It’s official — the Boston Bruins will be taking on the New York Islanders in the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Isles took care of the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games Wednesday night.
Game 1 of the series between the B’s and Isles will take place Saturday night at 8 PM on NBC with Boston being home for the first two games as they are the higher seed.
Like the Black and Gold, the Isles were technically the underdog in their series as they were the fourth seed in the East and the Pens were the first seed. However, like Boston, the Islanders took advantage of questionable goaltending and played shutdown defense with stellar goaltending of their own.
With just one day until Game 1 of the series, let’s take a closer look at the Islanders — going over their regular-season offense, defense, and goaltending; postseason offense, defense, and goaltending; as well as how they’ve faired against the B’s this season.
Bruins In-depth Analysis of the Islanders:
Regular-season in general
As mentioned, the Isles finished in fourth place in the East, going 32-17-7 and accumulating 71 points. However, the Isles’ season could be broken up into three parts — with Anders Lee, without Anders Lee, and after the trade deadline.
The Isles started off the season quite well and even held first place for a little bit. Through their first 27 games they went 17-6-4. I used their first 27 games, because Lee would be injured with a season-ending ACL tear in their 27th game of the season against the New Jersey Devils.
Lee is extremely important to the team as he’s their captain, first line left wing, and scores 20+ goals a season. While the Islanders had won seven games in a row when Lee went down and they continued to nine games after his injury, they wouldn’t be even close to the same team without their captain as they were with him.
The 29 games without Lee were a struggle for the Isles. They went from being one of the top-two teams in the East to barely solidifying the fourth and final playoff spot for the division. With the team struggling, general manager Lou Lamoriello was forced to give up significant draft capital for veterans Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac on April 7 of this season.
Before acquiring the two former New Jersey Devils, the Isles had played 12 games without Lee, going 8-4-0. After the deadline deal, the Islanders finished out the season going 7-7-2. In total, without Lee, the Isles went 15-11-2.