Editorials

Islanders: Good time to face Boston Bruins

Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Bruins have had the New York Islanders number for years now. Since 2015-16, the Islanders are 3-10-2 against the Bruins. That’s eight points from a possible 30 or a 0.267 points percentage for the math crew out there.

That’s – as I’m sure you know – not good. This year, thanks to the border being closed between Canada and the United States, the Bruins and Islanders find themselves in the same division. That means the Isles will play these same Bruins eight times this year.

If the Islanders continue that 0.267 points percentage against the Bruins, they’re looking at two wins (or a win and two OT losses) this year. That would not be good. Any advantage that could help the Islanders would be welcomed.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Bruins are missing some key pieces of their roster. This might be the perfect time to face the Bruins.

Great opportunity for the New York Islanders

On Monday, the Bruins are expected to be without 2019-20 Rocket Richard winner David Pastrnak. Ondrej Kase could also be out of the lineup due to injury. That’s Boston’s top two RW options out.

Their forward lines should resemble this come puck drop:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Frederic
Ritchie-Coyle-Smith
Studnicka-Kuraly-Wagner

I’m not going to say it’s a bad lineup, because it isn’t. They still have Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron who’ve combined for five points through two games so far in 2021. It is certainly much weaker though. We know that the Bruins aren’t the same team when that top line isn’t intact. That’s been true for years.

That trio of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak accounted for 107 goals in 19-20, that’s 47% of the Bruins goal total that year. The Isles top line of Lee-Barzal-Eberle accounted for 29% of the Isles total scoring in 19-20. (The second line of Beau-Nelson-Bailey was at 31%).

That shows how vital that top line is for Bruins. Again, without that top-line intact the Bruins just aren’t the same team.

And that’s without considering the fact that the Bruins lost both Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara on the back end through free agency. Those losses start to pile up.

The Bruins aren’t operating at 100% as they travel to the Nassau Coliseum. This is a great opportunity for the New York Islanders to right the ship after Saturday’s embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Rangers.

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