As we will do through the rest of the playoffs, just wrapping up the other action and previewing what comes tonight.
Islanders 1 – 1 Lightning
The East’s stepchild series, as no one seems to be paying any attention. And yet it has the potential to be as good as the other one. Game 2 was seemingly the only one that John Tavares didn’t simply grab in his hand and wield it however he saw fit. That’s been the most exciting thing about the Isles’ run so far, obvious as it is. There’s something about watching a player simply transcend all those around him, and Tavares has done that through his team’s first eight games.
There’s also something pretty satisfying about watching a coach have to eat it over previous treatment of a player, like Jon Cooper and Jonathan Drouin. The latter has been crushing it when finally given a scorer’s role, which you might think would come pretty naturally to a #3 overall pick. But in a league that looks to stifle creativity it took this long. But don’t worry, Cooper is still a genius who will get all the plaudits for making Drouin “earn it.” Though considering Tyler Johnson was broken last year and Stamkos misfiring, might Drouin made a bigger difference last spring?