New York Islanders: Islanders take Game 3

The New York Islanders defeat the Washington Capitals in overtime with a score of 2-1 to make the series 3-0. The Islanders made the Capitals play their style of Hockey today, and it worked. No team in the NHL can beat the Islanders in a defensive matchup. The only way to beat the Isles is to outscore them. But, if Seymon Varlamov has a game like he did today, they’re pretty much unbeatable.

The Islanders are in a great position to sweep the Capitals on Tuesday night. The mindset for the Isles right now is: “We’re up 3-0, we’re dominating board play, playing great defense, Varlamov is standing on his head, let’s just play our game.”

This team is a system team, without Trotz who knows where the Isles would be. But, the only way the system works is if everyone buys in. That’s why in the post-game press conference Mat Barzal said “the 4th game is the hardest, but we just gotta buy into the system”. The system is an easy, yet complicated one. All Trotz asks is for his players to forecheck hard, play tough in the neutral zone, and make smart passes. This system doesn’t lead to 30 goal goal-scorers, but it leads to championships if you buy-in.

The Islanders have very little work to do to win game 4. Especially if Nicklas Backstrom is still out with a concussion. The Islanders need to stay on their toes, don’t take any stupid penalties, and wait for their opportunity to arise.

None of these players are true “snipers,” but you don’t need snipers if you can get gritty goals. The Islanders play within the dots, real rough and tough Hockey, so they don’t necessarily need a sniper. If the Islanders play their game again and buy into the system, there will be a sweep coming.