Isles Look for Encore from Fans; Different Result in Game 4

While the Nassau Coliseum walls recover from the verbal beat down the Isles’ faithful gave it on Sunday afternoon, the Islanders look for ways to recover from a gut wrenching loss to even the series. The orange and blue faithful came out in a loud way to welcome their home town team back into the playoffs. It was the first playoff game housed in Nassau since 2007.

They will take the ice at 7:00 in Uniondale, New York. The fans will look to rock the old Barn again.

If there is one trait that this gritty Islanders team relies on, it is resiliency. The Isles will have to dust themselves off after falling short of a memorable comeback that would have matched even the greatest games in team history. It is important for the team to use the emotional boost provided by what is sure to be another raucous crowd.

Leading the way for young Isles’ has been Kyle Okposo who has been an absolute workhorse on the ice. The Isles will continue to try and get the puck to their star, John Tavares. Tavares netted the tying goal in the 3rd that seemed like it would bring the old building to the ground. Getting the puck to him is vital to their success as always. A key for the game would be staying out of the box for the Isles. By taking multiple penalties early, the Penguins were able to erase an early two goal deficit.

If the Isles are able to ride the wave of emotions, they can build a lead that can last. The team has shown that they can hang with the top seeded Penguins in every aspect of their game. They have made the fans proud and they have responded by showing up in droves filling the seats and waving their orange towels..

Backed by a much improved Evgeni Nabokov, fans have to like the team’s chances to even the series on their home ice. The Islanders need to continue to hit the Penguins’ star players every chance they have. Aside from the lull in the 2nd period, the Islanders seemed to be on offense for all of the game.

No matter how this series ends, the Isles’ have reignited a dormant fan base. Despite the mockery their building faces on a daily basis, when full, it provides a huge advantage for the home team. The Islanders look to bring the series back to Pittsburgh dead locked.

-Steve Giangaspro