New York Islanders vs Florida Panthers - stats & writer's commentary

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

New York

35-23-10

PP% 17.26 (25th) | 2.82 GF/G (22nd)

PK% 80.46 (17th) | 2.84 GA/G (22nd)

Goalies:

Thomas Greiss 16-9-4, .913, 2.74

Semyon Varlamov 19-14-6, .914, 2.62

Key Players:

Mathew Barzal: 60 points

Brock Nelson: 54 points




Florida

35-26-8

PP% 21.13 (12th) | 3.26 GF/G (6th)

PK% 78.61 (20th) | 3.30 GA/G (4th)

Goalies:

Sergei Bobrovsky 23-19-6, .900, 3.23

Chris Driedger 7-2-1, .938, 2.05

Key Players:

Jonathan Huberdeau: 78 points

Aleksander Barkov: 62 points






Islander's Secret Weapon: 1-1-3 Trap

Trap explained here (first video)

This strategy has proved effective time and time again - if Florida doesn't figure out a way to stop that setup in its tracks, they better hope their defense is consistent.



Notes for NYI:

- Mathew Barzal needs to keep his momentum going as the team’s best playmaker. With Nelson as their top scorer, they are dangerous.

- Both goalies need to be on top of their game. They are pretty even, so as long as they can both act as brick walls, they’re set.

-If the Isles miss a lot of opportunities and struggle to get a hold on Aleksander Barkov, Florida is going to create problems for them.

- The Isles’ top 2 lines are the team’s best scorers. If they can’t deliver, they’re in trouble.

1 – Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle

2 – Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey



Notes for FLA:

- They need to be able to beat the Isles’ trap strategy and take advantage of PP’s.

- New acquisitions Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark need to step up - they have the potential to be decent assets for FLA during this short series.

- Yandle was at his best last season and kept a steady pace this year. He’s a good defenseman that the Isles should not sleep on.

- Sergei Bobrovsky needs a second wind. If he isn’t sharp in net, their defense will falter. He will be returning after suffering a lower-body injury before the break, so there’s a bit of concern there.

- Biggest issue: either Bob is slipping or standing on his head behind a weak D. Most likely a bit of both.



Conclusion:

Florida is coming together, but they’ve still got some work to do; It seems like their team identity hasn't been fully realized yet. They also have a rough record against the isles (0-3) - they need to change their strategies against this New York team. Hopefully for the Panthers sake, this pause will give them a second wind. The Isles have a system that makes them tricky to play against and they have a solid structure. As long as they don't sleep on this Florida team, the series is theirs.




Prediction


New York in 4



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