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Saturday, May 07, 2016

To Win Another for Mother, Islanders need to be Matinee Isles

Sunday marks only the 2nd Mother's Day game in Islander history.  On May 11, 1975, the Isles defeated Philadelphia 2-1 to even their Stanley Cup semi-final series at 3-3 (after the Flyers won the first three games).  Gerry Hart, a defensive defenseman, scored the winning goal late in the third period.

From Tim Moriarty's book, "The Incredible Islanders"
One other Islander game ended in the first minutes of Mother's Day, when the Isles defeated Vancouver in game 1 of the 1982 Stanley Cup Final. Mike Bossy scored at 19:58 of the first overtime period, off an egregious giveaway from Harold Snepsts.

However, for the Isles to win on Mother's Day they will have to win an afternoon game, something they have done rarely in the last three seasons.  

In regular season play, the Isles were 3-4-2 in afternoon games this season and are 7-10-4 in afternoon games over the last three seasons.

Even worse has been their record in road daytime games this season, 0-3-1 (regular season).

This is the 2nd afternoon game the Isles have played in this year's playoffs, having already lost game 2 in Tampa.  Last season, the Isles won dramatic games 3 and 6 vs. Washington at the Coliseum in matinees.

The Isles have trailed a series 3-1 thirteen times in their history, recovering to win twice (1975 vs Pittsburgh, 1987 vs. Washington).  They are 5-8 all-time in game 5's when trailing 3-1  (their other wins were in 1975 and 1987 vs Philadelphia and in 1977 vs. Montreal)

Overall, teams that lead NHL series 3-1 win 90% of them. (260-28)   However, teams that do it in the pattern the Lightning have done it (lose game 1 at home, win game 2 at home and then games 3/4 on the road) are "only" 29-7 (.806).

And in a world where Bartolo Colon homers, anything is possible. Right?

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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