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New York Islanders

Quick Turnaround Might Help the New York Islanders

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New York Islanders

Just over 24 hours after the New York Islanders fell 4-3 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers, they’ll get to do it all over again. Say what you will about back-to-backs, but after a heartbreaking loss like that they may not be the worst thing in the world.

The Islanders and Flyers will complete one of potentially two back-to-backs on Thursday night when they drop the puck for Game 3. New York rallied from a three-goal first-period deficit to force overtime, but couldn’t come away with the win.

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The series is tied 1-1 heading into the third game of the best-of-seven series.

“A loss is a loss and we have to put it behind us,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We have to focus on tomorrow’s game. It’s a swing game. We’re tied 1-1, so it’s a swing game.”

Who Do You Turn To? Varlamov or Greiss for Game 3? | NYHN+

The Islanders fell behind early in Game 2 and saw the Flyers jump to a 3-0 lead before the first buzzer sounded. Semyon Varlamov was pulled from the game midway through the first period and it looked as though the game may have already been decided.

New York countered with a goal in the second period and then two in the third to force overtime, where they would ultimately fall short. Thus making Wednesday’s loss a little bit tougher to swallow.

“You want to complete the comeback, that’s the disappointing part. The positive is it reinforces a lot of things you were able to do back in the game,” Trotz said. “You can take a lot of good from that. It is taxing in terms that we were investing in and pushing them back, and they had some hard minutes. Hopefully, it multiplies as we play more and more games.”

The quick turnaround takes away some of the Islanders ability to dwell on the disappointing aspect of the game. They’ll have that luxury quite a bit in this series with the schedule so condensed.

The Islanders are in the middle of a span that has them playing four games over a six-night span.

“I think anytime you have a back-to-back that’s obviously a thing,” Anders Lee said when asked about putting the loss behind them quickly. “You have to move on from tonight. This one stings a little bit because we worked so hard to get back. There’s no other choice but to look on to tomorrow and regroup. Try to recover and all those things that get us ready for tomorrow.

“You’re going to face adversity at times and I think we faced it a little bit tonight. Overcame a little bit of it, but obviously we were a little bit short. We’ll grow and learn from this, and move on.”

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New York Islanders

Anders Lee Looks Back While Waiting for What’s Ahead with Islanders

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Anders Lee

While the hockey world looks forward and waits to find out when or even if the 2020-21 season will start, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee took a moment to look back and reflect.

Lee and the Islanders are now just over a month removed from their season-ending loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to Tampa Bay. It had been the deepest the Islanders had gone in the playoffs since 1993 and the run shocked much of the hockey world.

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New York Islanders

What Could Home Games Look Like for the New York Islanders Next Season?

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New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum

There are a lot of questions about the 2020-21 NHL season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed at the draft that the league was looking at a Jan. 1 start date. Outside of that, not much is known about their plan. The NHL has said in the past that they’d like to play a full 82 game schedule, but even that remains a question.

And for owners, the question of whether fans will be allowed in the building when games do start remains a major concern. The NHL, unlike NBA or NFL, is a gate driven league and relies heavily on paying customers filling the seats at arenas.

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Free Agency

Free Agency: Martin, Greene Likely to Return to Islanders for Next Season

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It seems all but certain that Andy Greene is returning to the New York Islanders, and the same goes for Matt Martin.

The Islanders continue to sit in a holding pattern as they look to free up cap space via trades, but things seem to be pointing to a return for the two NHL veterans. General manager Lou Lamoriello called the return of Greene “a very strong option” during a Zoom conference call on Monday night and multiple reports indicated that the Islanders and Martin are working on a deal.

Greene’s return makes even more sense following the trade of Devon Toews to Colorado on Monday. Greene has worked with Noah Dobson, who will take Toews’ place on the blue line, in the past and proved extremely valuable during the postseason.

The soon to be 38-year-old — Greene’s birthday is on Oct. 30 — could be looking at a one-year deal from the Islanders to provide that veteran presence on the blue line. Greene had four points (two goals, two assists) in 21 playoff games with the Islanders.

Martin also had an impressive postseason of his own with five goals in 21 games, which matched his regular-season total. The fan-favorite has been a mainstay on the fourth line alongside Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas.

Martin’s deal with the Islanders, or anyone else for that matter should it get to that point, would be far less than the four-year, $10 million deal he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016. That carried a $2.5 million AAV and that is much higher than what the Islanders can afford at the moment.

Devon Toews Traded to Colorado for Second Round Picks

The decision to move Toews on Monday came out of necessity so that the Islanders could get back some pieces to sweeten any potential trades that would move some of their pricier contracts and free up some more salary cap room. The Islanders have been working with just $8.9 million in cap space.

The Islanders still need to re-sign restricted free agents Mat Barzal and Ryan Pulock and trading away the likes of Johnny Boychuk or another hefty contract would help make that task simpler.

The Fourth Period reported that the Islanders have been shopping Boychuk around. Boychuk has two years left on a deal that carries an AAV of $6 million and a list if eight teams he can be traded to. Leo Komarov is also reportedly being shopped by the Islanders.

Komarov also has two years left on his contract, which has a $3 million AAV and a seven-team no-trade list.

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