(Note: This article was written before their latest game, which was a victory.)
After beating St. Laurent in the quarter-finals and winning the first of a best 2 out of 3
matchup with Limoilou, the Islanders sadly lost, 2-5 at Macdonald arena. It was a well fought
game, but unfortunately for them they couldn’t sweep Limoilou. At the end of the day, the
team from Quebec City was more disciplined, and that’s what ultimately gave them the
If John Abbott wants to reach the finals by beating the Titans on Sunday, they’ll have
to make sure they stay out of the box. Their penalty kill wasn’t at its best, but when you give
the other team 5 opportunities to score on the power play, eventually they’ll bury one. In this
case, Limoilou buried 2. Jac will also have to convert on their own power play chances. They
went 0 for 3 on the man advantage, not generating much.
One thing I noticed when watching them try to score is they use their defensemen a
ton to try to score. And while playing a low-to-high style is fine, they aren’t going to score a
lot from there. A lot of their shots were getting blocked. Once the defensemen get the puck
at the blueline, they either need to walk the blueline to create better lanes to shoot or dish it
off quicker to create space to find a better play.
Getting to the middle of the ice for scoring opportunities is crucial. Perimeter shots
are low percentage shots and can kill plays. Obviously, easier said than done. The key to
winning is wanting it more than your opponent.
Upsets happen all the time in hockey because the better team gets outworked by the
underdog. Jac isn’t a huge underdog in this series, but they should play like it because it’ll
bring out the best in their players. The Islanders are as good as any team in the league
when they play at their best. So if they do, the finals will be on the horizon.