For the first time in over a year, the Boston Bruins will face the New York Islanders in front of a nearly full TD Garden. It will also be the first time since 1983 that these two teams face each other in the post-season. The excitement will be felt in the air and on the ice as the team gets ready for another round of Playoff hockey.
“Can’t wait to see that and how loud it’s gonna be and how excited the fans are gonna be. Definitely, gonna have a huge adrenaline rush off of that”Bruins Forward Brad Marchand
Unlike the Capitals team who threw around their weight against the Bruins, the Islanders are a different story. In the end, it was a more disciplined play that propelled the B’s over Washington, but this time around Boston will face a team that’s similarly structured. During the regular season, the Bruins went 3-3-2 (with two being an overtime and shoot-out loss). With the addition of Taylor Hall, Mike Reilly, and Curtis Lazar, the Isles will have some homework to do as they face a different Bruins team. Boston will simply have to be that much more regimented, stingier with their defense, have better goaltending, and (once again) need to stay out of the penalty box.
Very well-coached…they’re a very patient team, they defend well. I think they have a lot of our attributes. They want to be structured, they want to be disciplined, they have good goaltending. Their D, they want to get involved, but they play D first. They have different lines that can hurt you. In that regard, we’re playing ourselves a little bit.”Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy
Expect one goal-deciding games and the ever-lovely heart-attack-inducing overtimes during this series. The Bruins for the most part are healthy and need to play a very tight game to push this series along. With an injured Kevan Miller out for an undisclosed amount of time, Jeremy Lauzon will be slotted next to Connor Clifton. Clifton for his part has made his presence felt in this post-season by logging in some healthy ice time while playing his offside. In the Game Four win against the Caps, Clifton played 6:23 minutes on the penalty kill with three hits and multiple blocked shots. Aggressive in his zone, Clifton will need to continue to keep his play under control and find that balance.
Despite not having played since last Sunday, some may expect a little rust from the team. However playing in front of a blistering crowd, a refreshed Bruins team will be rearing to go.
“They’ve (Islanders) played more recently in a high-intensity game so there may be a bit of an advantage…I just think the rest for any team is good in the long run if you have aspirations of making a long run…”Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy
THE OTHER GUYS
For the Islanders, expect a similar lineup from their previous game with Pittsburgh. Oliver Wahlstrom is still day-to-day and will not play tonight. Rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin will most likely get the nod in between the pipes as he won all four postseason games playing against the Penguins. The Bruins will need to keep Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, and Josh Bailey at bay as they combined for eight points. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak combined for 13 points and will most certainly be on the Isle’s mind. The rejuvenated second line of Taylor Hall, David Krejci, and Crag Smith also pose a threat as they have a combined 45 points in 16 games since signing Hall.
Both teams will need to stay focused and physical when needed as this series is looking to be a long one.
PROJECTED LINEUPS BOSTON BRUINS
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall – David Krejci – Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly – Curtis Lazar – Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
Jeremy Lauzon – Connor Clifton
PROJECTED LINEUP NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Leo Komarov – Mathew Barzal – Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier – Brock Nelson – Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri – J.G. Pageau – Travis Zajac
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy – Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene – Noah Dobson
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH: Tonight, with puck drop at 8:00 PM, TD Garden, NBC
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Featured Image courtesy of Adam Glanzman/Getty Images