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After watching Game 1 between the Penguins and Islanders, every Islanders has the right to be a bit nervous about how the team will play in Game 2 and the rest of this series. I'm hoping the team only needed one game to try and adjust themselves to playoff hockey and be comfortable. Not only did they seem nervous, but like an entirely different team compared to the one that we saw down the stretch. They weren't skating as well and were being beat to pucks constantly (the penalty Streit took on Sutter is a perfect example). The Pens outskated the Isles, worked harder, went to the dirty areas more, and wanted this game much more than the Islanders did. While I do think the Islanders did play poorly, you can take a few positives out of the game. One would have to be many of the players got that first playoff game out of the way and can now just focus on playing. I'm sure for many guys, it felt like they were playing their first NHL game again. It probably felt like an entirely different atmosphere and had those butterflies as they hit the ice. The big positive I think all fans need to take out of this game is this: It was only 1 game. Even though they put themelves in a quick hole, they still have at least 3 more games to play. Friday is going to be tough for the Islanders if they don't forget about their showing in the first game. I'd be extremely suprised if Nabby isn't starting tomorrow night and I could see Jack Capuano making some changes in the lineup. I wouldn't be suprised to see Jesse Joensuu, David Ullstrom, or Eric Boulton in at forward and possibly Radek Martinek or Matt Carkner in on the point. If Capuano is looking for a more physical edge I'd think Boulton and Carkner would be in but I think he might be looking for a litte more speed and that could mean David Ullstrom could be inserted into the Isles lineup for the first time since the middle of March. I'm sure the Isles would love to head home to a packed Coliseum with the series tied at 1. If they don't find a way to play well in Game 2, I'm sure the fans in the Old Barn can give them a boost, but I doubt anyone is thinking that way right now in the Isles locker room. You can probably hear someone in the room saying take it one game at a time, and they'd be right.
Filed Under:   New   York   Islanders  
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