Derick Brassard “Big Game” moments is why the Islanders signed him

Brassard playing big again (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

This was the Islanders vision last summer.

No, we’re not just talking about getting to the Eastern Conference Finals after making it to the second round the prior spring, but seeing Derick Brassard thrive in big games.

When the Isles signed Brassard, the hope was that they’d be getting exactly that, and would learn first hand why Brassard has earned the nickname, “Big Game Brass”.

Derick Brassard big gamer

It’s no secret Brassard has always been for the moment. It’s one of the reasons he’s had playoff success anywhere he’s ended up. It’s also one of the reasons why Islanders’ general manager Lou Lamoriello made the decision to take that flier on him. And now, it’s one of the keys for why the Isles are just four wins away from appearing in their first Stanley Cup Final since 1984.

Derick Brassard Islanders
Derick Brassard Islanders (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

“I think with Brass, he’s a guy who is really a valuable piece for us,” Isles head coach Barry Trotz said last week. “I thought the [Washington] series was a little different, I needed a different push and I thought the physical play had amped up in that series so we made a switch there.”

At the beginning of the year, the 32-year-old had a tough time finding his way in Trotz’s system. He began to find his way during the team’s 17-game point streak playing with fellow QC native Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson, but once that run ended, he had trouble producing as the club’s number-three center/third line winger. All of that seems so long ago, as now Islanders fans are seeing the player who had such a big presence when he was suiting up for the hated Rangers and Ottawa Senators.

Derick Brassard playing with an edge

Brassard has found that edge again as a part of the very effective third line and has looked every bit the player the organization envisioned he would be. The postseason began on a high note for Brassard but he was scratched for the final three games of the Islanders’ first round victory against the Capitals and the first two contests against the Flyers. When he made his return to the lineup for game three, he notched the primary assist on Leo Komarov’s goal in the dying seconds of the second period. Brassard followed that up with even stronger showings in games 5,6 and 7 against Philadelphia, including his incredible feed to Andy Greene for the Isles’ second goal two nights ago.

“What Brass usually does with us when he gets the opportunity to get back in the lineup, he usually makes the most of it,” Trotz also said.

In the last three games against the Flyers, Brassard totaled four points and is starting to roll at the perfect time. He’s playing with a vengeance. To have that is critical for he and the team as they continue their deep run in the Edmonton bubble.

Derick Brassard: A big series ahead

With the Isles now set to play in the Conference Final — the Tampa Bay Lightning their next opponent — Brassard continuing his string of big games could be crucial. The Isles are going to need their offense to keep clicking, especially against the high-powered attack the Lightning are equipped with. And that means Brassard. In this type of series, he’s not just part of the Isles’ depth anymore. Brassard is now one of the team’s most important forwards.

Right now, Brassard has elevated his game to a different level. He’s playing like the “Big Game Brass” the Islanders were willing to take a chance on.

That was the vision 12 months ago and it’s finally come to fruition.

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