last won a playoff series, as 1993 was the last time the Islanders got out of the first-round. Game 6 could be the final game in the Nassau Coliseum, and if it was it went out in style with the Islanders’ 3-1 win. Okposo, like all of the fans doesn’t want that to be the last game the Islanders play in the Coliseum.

“It’s a good opportunity to do something the Islanders haven’t done in a long time,” Okposo said after practice. “We don’t want our season to end [Monday] and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. We want to move on and keep going and get back here.”

The moves by general manager Garth Snow to bring in players with championship experience will hopefully pay off on Monday. Just before the season started, the Islanders were able to acquire Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy. Both have played very well in this series so far, as Boychuk has been sticking Alex Ovechkin for most of the series.

One of the most noticeable things in the series so far has been the physical play, and Boychuk knows that a physical game could lead to penalties.

“You have to stay in the moment and not let emotions get the best of you,” Boychuk said. “That’s the main thing. You don’t want to take a penalty. You could be going home because of that penalty.”

The Capitals are a physical team, but they are also equally as good at putting the puck in the net. On the power-play the Capitals were the best team in the NHL in power-play percentage, and if they get multiple chances on the power-play they are going to make the Islanders pay.

Monday night will be the biggest game of the season for the Islanders, and they will have to play better than they did the last time in Washington if they wish to advance.

Next: What were 3 takeaways from Game 6?

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