Editorials

Islanders: Five key players that need to step up vs Florida Panthers

By Matt Hawkins
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Goaltender Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Here are five key players that need to step up for the New York Islanders in their best-of-five games series against the Florida Panthers.

Starting Saturday, August 1st at 4 P.M. EST, New York Islanders hockey will be back. The Isles will be taking on the Florida Panthers in a best-of-five play-in series to see which team gets to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Islanders and Panthers are pretty close to polar opposites when it comes to playing the sport of hockey. The Panthers are a high-scoring team (231 goals for, seventh-most in the NHL) that doesn’t play the best defense (228 goals against, fourth-most in the NHL), while the Isles pride themselves in their defense (193 goals against, sixth-least in the NHL) and don’t score much at all (192 goals for, ninth-least in the NHL).

So, if the Isles are to beat Florida they’ll need to stop their strong offense from scoring while also scoring themselves. This will require the whole team to step up, however, I suppressed the team down to five players that I think could really make a difference if they bring their game to the next level.

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