The New York Islanders will face the Washington Capitals in round 1 of the 2020 NHL playoffs. Most, if not all, Islanders fans wanted this matchup. No matter how cold the Boston Bruins are, they are still the toughest team to play. The Islanders have a real shot of beating the Capitals and advancing to round 2 for the second straight year. There are two keys to this series that the Islanders must complete for them to win.
Alex Ovechkin could be 60 years old and barely be able to skate anymore, but still, he’d be one of the most dangerous players on the ice. Ovechkin has been playing in the NHL for 19 years, and he’s still one of the most explosive players on the ice. He has had one shot that no goalie/defense could ever stop. Ovechkin goes right into the left circle and receives the pass from the defenseman at the point, boom he’s scoring that every time. There is literally a player on the ice whose specific job is to stop Ovi from getting the puck there. The Islanders must not let Ovechkin tee up his wrister if they want to win the series.
Not Getting too Fancy
The Islanders have a tendency not to take a billion shots, but instead, just take one “perfect” shot. The Florida Panthers powerplay works because they shoot for rebounds and better chances. The Islanders just pass it around for 2 minutes and take one shot from the point. The Islanders need to take 35-40 shots a game, hope for a rebound and hope that the guy you pay $7 million dollars will tap it in. The Capitals are a good team, but no good team can stop a rebound shot when the goalie is out of position.
The Islanders have a tough challenge ahead of them. The Capitals have Ovi, Backstrom, Vrana, Oshie, Carlson, and Holtby. It will be interesting to see Barry Trotz match up his guys.