Islanders-Flyers: Key players for both teams in 2020 playoffs

Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Who are the most important players for the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers going into the second round of the playoffs?

The New York Islanders next opponent in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs is set. They’ll meet Metropolitan Division opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round.

Both teams have seen plenty of each other over the last few years. Since Barry Trotz took over behind the bench for the Islanders the two clubs have faced off seven times.

The Islanders are 5-2-0 against the Flyers over the last two years. In three meetings this season the Isles hold a 3-0-0 record and a 14-9 goal differential. While the Isles tend to come out on top against Philly, it’s usually a goal-fest.

The Isles first and last win over the Flyers this season were by a score of 5-3 while the second win was a 4-3  shootout victory


Top Producers

Jakub Voracek: 4G, 4A (8 points)
Kevin Hayes: 1G, 6A (7 points)
Scott Laughton: 3G, 2A (5 points)

It’s comforting not to see Claude Giroux on this list. The Flyers captain has been a thorn in the Islanders side for a while. Over the last two seasons, Giroux is a point-per-game player against the Isles with a goal and six helpers. Those stats double if you go back to 2017-18. In eleven games over the last three years against the Islanders, Giroux has 14 points.

But if the Montreal Canadiens were able to keep him quiet, the Islanders, who are a better defensive outfit than the Habs, should be able to do the same.

Important Players

Sean Couturier: 53.3 CF%, 52.56 xGF%, 59.3 FOW%
Nicolas Aube-Kubel: 51.96CF%, 59.20 xGF%, 68.75 HDCF%
*All stats at 5on5

We all know how important Sean Couturier is for the Flyers. Their number one center is killer on the draw, keeps possession well, and generates points. He’s done it for years now. But have you heard of Nicolas Aube-Kubel? I sure haven’t.

But when you look at Aube-Kubel’s underlying numbers he’s been incredible for the Flyers. The bottom-six forward is great in his own end and generates chances going the other way. When the Flyers top guys aren’t out there, look out for this second-round pick from the 2014 draft.


Carter Hart: 0.958SV% (4th), 1.22 GAA(4th), 4.84 GSAA (3rd)
*Stats for entire 2020 playoffs, at 5on5, and for goalies who played 100+ minutes

Carter Hart has been lights out in the playoffs for the Flyers. So unlike the Isles series against the Capitals, the Blue and Orange are playing against a good goalie who’s in form.


Top Producers

Josh Bailey: 2G, 8A (10 points)
Anthony Beauvillier: 6G, 3A (9 points)
Brock Nelson: 3G, 4A (7 points)

Typically you expect to see Mathew Barzal as the team’s top producer. There’s a silver lining or two to him not being at the top of the list.

First off, the Flyers must respect the Islanders depth and make sure that Anthony Beauvillier (tied for the league lead in playoffs goals) is quiet. Second, Mathew Barzal is far off from the top three. With three goals and four helpers, he’s tied with Brock Nelson.

Barzal is also incredibly productive against the Flyers. In seven games over the last two years, he has ten points (2G, 8A). Extend that out over his entire career, and he has 17 points in eleven games against the Flyers.

Important Players

Anders Lee: 54.47 CF%, 59.7 xGF%, 69.05 HDCF%
Ryan Pulock: 53.13 CF%, 57.69 xGF%, 6pts

Anders Lee was terrific against the Capitals. He was the beating heart of the team throughout the series. After a quiet series against the Panthers, it’s exactly what Islanders fans wanted to see from their captain.

Ryan Pulock is the team’s top defender. He (along with defensive partner Adam Pelech) gets all the tough assignments and is asked not only to keep the Isles zone clear of any dangerous chances from the opponent, but he’s also asked to generate some offense.

With Ryan’s six points from the blue line, he leads all defensemen for points. He (and Pelech) kept Sidney Crosby quiet last year and they kept Alex Ovechkin quiet this year and he still put up points. Pulock is vital to what the Isles do and both ends of the ice.

Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!

Write for us!


Semyon Varlamov: 0.963SV% (3rd), 0.87GAA (2nd), 5.42GSAA (2nd)
*Stats for entire 2020 playoffs, at 5on5, and for goalies who played 100+ minutes

Semyon Varlamov was outstanding for the Islanders in the opening round of the playoffs. If not for Jacob Markstrom’s effort with the Vancouver Canucks, Varlamov is without question the best goalie in the postseason through the opening round.

Carter Hart might be playing well, but the Varly is playing better than the Flyers rookie netminder.