He is a maestro conducting an orchestra with out regard for the flavour of the day or public opinion. He is Lou Lamoriello, on his third life within the NHL, and he has restored one more franchise to prominence.
Make no mistake. As a lot as this is Long Island’s crew, as a lot as this is a crew of descendants from arguably the best dynasty within the historical past of the game, as a lot as this is a crew for the second, this is Lamoriello’s crew and it represents Lamoriello’s imaginative and prescient.
Oh, and that features his alternative of a coach to run his band, it most definitely does. That contains hiring Barry Trotz the way in which he as soon as employed Jacques Lemaire and Larry Robinson and Pat Burns two rivers away when Lamoriello turned 16W off the Turnpike into the Exit of Champions.
That contains buying and selling for Andy Greene and Jean-Gabriel Pageau ultimately year’s commerce deadline. That contains buying Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac this April.
The Islanders are going again to the semifinals after throttling the Bruins 6-2 for the Game 6 second-round clincher of their most imposing efficiency of the sequence beneath a din that recalled the times of Bobby Bourne and John Tonelli (or perhaps even Shawn Bates). They didn’t again down, they didn’t again up, and as such have earned one other crack on the Lightning, to whom they fell in six in final year’s convention finals beneath the Edmonton bubble.
A crack on the champs.
Boston was speculated to have pulled off the coup of the deadline by buying/liberating Taylor Hall from Buffalo. The former Hart Trophy winner was the marquee attraction and he helped flip the Bruins’ second line right into a harmful weapon. Oh boy, the B’s appeared like smarty pants.
They then confronted the Islanders, towards whom Hall scored one purpose, and that one a power-play empty-netter that put the seal on Boston’s 5-2 opening-game victory. The subsequent 5 video games? Nope. Nothing a lot.
Meanwhile, there have been Zajac and Palmieri, supporting actors by most of their careers who possessed the traits (that means: requirements) Lamoriello is all the time in search of. Toughness, being teammate, capable of play a task, power on and away from the puck.
In Lamoriello’s orchestra, there is all the time room for percussionists to accompany the strings, brass and woodwinds. Always room for a Cal Clutterbuck to accompany a Mat Barzal. Always want for a Pageau to accompany a Josh Bailey. Always want for a Greene to steward a Noah Dobson.
Always room for a Zajac, whom Lamoriello drafted twentieth total for the Devils in 2004 after which awarded an eight-year, $46 million contract in 2013-14 that is expiring this year. Always room for a Palmieri, who got here to the Devils from Anaheim in May of 2015, just a few weeks after Ray Shero changed Lamoriello as New Jersey GM.
And so Zajac, who solely received into the postseason lineup when Oliver Wahlstrom went down in Game 5 towards Pittsburgh, went to the entrance to slam residence a rebound for a 1-0 lead at 8:52 of the primary interval of this one. And so Palmieri, ornery all through, powered by Matt Grzelcyk to bury one for a 4-1 lead at 16:07 of the second interval whereas Charlie McAvoy was wrestling with Zajac on the ice behind the online.
Goals for the sequence: Lou’s deadline acquisitions 5, Boston GM Don Sweeney’s, 1.
“Lou has won a few Cups and I think that his knowledge since he’s been in the league, you know, he’s a learned guy,” Trotz mentioned. “He’s seen various issues. I really like listening and speaking to Lou.
“He understands constructing a roster. There will likely be a Player A and Player B and the values that lots of people would possibly placed on a sure participant as a result of it’s the attractive factor to do, he understands the intrinsic worth of a participant in powerful video games and within the locker room and as a teammate and as a professional.
“All the stuff that you really don’t put a lot of numbers to, everything he does is very thorough and has substance to it. It’s not lacy, fancy stuff. It’s real stuff and he puts a lot of value in that.”
Mary Richards had spunk. The Islanders have substance. They hounded the magnificent Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak line into submission on this one to the tune of a 20 % shot share and 32.03 xGF. They drove the play and relentlessly hounded the Bruins, controlling the puck down low for 90 seconds late within the third with the rating 4-2.
Semyon Varlamov, whom Lamoriello signed as a free agent relatively than re-upping Robin Lehner following 2018-19, outplayed an ailing Tuukka Rask. Brock Nelson, who scored twice within the clincher towards the Penguins and is rising as Big Game Brock, received two extra on this one.
The protection was stout. The checkers checked. The hitters hit. The Islanders made probably the most lovely music within the midst of a madhouse.
The Old Barn stays open for business.