The Second Round of the Eastern Conference Series between the six-seeded New York Islanders and the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers kicked off Monday night and the underdog Islanders effectively shut-out the favored Flyers and head to game two on Wednesday with a 1-0 lead. Islander goalie Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves to help his team earn a 4-0 victory. Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart made 25 saves for his team in Monday night’s losing effort.
Based on their respective performances in rounds 1 and 2, we’re in for a fun series. Two weeks ago the Flyers would’ve not only been favored to win this series but they were one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Then they played the Montreal Canadiens and their offense faltered. On the other hand, the Islanders weren’t expected to be very good and have DOMINATED their playoff games against the Panthers and the Capitals. These two teams who haven’t played one another since 1987 in playoff competition seem headed in opposite directions and both will be playing with something to prove.
The success of the Islanders has come primarily from their goal-suffocating defense which has allowed exactly six goals in a total of nine games this summer at 5 on 5 play. Islanders’ Head coach Barry Trotz has had his team on the path to success since he’s taken over and the pressure they have put on opponents during this playoff push has been downright intimidating. The times they haven’t scored the game’s first goal, their five-on-five pressure has helped even things up quickly, erasing those deficits before they can fall too far behind. If the Islanders have a weak spot it’s been too many penalties and wasted power plays, but those issues have been minimal throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs. There is some question of whether the Islanders have the caliber of team to make it very far in the playoffs with very few big name players on their roster. So far they’ve answered that question emphatically. Anthony Beauvillier has silenced critics with a 3 goal – 1 assist performance in game 5 against the Capitals. He had a similar game against the Panthers and the Islanders need him to continue progressing if they’re going to make it to the next round. Goalie Semyon Varlamov has had a few key saves during the playoffs so far but the Islanders team has done their part in keeping the puck away from that side at all costs.
The Flyers will most definitely need to improve off their lackluster effort against Montreal in their most recent playoff effort. Head Coach Alain Vigneault has plenty of experience in the league and his team won’t go down without a fight. Their top five goal scorers have combined for just a single goal in the postseason thus far and with the way the Islanders’ defense has looked, the number-one seeded Flyers could be in for a long series. Top Scorer during the regular season: Travis Konecny and number 3 scorer Sean Couturier haven’t scored yet in the post season but they’ve somehow stayed alive in the playoffs by playing strong overall hockey with their defense keeping them in the game.
Regardless of the outcome, these two teams are on a crash-course to get to the next round of the playoffs. Our prediction is the underdog NY Islanders win this.
28/09/2020 | Football - Premier League
Both Teams To Score (Yes)
1pt Win @ 1.68 Unibet, Betway
27/09/2020 | Football - Premier League
Over 2.5 Goals
1pt Win @ 2.05 BetVictor, BoyleSports
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