Sansided
Editorials

Islanders defy narrative by eliminating Bruins: Three takeaways

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: The New York Islanders celebrate an empty net goal by Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the New York Islanders against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on June 09, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Bruins 6-2 to move on to the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JUNE 09: The New York Islanders celebrate an empty net goal by Cal Clutterbuck #15 of the New York Islanders against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum on June 09, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Bruins 6-2 to move on to the Stanley Cup Semifinals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
3 of 4
Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders skates against the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Second Round of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Goaltending

If you read through that last tweet highlighting a passage from NBC’s series preview you likely read the part where they state that the Rask/Swayman tandem was “far superior” to the Varlamov/Sorokin tandem. Which, just like their 5on5 theory, doesn’t hold water.

Just look at the regular season stats for both sets of goalies:

  • Varlamov/Sorokin: 0.929SV%, 2.04GAA/0.918SV%, 2.17GAA
  • Rask/Swayman: 0.913SV%, 2.28GAA/0.945SV%, 1.50GAA*

*Swayman played in ten games

I’m not sure how Rask/Swayman was “far superior”. Were they good? Yeah, of course. The Bruins tandem was good but they weren’t as NBC painted them. If anything the Islanders tandem was far better, and that’s exactly how things went in this series.

Semyon Varlamov was a star of the series. In five games he stopped 169 of the 181 shots he faced for a 0.934SV%.

Conversely, Rask stopped 148 of the 165 shots he faced for a 0.897SV%.

I can understand that Rask was injured and that he’ll need surgery. But if Swayman was as good as the pre-series narrative indicated, Cassidy would have started him at least once in this series. Or maybe even turned to veteran Jaroslav Halak. He didn’t and that tells you everything you need to know about the Bruins depth in nets.

It’s just not that good and it was one of the reasons they couldn’t claw their way into the series after Game 3.

facebooktwitterreddit