The New York Islanders are set to take on the Philadelphia Flyers in Round 2 of the playoffs. Here are three predictions for that series.
After a rather dominant series against the Washington Capitals, the New York Islanders find themselves in the second round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. Now, they will be taking on the Philadelphia Flyers, who are the one seed from the East.
The Islanders won all three games against Philly in the regular season, but that shouldn’t matter coming over to the playoffs. You throw the regular season out the window, especially this year with the long break in between the regular season and playoffs.
With the series starting today, I’ll share with you three predictions for the series and give you a winner as well.
1: Casey Cizikas scores 2 goals in the series
From a production standpoint, it’s been a quiet playoffs from Casey Cizikas. He has just one assist in nine games, which is uncharacteristic for one of the best fourth line centers in the sport.
Don’t get me wrong, Cizikas has been a big part of shutting opponents down defensively, I wouldn’t say he’s having a bad postseason, I just am pointing out that he hasn’t had the offensive production to go along with the dominant defensive play.
In this series, I think Cizikas finds the back of the net twice. During the regular season, he never went more than 10 games in a row without a goal. He’s due, and I think we see the fourth line play a major factor in this series.
2: Semyon Varlamov out plays Carter Hart
Hart has been excellent in the playoffs for Philly. So far, through eight games he has a .943 save percentage and a 1.71 goals against average in eight playoff games. With two shutouts and three one-goal performances, his save percentage looks phenomenal.
Twice in six games during the Canadiens series, Hart let in four goals and had a sub .900 save percentage. Even though Semyon Varlamov’s save percentage is .934, Varly never allowed more than three goals in a performance.
Varlamov will finish the series with a .935 save percentage to Hart’s .915.
3: Islanders finish with a 20% power play efficiency for the series
The power play has been a major issue for the New York Islanders all year long. During the regular season, they finished with a 17.3 percent which was good enough for 24th in the league. In the playoffs that’s dropped down to 15.8 percent.
In the Washington series in particular it was really rough for the Isles as they finished at just nine percent for the series.
The Flyers Penalty Kill has been fairly average during the playoffs at 80.6 percent. The Isles will carry the momentum from Game 5 over to this series and be 20 percent efficient.
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I guess I have to close with a series prediction as well. The Islanders will take the series in six games over the Philadelphia Flyers and advance to their first Eastern Conference Final since 1993.