Battle of the Meatheads: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
The first official round of the playoffs features a matchup between the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders.
NHL Playoffs Series Prices: Washington Capitals (-145) vs New York Islanders (+125)
If you like old-time hockey, this may be the series for you. I am expecting a lot of hits in this series, and maybe even a few fights. As you may or may not know, the Islanders have the best 4th line thats ever lived.
If you are looking for a drinking game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, just take a drink every time this line is mentioned ^. The Islanders have Barry Trotz behind the bench and he likes to use this line as a shutdown unit. Trotz will be very motivated to play the team he took to a Stanley Cup in 2018. The Islanders are coming off a play-in series against the Florida Panthers where they won 3-1 in the series. Out of all the play-in series' in the NHL, it was definitely the worst entertainment-wise. The Islanders are a defensive first team and will look to make this a boring series by dumping and chasing every opportunity they get. I wouldn't even be surprised if Matt Martin dumps the puck in on a breakaway.
The Capitals capped off the round-robin with a huge 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins and thankfully avoided a much better Carolina Hurricanes squad. However, a major question mark in this series is the status of John Carlson. They were without Carlson throughout the round-robin play due to an injury, but all signs point towards it being a precautionary measure. He is a vital piece of this Capitals team as a shutdown defenseman and a powerplay specialist. The Capitals know the Islanders will try to play the body a lot, and that's where Tom Wilson shines the most. Wilson will be the x-factor for the Capitals in this series with his hard forecheck and big hits to match the Islanders hall of fame 4th line.
Let's face it... the Capitals have much more skill than the Islanders and that will ultimately take over in this series. The Islanders will look to make this a grinding low scoring series no doubt, but the Capitals can play that game as well. Look for Alexander Ovechkin and the star players of the Capitals to gradually take over this series after a lackluster round-robin performance. Ovi's journey to a second cup starts here. If you get eliminated by a team with Leo Komarov on it, you may as well retire.
Capitals take the series... in 6