We know that the Islanders play a structured game — but what can we expect?
It’s interesting to see how Barry Trotz’s coaching and system have transformed (as good coaches do) from a Capitals team that was able to shut down the middle of the ice against the Penguins to an Islanders team who clog the middle in their own end and force you to the outside.
Seeing this type of game plan I think is a good starting point. Shoot often, shoot from all angles, and get traffic in front of the net. Yes, that’s right, that is Patric Hornqvist’s music that you hear.
Playoff Preview Metropolitan 2-3: Pittsburgh (49%) at New York (51%).— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) April 8, 2019
The most closely-matched series of the first round. Pittsburgh's offence is better, but the Islanders goaltenders are better, so I expect highlights from at least one end of the rink. pic.twitter.com/pIKhL93VqR
I find it interesting to see the Islanders with the higher percentage (51 percent) here, mainly due to the raw talent. Combine that with the long stretch of poor possession metrics for Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy (who are likely to face Sidney Crosby), and I think the Penguins’ chances are much better than a coin flip.
Islanders offence is more structured, revolves around right-defender shots and working into the slot/netfront to the exclusion of all else; similarly at 5v4. Goaltending is very good, especially recently; team defence is decent. pic.twitter.com/jPlZWlBt93— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) April 8, 2019
Much as they like to keep things to the outside in the defensive zone, the Islanders also have a particular way they like to attack the net in the offensive zone, and it revolves around a lot of shots from the right point using a defenseman. This is something the Penguins will surely be studying up on and working towards having someone tracking that spot, getting sticks in lanes, getting bodies in front of pucks, and being ready to force the Islanders into changing things up a little bit.
In terms of who and in how many games, it could hardly be closer. pic.twitter.com/0HqUgrzHIS— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) April 8, 2019
I’ve personally got Penguins in six games. It all gets started Wednesday night.