For any trade that takes place in the NHL, there’s always a winner and loser. Sometimes that’s determined by how the major piece or pieces of that said deal performs when it matters the most.
In the Islanders’ case, they have been lucky enough two years in a row to receive those performances out of general manager Lou Lamoriello’s shrewd moves. The Isles are tied in their second-round series against the Boston Bruins, and a lot of it has to do with those moves.
J.G. Pageau, who Lamoriello acquired at the 2020 deadline, scored his second goal and recorded his ninth point of the playoffs in the Isles’ game two victory Monday night. Kyle Palmieri, traded for from New Jersey two months ago, also scored in the game making it four goals in eight postseason games thus far. Both players have been exceptional in the postseason to this point.
Head coach Barry Trotz pointed out early on these playoffs that having those kinds of guys around is extremely important when in the postseason.
“If you look at the two trade deadline acquisitions, last year Pageau, this year Palmieri, they’re veteran guys that are proven,” he said. “When it comes to playoff hockey, in big moments you rely on their experience, their character is exceptional. I’m really glad for [Palmieri], I know he probably put a little undue pressure [on himself] when he joined us, we knew when the games got tight and you have to go to the dirty areas a guy like him is able to produce and he was able to do that.”
What a sequence pic.twitter.com/Yu6jduCu19
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) June 1, 2021
Not much was expected of Palmieri after he had tallied just two goals in 17 games and was really fighting to find his game. A lot of people were questioning if the Islanders had made the wrong move. They aren’t questioning it anymore because of how he’s played through the first two series.
Palmieri has been one of the team’s best forwards the entire playoffs. Funny enough his linemate: Pageau.
“He is an Islander,” said Pageau during these playoffs. “He’s so competitive, winning all of his battles, being hard on pucks. That’s how we play the game and he fits right in.