Both teams were upset to get here. Boston, third seed in the East Division, eliminated the Washington Capitals in five points, while the fourth seeded Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in six. That way they’re similar, but they got to the playoffs in very different ways.
The Bruins came in hot and were a popular first-round pick. From the trade deadline to the end of the regular season, Boston went 12-4-1 with a 0.735 point percentage that was among the best in the league. The Taylor Hall deadline pickup played a huge part in this, scoring eight times in 16 games.
The Islanders, meanwhile, were 5-6-3 after the deadline and had won just one win in their last five regular season games. Time to doubt it, right? This is exactly what Barry Trotz wants you to do.
– LNH (@NHL) May 27, 2021
New York was a comeback machine in the first round against the Penguins, taking advantage of faltering goalies that likely won’t happen in the second round. In Game 6 alone, they overcame three separate one-goal deficits to end the streak.
When discussing what makes Islanders successful, it always comes down to their system and its membership. They have good defense, although the 34.88 shots they allowed per 60 minutes of play was the third most in the first round. approach.
“Indoor ice is the most dangerous ice,” Trotz said. “Boston takes care of the inside ice… shots are opportunities, but when they’re predictable shots, especially (against) goaltenders in this league now, if they’re in their game and you give it back. predictable for them, they’ll be good for you. That’s what we try to do with our goalkeepers.
It should be one hell of a series. The first game is Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s how the two teams compare.
Regular Season Numbers 5v5 via Natural Stat Trick
Boston: 54,20 CF% (3e), 53,50 GF% (11e), 0,920 SV% (11e), 7,21 SH% (29e)
New York Islanders: 48,56% CF (20e), 55,67% GF (6e), 0,931% SV (3e), 8,55% SH (10e)
TEAM STATISTICS IN REGULAR SEASON
Boston: 21.9% PP (10e), 86.0% PK (2e), 2.93 GF / G (14e), 2.39 GA / G (4e)
New York Islanders: 18,8 PP% (20e), 83,7 PK% (6e), 2,71 GF / G (21e), 2,23 GA / G (2e)
New York Islanders: 5-2-1
THE STORY OF HOW THEY ARRIVED
Bruins de Boston: Boston are a mostly healthy team and that’s a huge development for them as they’ve had to fight a number of things over the course of the season. But as things progressed the Bruins gained strength, overcame various challenges, and you got to see their Stanley Cup bid start to grow.
There was a time when making the playoffs wasn’t even a guarantee for this team. By the trade deadline, they were four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place and had just lost 8-1 to Washington the night before. Tuukka Rask was still out of the lineup. Philadelphia was also starting to struggle around this time, but the Bruins still decided to buy a championship window that exists as long as the Perfection Line is an elite unit and brought Hall to a very good price.
Hall was the best acquisition on deadline day, both for his regular season contributions and for what he did in the first round. Hall scored twice and added an assist in the five-game series and the way he played, so excellent off the run, helped give Boston the edge they needed.
“I thought we were better offensively attacking their Ds, breaking them down and finding ways to create an attack on their bigger Dmen, so it was below the goal line,” Bruins coach said. Bruce Cassidy. “Part was out of the rush, we were able to get in. I know Taylor Hall really helped in this matter. “
The Bruins didn’t have Rask for most of their playoff run last season and you wonder what sort of a difference he could have made against the Tampa Bay Lightning when Jaroslav Halak went 1- 4 with a save percentage of .896. Rask improved in every game against Washington, ending the series with a .941 save percentage. Remember, when the Bruins made the final in 2019, Rask was amazing, allowing more than three goals in a game just twice throughout the entire playoff run. Boston is a different team when it plays so well.
New York Islanders: As mentioned at the start, the Islanders ended the season terribly and had to meet a Penguins team that had been one of the best in the NHL for three months. But that’s why the playoffs of the season and the success of the regular season go out the window in the playoffs. The Islanders had the best goalies, handled adversity better than the Penguins, and eliminated Pittsburgh for the second time in three seasons.
How did they do it? Well, for starters, Kyle Palmieri has arrived. It was acquired before the New Jersey Devils deadline to help add oomph after captain Anders Lee fell with an injury that ended his season. Palmieri has never passed the third row and has only scored twice in 16 regular season games with the Islanders. Now this team’s strength is certainly not their offense, but the 2.18 average goals over the last four weeks of the season placed 28th in the league and was not a good sign.
But Palmieri scored two straight goals in the first game against the Penguins, including the OT winner, and then scored one of the tied goals in the deciding 6 game. New York averaged 3, 5 goals per game in the first round with a shooting percentage of 11.1. Tristan Jarry had a streak he would like to forget and the Isles shouldn’t count on that level of attack against Boston.
The good news in that regard is that the New York defense still did a pretty good job of keeping the Penguins on the outside. Best of all, 25-year-old Ilya Sorokin has won all four starts with a save percentage of .943 and now has the momentum to continue as a starter for the time being. What if he hesitates? Semyon Varlamov is still there and he was only relegated to the save because of a bad start and the fact that Sorokin was so good.
Ilya Sorokin became the 10th goaltender in NHL history to win each of his first four or more career playoff appearances, averaging 1.95 and 0.943 SV% to help the @NYIslanders to a series victory. #Coupe Stanley#LNH statistics: https://t.co/vWPS08zwV5 pic.twitter.com/TJ1cr1u4p3
– NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 27, 2021
Boston Bruins X Factor: Taylor Hall
The Bruins targeted Hall on the deadline because he gave them something they lacked: a second row score and a player who can create so much on the move. Cassidy opened up about his impact against Washington and, in the second round against the Islanders, his ability to work with editor David Krejci in the race could give the Islanders system some headache. New York will be studied and prepared for it of course, but it’s Hall’s job to fight this anyway and find a way to be productive.
He’s still playing for a new contract and is hoping it’s with Boston, so a round of good postseason play might not be enough. It will be harder for Boston to get through the Islanders’ defense to create high quality opportunities, but as these guys follow Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on the ice, there are two lines that should relentlessly test New. York. If Hall succeeds consistently, he’ll be a nightmare for the Islanders and what a story it would be if he makes the difference to bring Boston back in the third round.
New York Islanders X Factor: Anthony Beauviller
New York may not be able to score as much against Boston’s stingy defense and established, experienced goaltenders, but if they are to win, they’ll still need a breakout. There are a few candidates for that, including Palmieri who continues his good start and Mathew Barzal who absolutely does the show.
But in between those two lines are the trio of Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, and the 23-year-old left-winger could be a groundbreaking player here. He’s scored in three of six games against Pittsburgh and scored three game-winning goals in the 2020 playoffs. Expect a big time or two for him against Boston.
“He’s got really explosive speed,” Trotz told the Hockey Central team. “He and Mathew (Barzal) have other equipment. And because of that, he puts pressure on the opponents. It’s not always a lot of physical pressure, but it’s a speed pressure that he puts on people to move the puck a little faster.