The New York Islanders eliminated the Philidelphia Flyers on Saturday clinching their trip to Edmonton for the Eastern Conference Finals. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tampa and New York have had a terrific postseason so far. The two teams will clash on Monday for the first time of the best-of-seven. The last time the Islanders made the Eastern Conference Finals was in 1993.
The New York Islanders’ Positive from their Last Series
The Islanders had a lot of positives throughout their seven-game series against Philly. Although the Islanders lost 3 to the Flyers they dominated the majority of each game. They consistently made up early deficits to force 3 games to overtime. When they were the better team to begin the game, Philly had trouble getting back into the game shutting the Flyers out twice.
The Islanders had a perfect penalty kill against Philly by not allowing any power-play goals. The Islanders netminders, Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, split time in net both with very successful starts. Greiss had 2 shutouts in his 3 starts.
The New York Islanders’ Negatives from the 2nd Round
The Islanders had a 3-1 series lead and let a team back in and eventually evened the series. The Islanders cannot allow a team like Tampa to claw it’s way back in a series. As a result of the Isles prolonged series, they only have one day off before the Eastern Conference Finals.
On the other hand, Tampa Bay is well-rested and they had 6 days off in between rounds. The Islanders have had problems in overtime. 3 times in the last round the Islanders came back in the game to force overtime, but couldn’t find a way to win any of the sudden-deaths. The Isles now have a 1-3 record in overtime these playoffs.
Tampa Bay’s Positives and Negatives from the 2nd Round
The Lightning made quick work of the Boston Bruins last round to earn a well-deserved rest. Tampa Bay was the only team in the latest round to have a short series. They played 5 games while all the other teams played 7. After dropping the first game to Boston they won 4 straight to end the Bruins’ season. Despite their recent success, the Lightning has been missing key contributors including their Captain, Steven Stamkos.
Who Has the Edge?
Both teams have been very impressive thus earning a trip to the Conference Finals. However, one teams’ season has to come to an end. The series could go either way and it really comes down to the wire. That being said, due to having more rest the Lightning has a slight edge in this series. The Islanders have been the underdogs the entire playoffs so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they pull off another upset.