Will the war of words between New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz and Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy have an effect on the ice? We’ll soon find out when the puck drops on Game 6 between New York and Boston tonight at the Nassau Coliseum.
The two coaches have spent the past and a half trading barbs at one another over Patrice Bergeron’s “cheating” in the faceoff circle and the “narrative” the Islanders have created about how they play. For his part, Trotz told reporters on Tuesday that he wasn’t trying to work the officials with his comments.
On top of that, the Islanders have a chance to punch their ticket to the Third Round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Last year was the Islanders’ first trip back there since 1993.
“I think emotions are high this time of year,” Brock Nelson said following the Islanders’ morning skate. “Then obviously having the experience last year and getting so close, making it to the conference finals. Using that as motivation, knowing that you’re right there. It’s going to be an intense game whenever you’re trying to close a team out they’re going to come with their best. You have to raise your level, come with a better game.”
Nelson added: “The stakes are high.”
🎥 Nelson Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/beKS7P5KBZ
— x – New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 9, 2021
The New York Islanders currently lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 as they fight to not only move on to the next round but also keep the Nassau Coliseum doors open for just a little bit longer. The Islanders are moving into their new home at UBS Arena in the fall.
So the stakes get even higher.
“You have to stay in the moment. Play our game don’t try to put on a show,” Trotz said. “The only thing that matters is getting results. You don’t have to put on a show at home. You just have to put the winning formula, which we try to do every night and be consistent at it.”
Don’t expect any changes to the lineup for Game 6 from New York. Trotz told reporters this morning that he would ice the same 18 skaters that he had on Monday for Game 5 and Semyon Varlamov is expected to be in net for the Islanders.
After some speculation, Cassidy announced this morning that Tuukka Rask would get the start for Boston. Rask left Game 5 after the second period.
“He’s ready to go. It’s that simple. He’s our starter,” said Cassidy of Rask, according to Boston Hockey Now. “He’s healthy and ready to go and let’s hope that he’s on, and that we’re better in front of him than we were in Game 5.″
Jake DeBrusk will take the place of injured Curtis Lazar in the Boston lineup.
🎥 Coach Cassidy confirms that Tuukka Rask will start Game 6. Jake DeBrusk will enter the lineup and play with Charlie Coyle and Karson Kuhlman. pic.twitter.com/5mjjS6px9o
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 9, 2021
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Travis Zajac
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
Boston Bruins Lineup (Projected via Boston Hockey Now)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall — David Krejci – Craig Smith
Jake DeBrusk — Charlie Coyle — Karson Kuhlman
Nick Ritchie — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk — Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly — Jeremy Lauzon
Jarred Tinordi — Connor Clifton
The Islanders have played 41 playoff games under Barry Trotz. Only Boston (47) has played more in that span. … The Islanders are 11-2 all-time in series-clinching Game 6’s and 7-0 in potential-clinching Game 6’s at the Coliseum. … The Islanders are 11-5 all-time against Boston in the postseason, including 5-2 at home, with two series wins. … Boston has a 4-21 record all-time in best-of-seven series when they trail 2-3 in a series and they are 12-13 in game 6s of series in which they trail 2-3 after game 5. … David Pastrnak scored twice and recorded an assist in Game 5 in his second three-point game of this postseason and fourth of his playoff career. … David Pastrknak leads Boston in goals (7), Points (14) and shots (52).
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. On the radio dial, Chris King and Greg Picker will call the game on the Islanders Radio Network. 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio will carry tonight’s radio broadcast.