You could see it last night after John Tavares scored the eventual game winner in the 6-4 wild win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it could be Casey Cizikas’ goal that put the exclamation point on a very real trend, the momentum of the series is now in favor of the Islanders. It wasn’t bad enough that Tavares scored that goal, but the Islanders did something to the Penguins that, for now, was something Pittsburgh wasn’t expecting during this series: for the Islanders to get in their collective heads. After last night a lot has changed.If you go into every chat room you’ll see the same thing. Every Pittsburgh fan blaming Fleury and his poor goaltending, the poor back checking from the Penguins, the very slow defenseman against a very fast Islanders team, the “Old-looking” Penguins against a young upstart Islanders team. “This series should be 3-1 Isles.” This coming from Pittsburgh fans, not just New York. It’s called an implosion, a break down from within and when an implosion occurs, the “Change in the wind” or momentum shifts in favor of the opponent.
Flip to the Islanders and fans from all over the NHL are basically saying that the Islanders have a drive, heart, the tenacity, confidence, passion and a team that is growing in front of everyone’s eyes. The Islanders are making a statement that not only can they play with the Penguins, they have the confidence to beat them as well and many fans are giving them praises as a complete team. You would not believe how happy the Chicago Blackhawks fans are right now that the Islanders are doing this well.
What does this all amount to? Emotion. The Islanders have it and the Penguins do not. When a team wears their heart on their sleeves, you see better results. The Islanders are showing the Penguins and the hockey world that they have arrived and that they are here to stay, but Pittsburgh is showing some poise in trying to keep up with the Islanders. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around? Aren’t the Islanders the ones trying to keep pace with the Pens? Welcome to the playoffs folks where anything can happen.
I will go on record now, not only are the Islanders resurrected, but so has Nassau Coliseum. You will not find a louder crowd going through the TV screen in any other building than what the Islanders have. When the station has to lower the volume levels on their mixer because of the noisy crowd, you know you’re at the Nassau Coliseum. Welcome back to the playoffs Islanders fans.
Now it’s a three game series. The Islanders have the momentum going to into game five. From what I’ve read, Vokoun will be in net for Pittsburgh and that needed to happen for the Pens. The Islanders need to attack a cold goalie, continue to do what they’ve done the last three games and win, then bring it back to the Coliseum for game six and finish off the Pens. It’s easier said than done, but if you “BeLIeve,” anything is possible. For now the “wind” is in your favor Islanders fans, enjoy the breeze.
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