Most teams like to put their top scoring threats on the first line, but the Panthers are a little different. Their second line consists of Jonathan Huberdeau, Erik Haula, and Mike Hoffman. This season, Huberdeau led the team with 78 points. Meanwhile, Hoffman was third on the Panthers with 59. These players helped the Panthers score the sixth-most goals in the NHL this season.
As a quick comparison, the Islanders’ top point-getter was Mathew Barzal with just 60. Both Anders Lee and Josh Bailey tied for third-highest with 43. Clearly, the Panthers’ second-line is a force to be reckoned with.
The Panthers may choose to mix their lines up a bit in the playoffs, but regardless, the Isles will want to look out for Huberdeau and Hoffman. Oh and not to mention, center Aleksander Barkov on the top line isn’t half-bad either.
The Power Play
What do you get when you put Huberdeau, Barkov, Hoffman, Keith Yandle, and Evgenii Dadonov together? How about the league’s tenth best power play. These players helped the Panthers achieve a top-third power play unit in the NHL by converting on 21.3% of their opportunities.
Hoffman and Dadonov were the top power play goal-scorers with 11 each. Meanwhile, Huberdeau picked up an impressive 24 power play assists. Yandle was strong on the point with two goals and 19 assists.
Unfortunately, the Isles were quite bad while up a man this season. They converted on just 17.3% of their opportunities, good for 24th best in the league. No player scored more than four power play goals for their Isles, and Barzal led the team with just eight power play assists.
The Isles may not be able to improve their underwhelming power play, but they can control their aggression. They will want to maintain their composure when possible to avoid sending the Panthers to the power play.