The Islanders finished the regular season with 100 points, notching the century mark for the second time in two seasons. Next stop is Sunrise to take on the Atlantic Division Champion Florida Panthers today. Injuries continue to pile up for New York, headlined by starting goaltender Jaro Halak, with the first playoff victory in 23 seasons on the line. Can the Islanders pull it off? Let’s look deeper…
6th in NHL (points)
232 goals for
200 goals against
PP: 23rd overall
PK: 24th overall
FOW: 16th (tied)
Roberto Luongo 35-19-6, .922 Sv%, 2.35 GAA, 4 SO
Playoff stats: 32-31, 7 OT .916 Sv%, 2.54 GAA, 5 SO
6th most playoff wins in active goalies in NHL (3856:11min)
Oodles of experience compared to Greiss at 40 minutes total playoff experience. Can be dominant. Isles must get off shots and create scoring chances.
Jagr playoffs: 199pts in playoffs, most of actives forwards in NHL, .99 p/GP.
Jagr at his age hasn’t been as prolific during the playoffs. He also can be physically shut down. This is imperative for the Isles.
10th overall in NHL (points)
227 goals for
211 goals against
PP: 17th overall
PK: 4th overall
FOW: 16th (tied)
Thomas Greiss 23-11-4 Sv% .925 GAA 2.36, 1 SO
1 playoff game, 50th overall in NHL in playoff games played. .929, 3.00 (40min)
John Tavares: 13 GP, 11pts, .85 p/GP
If you tuned into our podcast this week, you would remember our guest, Broadway Jay, noted that one of the big differences between this year’s team and last year’s team is that they were a high-event team early last season. To win this series, they must win the possession match-up, get shots on Luongo, and if they do… good things will happen. If they let Florida win the possession game and allow Luongo to dominant in net, they will fall behind quickly.
1. Must play HIGH EVENT hockey. Nick Leddy & Johnny Boychuk BOTH have not led in their all-star possession play like early last season. In fact, Boychuk has really fallen to 4th defender, behind Hamonic and de Haan.
BOTH must come up big when it counts. Both have cup winning and playoff pedigree. BOTH must lead not only in the locker room but on the ice and get back to their potential all-star level. If they do, the Islanders might dominant this series. Their possession regression this past season, especially Boychuk’s has been notable.
2. Despite a lot of hot air on all sorts of items and issues from punditry, short series are really determined by who is the better goalie. Who can play ABOVE AVERAGE consistently. Thomas Greiss, before March 8th, when Halak went down, was excellent. In his more use, all key stats and save pct on all types of shots/chances dropped. He must raise his game here. Greiss comes in with only 40min playoff experience. He is the biggest question mark for the NY Islanders. Berube has been ok, hit or miss depending on type of shots. So, if Greiss falters, the Isles are in a lot of trouble despite fan hype on either guy this season.
3. John Tavares did NOT play to an elite level this past season. After almost winning the scoring title last season, playing with all sorts of players on his line, he had a very down and inconsistent year. In short series, your best players must play their best. This is on JT to step-up. This is very much a JT vs Jagr scenario. BOTH are their team’s 5 on 5 scoring machine. Whoever wins this showdown likely wins the series.
If you missed our last podcast, we went into some deep analysis and stats on this season’s Isles and the playoff match-up. Make sure to give it a listen!