New York Islanders 3-0-0 against Florida Panthers this season, but forward Brock Nelson said it wouldn’t matter when they meet in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Islanders (35-23-10, .588 percentage points) qualify for No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and will play No. 10 Panthers (35-26-) 8, .565) in one of the eight best-of-5 series. The winner will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the loser will have a chance at choice # 1 in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in the second phase of the NHL Entry Lottery.
Provided that health and safety conditions allow and that the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association reach an agreement on phases 3 and 4 of the return to play plan, training camps will open on July 10. 12 participating Eastern Conference teams, one for the 12 Western Conference teams – have not been determined.
Video: FLA @ NYI: Nelson uses rapid fire for a shootout goal
Nelson spent his 40s at home in Warroad, Minnesota, but is expected to return to New York on Monday to participate in volunteer group skates at the Islanders training center as part of phase 2 of the return to play plan. scored a career high of 54 NHL points (26 goals, 28 assists) in 68 games and will help the Islanders reach the playoffs for the second consecutive season under the guidance of coach Barry Trotz. Last season, New York swept the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Eastern Conference before being swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.
This season, New York won 10 straight games from October 12 to November 5 and had a 17-game hitting streak for the Islanders (15-0-2) until November 23, but it was 6- 8-5 after the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game on January 25 and 0-3-4 in their last seven games before the NHL ended the season on March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus.
“It will be kind of a feeling when you get back,” said Nelson. “But the guys had some time to recover their legs and hopefully get ready. Obviously, the intensity is going to be higher right away to prepare for the playoffs, so you have to find a way you can’t have any wait or delay. The best of 5, anything can happen, so you need to go home ready to go.
“Simply put, it’s just worrying about your game and playing at a high level. If it does not go in your direction, immediately, you must let it go and get back on the horse immediately. You don’t have time to find that you need to get there quickly. ”