The Islanders won’t have much time to think about the spectrum of emotions that they went through on Wednesday in game two of their second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles spotted the Flyers a 3-0 lead in the first period, rallied with a goal in the period and two more in the third to tie the game at 3-3, and then lost when Philadelphia’s Phillippe Myers scored 2:40 into overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto to even the series at one apiece.
With no day off and game three set for Thursday night, the Islanders have to regroup quickly and channel their inner Elsa from the movie “Frozen” and focus on the next chapter in this series.
“Let it go,” said Islanders Head coach Barry Trotz. “Understand how you can be better. I think that’s the number one thing. You can’t get the game that just happened…you gotta get the next one.”
There’s two ways of looking at the Islanders psyche at this point.
On one hand, it’s an excruciating loss after digging themselves a big hole. On the other hand, could they possibly carry any momentum into game three because they didn’t fold when they were down? At the end of the day, it’s the playoffs and there are no moral victories.
So, how do the Islanders approach the situation?
“A loss is a loss and we gotta put it behind us and we gotta focus on (Thursday’s) game,” said Trotz. “It’s a swing game obviously in game three.”
Game 1: Monday August 24th…Islanders 4 Flyers 0 (Islanders lead 1-0)
Game 2: Wednesday August 26th…Flyers 4 Islanders 3 in Overtime (Series Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Thursday August 27th…Flyers at Islanders…7pm
Game 4: Saturday August 29th…Flyers at Islanders…Noon
Game 5: Monday August 31st…Islanders at Flyers…TBD
Game 6: Wednesday September 2nd…Flyers at Islanders…TBD (If necessary)
Game 7: Thursday September 3rd…Islanders at Flyers…TBD (If necessary)
With not a lot of time to digest the result of game two, the Islanders are right back at it Thursday night for game three at 7pm in Toronto. The overtime loss was certainly a tough pill to swallow, but the Islanders may be able to benefit from not having a day off because they can immediately turn the page and focus on game three.
“Yeah I think so,” said Islanders Captain Anders Lee. “Anytime you have a back to back that’s obviously a thing. You gotta move on from (Wednesday). This one (game two) stings a little bit because we worked so hard to get back but there’s no other choice but to look onto (Thursday) and regroup and try to recover.”
This is the first of two potential back to back situations in this series. There would also not be a day off between potentials games six and seven so the Islanders and Flyers are going to be playing a lot of hockey in a short amount of time. That includes a relatively short turnaround between game three Thursday night and game four on Saturday at noon.
“You don’t have any control over the schedule so you just play the games when you’re told to play them,” said Islanders forward Josh Bailey. It’s a quick turnaround and make sure we’re ready for puck drop (Thursday).”
If the Islanders can forget about what happened in game two and “Let It Go”, then they could turn their attention to singing a winning tune in game three on Thursday night and continue their quest to get to a conference final “For The First Time In Forever”.