If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to succeed, well – there is very little the Penguins can do on their own to not succeed. This series is really about what the New York Islanders can do to prevent themselves from an early first round exit from the playoffs.
Defeating the Penguins is not an impossibility. If the Islanders watched any film on the Penguins leading up to the start of tomorrow’s series – it should be the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins series from last playoffs.
New staff writer here at Sabrnoise Cory Buck points out that last years Penguins were just as deep talent wise, had more speed, and spread the puck around just as much as this years more dangerous squad. Why did the Flyers beat them – they agitated the hell out of the Penguins to the point where Sidney Crosby was worrying about dropping gloves than lighting lamps.
That is a constant theme around the table. The Pittsburgh Penguins according to Andrew – are chock full of present, past, and future captains of professional hockey teams. If they can maintain the composure that they lost in last years playoffs – this one is going to be easy for them to put in the bag and move on to opponent number two.
The Islanders don’t have the depth or the powerhouse players that Pittsburgh has – but if they can play a miserable slugfest and turn the first round into an ugly hockey series, they stand a chance at dropping the second best regular season team in the basket.
Cory and Caitlin have the Penguins cruising by the Islanders in five games – Andrew has the Islanders winning two but falling to the Pens in six games. I think the Penguins have a better chance at sweeping the Islanders than the Chicago Blackhawks have at sweeping the Minnesota Wild.
The Islanders have to stay healthy – a factor that doesn’t really play into the cards for the Penguins who have enough talent and depth to overcome injury – something they have proven time and again – but as Andrew points out, this isn’t play station – sometimes having all the best players doesn’t mean you have all the right players.
Are the shoulders of John Tavares and Evgeni Nabokov strong enough to carry the Islanders?