Gameday Conference Quarterfinals #4: @ New York IslandersPosted: 07/05/2013
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS @ New York Islanders
Nassau County War Veteran’s Coliseum, 7:00 PM, Root Sports, NBC Sports, 105.9 the X
I’m sick of this series. If you would like to read my previously unpublished thoughts on game 3 and the media (both mainstream and “new”) check out my Google doc here. If you would like to read some informed critiques about the Penguins take a gander at Sean Griffin’s piece at The Hockey Writers, and this seriously good read from Dejan in Monday’s Trib.
We know, we know, the Islanders are fast, they almost seem hungrier than the Penguins, and this is not what most dreamed about after the game one beatdown. But here are the facts of the series: the Pens are up 2-1, they can play .500 hockey and still win the series, Fleury has posted better numbers than he has in his postseason career, and the scorers are doing exactly what they need to do.
As such, the Pens need to keep their composure and suck the life from the Islanders faithful. We suspect that they will get some help in the form of Brooks Orpik returning to the lineup.
They sure need someone to come in and not be a liability, something they have not gotten from Deryk Engelland or Simon Despres so far this series. It also seems possible that James Neal could return tonight, although Coach Dan won’t say anything one way or the other regarding those two.
If and when Neal is able to return the Penguins are going to have to make a move to swap Jarome Iginla to Sid’s right wing, and bring Chris Kunitz to Geno’s left. Mike Colligan wrote about it so I won’t say another word.
The Pens have had two days to fix their flaws, have they done it? We shall see.
Get three. Go Pens.