With the acquisition of Taylor Hall, the Bruins now have two lines that can hurt the Isles. It’s a potent top-six that should worry any fan. But the Islanders are deeper.
The Isles boast three scoring lines and a fourth line that typically generates more offense than the lines they play against. There’s no doubt that the Islanders are deeper. And at this time of year being this deep matters a lot.
The Isles top line, while hobbled since the loss of Anders Lee can still be an effective unit. The second line – ironically named the killer B’s – was a decisive factor in eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. And the third line of Pageau-Palmieri-Wahlstrom (assuming the rookie is good to go) gets the soft matchups to find damage.
Then there’s the fourth line. I brought them up for a reason. Because while they play a fourth-line style they aren’t your typical fourth-line. Since 2018-19 the Martin-Cizikas-Cluttebuck top scores 54% more goals than the lines they face. That’s better than most top lines from around the league.
On paper, the Bruins have a better team, with a ton of All-Star talent. But when you look at how deep the Islanders are the Bruins paper advantage goes away quickly. The blue and orange are a deeper team that can generate offense from any of their four lines. Advantage Islanders.