These are the storylines to focus on as the New York Islanders look to finish off the Boston Bruins tonight.
It is crunch time for the Boston Bruins who will look to avoid elimination in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders, who will be hoping to clinch the series on home ice at Nassau Coliseum later (7:30 p.m. ET).
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The Isles boast a 3-2 series lead after winning Game 5 by a score of 5-4, and it appears as though they have gotten hot at the perfect time with momentum now firmly on their side.
After finishing off the Carolina Hurricanes in five games on Tuesday night, the winners of the Islanders – Bruins series will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Semifinals, with the greatest prize in all of sports looming larger and larger.
And, with so much at stake, it will sure be one hell of an atmosphere at the Coliseum as the Islanders attempt to get the job done in Game 6 on home ice, while the Bruins will look to stay alive and they will be helped in that cause by the fact that goaltender Tuukka Rask is good to go after being pulled in Game 5.
It is all set up to be an absolute doozy on Long Island and, ahead of faceoff, we decided to take a look at some of the most compelling storylines to keep an eye on in what is a postseason showdown with plenty on the line for both teams…
Three Storylines to watch as the Boston Bruins look to stay alive against the New York Islanders
3. Will the “New York Saints” be in town or will luck balance out for the B’s?
Officiating has been a hot topic throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far, and it has especially come under the spotlight during this series, with things escalating somewhat in the wake of a controversial Game 5.
In case you missed it, Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t exactly happy with the officiating crew in Game 5 after they awarded the New York Islanders the first three power plays of the game, which the visiting team cashed in on after going 3-for-4 on the night in total.
The Bruins, meanwhile, were given just three chances on the power play all night, leading to Cassidy to go to town on the performance of refs Francis Charron and Francois St. Laurent, while he called the Islanders the “New York Saints.”
“I think they sell a narrative over there that’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders”
Bruce Cassidy had a lot to say after the B’s loss tonight pic.twitter.com/vedAMAaSXe
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) June 8, 2021
That outburst landed Cassidy a $25,000 fine from the NHL and those comments will likely also add another layer of spice to tonight’s proceedings, which should only increase the intensity of a game that will be played as though it was a full-blooded war.
Given what is on the line for both teams, it will be interesting to see if the officiating team will stand back and let certain calls go for both teams, or if the Islanders will come under heavy scrutiny with the league keen to avoid any more controversy in what is a win-or-go home game for the Bruins.
There is of course some gamesmanship to Cassidy’s comments in that the Boston Bench Boss will hope a seed has now been planted inside the minds of the officials, but it could also backfire against his team and the first five to 10 minutes of tonight’s contest will be fascinating to see how the refs decide to officiate the game.