The New York Islanders said all the right things in the days leading up to their first-round playoff matchup against the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins.
Yes, they knew the odds of an upset in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 series were stacked heavily against them, and yes they were aware that the Penguins roster reads more like an All-Star game lineup than an everyday club.
Still, the upstart Islanders declared they were ready and up to the daunting challenge ahead of them.
Whether they truly believed will never be known, but make no mistake, their comeback victory in Game 2 in Pittsburgh gave them a jolt of positive energy they hope carries them through their first home playoff game in six years on Sunday.