It doesn’t get any more simpler than this.
The Islanders need to win today or they go home. There’s no in between here.
“We have to win,” John Tavares said to reporters. “We’re trying to play for a Stanley Cup. There’s a lot with the history, but it’s another game. We have to win.”
More importantly, the Islanders have to make the proper adjustments after a demoralizing Game 5 where everything seemed to come apart for them.
That starts at the top where coach Jack Capuano has been out-coached by Barry Trotz in this series. The Capitals have exploited the Islander weaknesses, so that Alex Ovechkin is on the ice for his best matchups, while Tavares continually faces the top lines in Washington.
Also Capuano says he’s not going to change anything, a little creative thinking can go a long way here.
Since this is possibly the last game at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders will have crowd behind them. They need to score early to keep it.
“It’s obviously a do-or-die situation and a game we need to win. We’ll need them in a big way [Saturday],” Matt Martin said to reporters.
They also need a big game from goalie Jaro Halak, who is showing some scars in this series. The Isles need to keep it simple and defensive and maybe play a little like the Rangers did in their series against the Penguins, using defense first to shut down the big names and look for opportunities from Capital mistakes.
Otherwise, the Barn will be closing today with only a Billy Joel concert left to say goodbye.