Lightning need to be ready for a fight

The Tampa Bay Lightning not only beat the New York Islanders in game one, they absolutely destroyed the competition 8-2. Everything, it seemed, that could go right did.

That will not hold up in game two.

There were a lot of factors in game one that led to the result we saw. The biggest would be the rest – that didn’t equate to rust – for the Lightning while the Isles played two additional games and traveled from Toronto to Edmonton the day before the game. Like it or not, these are key factors in how game one ended up the way it did.

Not only that, but it wasn’t as dominant of a performance as the score may indicate. The Isles had quite a few high danger chances early on in the game, including a short handed breakaway by Brock Nelson that Andrei Vasilevskiy was able to turn away. Think back – it was a 1-1 game at that time. If Nelson scores there, this game looks vastly different.

This is the first time the Isles have trailed in a series thus far in the playoffs. They will be coming out Wednesday night fighting, scrapping, and clawing to ensure that deficit doesn’t reach two games. Barry Trotz will have his squad ready, so the pressure is actually on the Lightning to withstand the early barrage and maintain their composure as well as their discipline to take a 2-0 series lead.

The biggest question remaining is that of who will be in net for the Islanders? Both Varlamov and Greiss looked bad in game one, but Greiss was pulled after just ten minutes where he allowed three goals on nine shots. Varlamov looked a little sharper, but still allowed five goals on the night. Trotz appeared to trust Greiss more as the starter, relying on him for game seven against the Flyers and game one against the Lightning, but the decision is crucial for the Isles to try and climb back into this series.

This thing is far from over. Yeah, it’s fun to talk about an 8-2 win in the Eastern Conference Finals, but you can’t get too high on the highs just like you can’t get too low on the lows. This series isn’t over the Islanders are most certainly a better team than they showed Monday night. It’s on the Lightning to be ready for it.

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