The Islanders and Bruins, second-round playoff opponents, whose series opened in Boston on Saturday night, aren’t precise mirror images of each other (who’s the Brad Marchand equivalent in the Islands, for example?), but they’re close Enough with their approach to the game.
Both teams are tireless in tracking down puck wearers and limiting the time and space of their opponents. Both teams are tough and go hard into the net, the B’s preferring to sometimes go tough through opposing goalkeepers. Both teams make it difficult to get inside. Both teams have superior goalkeepers.
Also, both teams were full by close of trading. The islanders improved their depth and partially filled in the hole created by Anders Lee’s absence when the Devils took over Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. The Bruins reinvented their second line by acquiring Taylor Hall from the Sabers.
And Hall, who settled down after a sour 2019-20 period of being welcomed to New Jersey before passing through Arizona traveled through most of his stay in Buffalo, regaining the passion and form that earned him the 2018 Hart Trophy.
That makes Boston a much more impressive outfit and a much tougher club to compete against. That’s because now it’s not just about including the first line by Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak (for whom the nickname “P” never appears in this area, regardless of how perfectly the line was constructed), but also the challenge of facing Hall with a resuscitated David Krejci in the middle and Craig Smith on the other side.
Before acquiring the 29-year-old winger, the Bruins had Nick Ritchie or Charlie Coyle in the second row given quite a bit of time. Ritchie and Coyle are now playing on a physical third line with Jake DeBrusk.
“It really got everyone into their right places on the bus since they got Taylor Hall,” said Islanders coach Barry Spy. “So if you look at our second pair [Nick Leddy-Scott Mayfield] and which line, it gave them first to second lines from an outsider that poses a threat and can sometimes be a game changer for them.
” whatever is out there, they have to do a really good job and respect what they can because they are very dangerous, they have good complementary pieces on both lines, they have some speed and some finish on the first line with a very creative center .
“And their second line has some speed and a very creative centerman and they can do a lot of similar things,” said the Islanders coach. “Your third and fourth lines give you a really good balance across the team, though that second line puts everyone in their place and makes them so dangerous.
“We’re going to need all of the lines and pairs out there against them to have the same respect for this line as they do Having Bergeron line and making sure you narrow it down – I don’t know if you can keep it off the scoreboard – as much as you can. “
In the five-game first-round win over the Capitals, the Bergeron line and the Krejci unit each scored four goals in a five-on-five game. Hall came on with a pair against Washington after he had eight goals in 16 regular season games as Bruin after a disastrous performance with the Sabers, scoring two goals in 37 games.
While the Bruins were closing their deal for Hall, the acquired Islanders Palmieri and Zajac.
Palmieri had become an integral part of the third row, with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the middle and Oliver Wahlstrom on the other, Zajac joined the unit after suffering a leg injury.
“Two things Palms did for us are that he gave us a more natural scorer,” said Defiant. “Michael Dal Colle was there for a while and got injured so we had a hole.” / p> “Michael has this year r played very well, nothing against him, but not much was produced. But we needed a bit more finish in our line-up and Kyle delivered a bit of grit, a bit of finish and a bit of experience.
“Now, without Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom, you need people to come in and a really good one Doing a job. So if we had neither Palmieri nor Zajac, we would be deep in the depths. “
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