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Editorials

Islanders: Pros and Cons of playing Boston Bruins or Washington Capitals

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: The scoreboard displays that the New York Islanders win over the Florida Panthers period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: The scoreboard displays that the New York Islanders win over the Florida Panthers period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins reacts following a goal (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images)
Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins reacts following a goal (Photo by Andre/Ringuette/Getty Images) /

Boston Bruins

2019-20 Season Record: 44-14-12 (1st Eastern Conference)
Record vs Isles (2018 to 2020): 1-3-2

Pros

Top-heavy: The Bruins really heavily on their top line to generate offense. Of the Bruins 227 goals, 47 of those goals come from Pastrnak, Bergeron, and Marchand. Shut them down and the Bruins offense is effectively shut down.

The reason the Bruins might fall to the third seed (or fourth) is that that top line isn’t clicking.  Without them, they can’t win ss head-coach Bruce Cassidy stated recently: “Typically, when they don’t for extended periods of time, we have trouble winning.”

We’ve seen the Islanders shut down top offensive lines in the playoffs before. Not only did they keep Barkov, Huberdeau, and Hoffman quiet at 5on5, but they did the same to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel in last year’s playoff series.

Form: Boston was the top team in the league going into the return to play. But in two round-robin games so far, the Bruins have gone 0-2-0 and have been outscored 7-3. They just haven’t played up to their standards. (Mainly due to that aforementioned point.)

This might be the right time for the Islanders to play them.

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Cons

It’s Boston: The Islanders don’t typically play well against the Boston Bruins. Over the last two seasons, the Isles have held a 1-3-2 record against the Bruins. That includes a rough 4-0 loss to the B’s at the end of February 2020. The Bruins have had our number of late.

They were also the top team in the league this season. There are 100 reasons to fear the Bruins. As in the 100 points they put up in 70 games. They were the only team to hit 100 points before play stopped in March.

The Bruins dominated the NHL through 2019-20. If they can sort themselves out by the 11th the Isles could be in for a quick series.

Talent: Just like the Capitals, the Bruins have talent everywhere in their lineup. David Pastrnak is easily their most dangerous asset with 48 goals this season (25 at 5on5). If the games come down to who has the better team on paper the Boston Bruins will easily take this series.

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