New York Islanders: Some things to expect in Game 2 vs the Penguins

New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Islanders have some breathing room going into their second game against the Penguins but that does not mean they can afford to let up. Here are some things to expect in Game 2 of the series.

Well, the New York Islanders won their first Game 1 at home for the firs time since 1988. It might have been a game that went to OT and saw many blown leads, but they got it done. The Islanders will now enter Friday’s Game 2 looking to keep their foot on the gas but more importantly looking to keep the home ice that is so valuable to them.

The Islanders are now 15 wins away from the Stanley Cup, but they are still playing the Penguins who have only lost one playoff series under Head Coach Mike Sullivan. If the Penguins win, they get to go back to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Sunday in the driver’s seat.

I fully expect this Game 2 to be just as if not more physical and exciting as Game 1 was. The Coliseum will be bumping and the Islanders will be hungry to double their series lead. Here are some things to expect as the series rolls on.

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Sidney Crosby to be a pest. 

Barry Trotz might know a thing or two about containing Sidney Crosby considering his Capitals beat the Pens in the playoffs last year. But, the more relevant sample size to back that claim should be that Crosby was basically a non-factor in Game 1, he didn’t even notch a single point.

You have to go all the way back to the Conference Finals in the 2016-2017 season to see the last time Sidney Crosby went two straight playoff points without notching a single point. in the 12 playoff games he played last year, he never went back to back games without scoring a point.

If I were the Isles, or anybody watching the game, I would fully expect Sidney Crosby to tally a point. He is simply due to help produce. While the Isles could easily stop him again, that is less likely than Crosby being shut out again, obvioulsy.

Hostile Crowd

The best thing about the Isles having home ice is that for as rowdy as the Coliseum was in Game 1, it’ll be just as crazy for Game 2. However, there are many lingering circumstances to this. The Islanders are actually up in the series so the fans in attendance should be pumped and happy.

But, let’s not forget the referees. In Game 1 there were some tough calls made against the Islanders and the fans were having none of it. The officiating will be on a short leash again, as the should be and the crowd at the Coliseum could even get hostile. That is a massive advantage to the Isles who thrived off it last time out.

The crowd at the Coliseum is an advantage like no other during a regular game, let alone a second game in a row with a lot moving parts. It should be awesome to see.

New York Is Watching 

The New York Islanders graced the back cover of the New York Post (similar to 2002) Thursday night after Wednesday’s big win. In a market where the Islanders are the little engine that could, a team mostly embraced by suburban long island, in isolation from the big, bad urban, Manhattan, the Islanders have still emerged to be the talk of the town.

It’s hard to explain what that means, that back cover is usually all about team like the Yankees, Knicks, Mets, Giants etc, but once in a while the Islanders are the hunted and not the hunters.

While it might not be anything the Isles players, team, or anyone asked for, people have taken notice of this team. They are the pride of the New York Metropolitan market right now. As quickly as that arrived, it can go.

The Islanders are finally the talk of the town and I am personally thrilled to see how many more New York City back covers they can get.

Power Play will make a big difference

During the playoffs, all the cards are on the table, every team is all-in. With that being said, the lack of success the Islanders had in the regular season could have been a lot of other factors other than outright failure to execute.

I’ve already talked about how Barry Trotz’s system is built for the playoffs. For all we know he could have been using the power play all regular season and seeing how he could improve on it for the playoffs.

All speculation aside, the Isles got a power play goal in their win. It was pretty remarkable. It would be even more remarkable if they were able to do so again. It is not often that the Islanders score a PPG two straight games. If the Isles are able to do again, we will know they are really turning up the volume for the postseason, which would be an alarming thing for their opponents.

But, if they fail to score a goal on the Power play, then that will hurt them. They need to capitalize on the Penguins’ mistakes just like it feels like the Penguins capitalize on all the Isles mistakes.

Either way, something has got to give and it seems like the Isles can get away with a lot but they will need to break even, or close to it on the power play this series between kill and offensively.

Game 2 is set for 7:30 pm on Friday Night. The Isles look to head into Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 series lead.

Next. 3 takeaways from the Isles Game 1 win. dark

The number one thing to expect for Game 2 is the unexpected. After all it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the above things are likely to happen, so that’s a start on the many, many things that will happen this game.