The Islanders practiced on Saturday in Toronto, something they may barely do during their second-round series against the Flyers which opens on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.
In an NHL playoff rarity – and as a result of the league wanting to condense the schedule with teams playing in sequestered arena/practice rink/hotel bubbles – there will be two sets of back-to-back games if the best-of-seven series goes the distance. Game 2 is Wednesday afternoon and Game 3 follows on Thursday night. Games 6 and 7, if necessary, would be Sept. 2-3.
“We practiced today, we’ll have a short practice [Sunday],” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I don’t think we’ll practice again until the series is over, just looking at the schedule.”
Even when there is a day between games, it’s a short turnaround. Next Saturday’s Game 4 starts at noon.
“We have four games in five and a half days starting Monday,” Flyers president and general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “You’re going to have to come in with the right mindset and make quick adjustments and get your game to a high level very quickly.”
Right wing Cal Clutterbuck, who missed the first-round’s clinching Game 5 against the Capitals after being upended on a low hit from defenseman Radko Gudas in Game 4, participated in Saturday’s practice.
“He got up and down the ice pretty good today,” Trotz said. “So, I don’t foresee anything going into this series that we have to be too concerned about.”
A “Let’s Go Islanders” banner was flown over downtown Toronto, coinciding with the team returning to its hotel from practice.
“Thanks for the love isles fans,” defenseman Scott Mayfield said via Twitter.
Longtime Islanders fan Matt Kammerer, an usher at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, organized a GoFundMe account that raised more than $4,500 to pay for the banner.
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