The Islanders Know The Closeout Game Is The Hardest Game

Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

For the second straight series, the Islanders will have the opportunity to win a closeout game on home ice as they take a 3-2 series lead over the Bruins into game six on Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum (730 NBCSN).  The Islanders are in that position as a result of winning Monday night’s game five in Boston 5-4.  In the opening round, they were in the same situation against the Penguins.  The won game five 3-2 in double overtime and then came home to take game six 5-3, a game the Islanders trailed 3-2 in the second period before scoring three times to take a two-goal lead into the third.

On Wednesday night, the Islanders will once again have the home-ice advantage in a game six, but they are well aware that closing out an opponent is never an easy thing to do.

“The last one is always the hardest one to get,” said Islanders forward Jordan Eberle.  “We’re excited to go back to the Coliseum.  You guys have seen it…how loud it’s been.  It helps us.  It gives us some juice.  We’ll watch video, get prepared and be ready for another tough battle.”

BOSTON, MA – JUNE 07: New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) carries the puck during Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders on June 7, 2021, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Islanders vs Bruins (Isles lead series 3-2)

Game 1…Saturday May 29th…Bruins 5 Islanders 2…

Game 2…Monday May 31st…Islanders 4 Bruins 3 (OT)…

Game 3…Thursday June 3rd…Bruins 2 Islanders 1 (OT)…

Game 4…Saturday June 5th…Islanders 4 Bruins 2…

Game 5…Monday June 7th…Islanders 5 Bruins 4…

Game 6…Wednesday June 9th…Bruins at Islanders…TBD

*Game 7…Friday June 11th…Islanders at Bruins…TBD

*If Necessary

Over the last three seasons, the Islanders are 5-4 when they have a chance to wrap up a playoff series so they’re well aware of the task at hand on Wednesday night.

“They know,” said Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz.  “They understand.  They’ll be ready.  Both teams will be ready.  We just gotta focus on the next game and go front there.  That’s all you can do.”

Under Trotz, the Islanders have been able to maintain an even keel when it comes to the playoffs.  Whether they win a game or lose a game, the mentality remains the same…forget about it and move on to the next game.  In this case, the next game can put the Islanders in the NHL’s final four for the second straight season.

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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