When: Tonight, 7:15 PM
Where: Nassau Coliseum - Uniondale, NY
How to follow: NBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub. CBC, SN, TVAS
Rival SBN site: Lighthouse Hockey
Know your enemy
- Anthony Beauvillier: 4G, 5A, 9PTS; Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 2G, 7A, 9PTS; Josh Bailey: 4G, 3A, 7PTS; Brock Nelson: 3G, 4A, 7PTS
- Ilya Sorokin: 4-1-0, 2.32 GAA, .934 save percentage
- Another weird start time, eh? 7:15 on NBC, so more like 7:22, but...it’s like the NHL is having fun with us now.
- I’ll preface this by saying that it’s a dumb thing to say because every playoff game is important, but FOLKS: this is a big one. The Bruins are either coming home with a chance to close things out Monday night or we’re back at square one in a three-game series. Good times.
- The big question heading into tonight’s game (from a Bruins’ perspective) is the health of Brandon Carlo. After watching him go down, I would have bet the house that he’d be out tonight. However, the Bruins are terming it as “day-to-day” because he felt “good” on Friday...who knows?
- Game 3 was an example of how fickle this sport can be. Semyon Varlamov was the hero for the Islanders for 98% of the game, but the way the winning goal went in kind of undid all of that good will. I’d be surprised if Varlamov doesn’t get the start again tonight, but at some point, you’d think the Isles start looking at the numbers: Sorokin has more wins, a better save percentage, and a better GAA in the playoffs.
- The Islanders have to be hoping that Mat Barzal’s second/third/fourth-effort goal gets him going. He’s certainly looked dangerous at times in this series, but the goals haven’t been there. That kind of greasy goal isn’t exactly what he’s known for, but maybe it’s the kind of goal that makes things fall into place.
- I’m not sure if Rask is in their heads or if the Islanders are just overthinking things, but they seem like they’ve passed up a ton of great opportunities to shoot the puck in this series. Beauvillier passing up on a yawning cage in Game 3 comes to mind, but it seems like at times, the Isles have tried to be too fine with the puck. Is it because of Rask’s play? Is it because the Bruins have done such a good job limiting chances?
- Things are trending in the wrong direction for the Bruins’ power play: they were 2/2 in Game 1, 1/2 in Game 2, and 0/2 in Game 3. Power plays have been a bit hard to come by for both teams in this series (there have been five man advantages in each game), so you need to cash in on your chances when you have them. The PP in the third period last night was a good example of needing to cash in: a goal would have likely put that game away. Still, the PP didn’t look bad last night, as Varlamov came up large on a few occasions. Hopefully that momentum continues.
See ya tonight!