Islanders Will Need “Every Ounce” From The Nassau Coliseum Crowd For Game Three

The Islanders are in very familiar territory.

In the first two rounds against the Penguins and Bruins, they split the first two games on the road and ultimately won both series in six games.  And now, in the Stanley Cup Semifinals, the Islanders are even with the Lightning at a game apiece after the first two games in Tampa as the scene shifts to Long Island with game three set for Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum (8pm NBCSN).  Islanders Country brought the noise and the passion in the first two rounds and now they are set to rock “The Barn” again for the first final four game at the Coliseum since 1993.

Against the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning, the Islanders are once again looking for a roar that has been deafening so far in the post-season.

“It’s been a special place in the playoffs,” said Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz.  “The fans have been unbelievable and there’s great energy in the building.  We’re going to need everything.  We’re going to need every ounce of their encouragement and their mojo.  We’ll have to play well so that they can support us in our endeavors because this is a big challenge.”

It would be logical to expect a little more from the crowds on Thursday for game three as well as Saturday for game four because many of them may have had a bit of a challenge securing tickets for the games.  When the season ticket holder pre-sale took place on Tuesday, the demand for tickets was so great that it crashed the Islanders’ ticketing system forcing the sale to be stopped and reset for Wednesday.

UNIONDALE, NY – MAY 26: New York Islander fans celebrate and cheer during the second period of Game Six of the First Round in the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders on May 26,2021, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

For those fortunate enough to get tickets, a lot of emotions will be unleashed at “The Barn”, but then again, that passion has been there since the start of the playoffs.

“It’s been really special,” said Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock.  “The noise that they bring every night inside the building is the loudest in the league and we love feeding off that.  When you hear that, it gives you an extra boost of energy.  They’ve helped us get to this point where we are.”

The fans may have helped the Islanders get to the Stanley Cup Semifinals, but it’s going to take a whole lot more than just noise to knock off the Lightning.  The Islanders grabbed the series lead with Sunday’s 2-1 win in game one, but Tampa Bay responded to win game two on Tuesday night 4-2.

TAMPA, FL – JUNE 15: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) and New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech (3) fight during game 2 of NHL Stanley Cup 3rd round Hockey match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders on June 15, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire)

 

Islanders vs Lightning (Series tied 1-1)

Game 1…Sunday June 13th…Islanders 2 Lightning 1…

 Game 2…Tuesday June 15th…Lightning 4 Islanders 2…

Game 3…Thursday June 17th…Lightning at Islanders…8pm NBCSN

Game 4…Saturday June 19th…Lightning at Islanders…8pm NBCSN

Game 5…Monday June 21st…Islanders at Lightning…8pm NBCSN

*Game 6…Wednesday June 23rd…Lightning at Islanders…8pm NBCSN

*Game 7…Friday June 25th…Islanders at Lightning…8pm NBCSN

*If necessary

Coming home with the series tied is certainly something that the Islanders are used to this post-season.

“You want to win both but a split on the road is how we started each series so far,” said Mayfield.  “We’re excited to get back to our house to the Coli where we know our fans will be loud and we’ll have that momentum with us.”

TAMPA, FL – JUNE 15: New York Islanders celebrate a goal during game 2 of NHL Stanley Cup 3rd round Hockey match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders on June 15, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire)

Home ice advantage may have shifted to the Islanders, but the task at hand is still quite challenging against a Tampa Bay team that is loaded.

“I don’t think we expect it to be easy,” said Islanders forward Brock Nelson.  “They’re a good team.”

“It’s best out of five right now,” said Trotz.  “From our standpoint, we’ll just see if we can hold serve.”

Trotz generally says all of the right things but I’m not sure that using a tennis phrase is appropriate in this situation.

Why?

There’s not a chance that Islanders fans will listen if public address announcer Alex Anthony says to the crowd “quite please”.

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter covers the Islanders for New York 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. Peter spent 8 years as the radio play by play voice for the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. He was also the radio play by play announcer for the XFL’s NY/NJ Hitmen in 2001 and the radio play by play announcer for the New York Saints of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1993 to 1996. You can follow Peter on Twitter at @SchwartzSports

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