For the first time since 2012, the Philadelphia Flyers will play in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They will face the New York Islanders.
The Flyers & Islanders have met only four times in the playoffs. With the most recent occasion coming in the 1987 Division Finals. The Flyers are 3-1 all-time in those four series.
During the regular season, the Islanders had the Flyers number. Beating the Flyers in all 3-games played. Outscoring the Flyers 14-9 in those 3-contests.
Since Barry Trotz was named head coach in 2018, the Flyers success against the Islanders has shifted. Going 2-5 & being outscored 26-21 in the seven matchups with Trotz as head coach.
Before the Islanders, while with the Capitals, the Flyers has good success against Trotz. When with the Capitals, the Flyers were 9-7 against Trotz. Outscoring the Capitals 43-42.
If the Flyers can take anything out of their Round 1 series vs the Canadiens it is the style of play. The Islanders & Canadiens play a very similar style of game. Both play a more speedy, hard-nosed in your face style of play.
Throughout the series, the Flyers had minor issues with the Canadiens style. Just look at Game2 if you need a reference. But, unlike the Canadiens, the Islanders will bring that effort on a night in & night out basis.
Against Montreal, the Flyers were able to win close 1-goal games. Scoring only 11 goals all series. Setting a franchise record for least goals scored to win a series. That will have to continue to bet an Islanders team who scored 17-goals in just 5-games against the Capitals. Including 4-or-more in three of their five games.
Keys To Series
1- Carter Hart will play a big role in the series. After showing no nerves in his first career playoff series, the Flyers will need Hart to lead them as he did vs the Canadiens.
Against the Canadiens, Carter Hart was the most important Flyers player. If it was not for Hart, the Flyers may have been headed for a Game7 or even an early exit to the playoffs. It was the first time in Flyers history they won a series while being outscored.
Carter Hart stole Game 3 & 4 to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead. A lead they finished & eliminated the Canadiens with in Game6. In Hart’s 4-wins, Carter had two shutouts, 0.75GAA, & .974%. For the series, Hart was 4-2 with 1.95 GAA, .935%, & two shutouts.
2- The Flyers once daunted power-play continues to be mediocre at best. After scoring on their first power-play in the series, the Flyers would then go 0-for-18 over the next 3-games before scoring three times in Game5.
However, that can’t happen against the Islanders. With every goal more important than the next now, every goal the Flyers can get, needs to find the back of the net.
The Flyers 4-for-28 power-play in round 1 was dead last.
3- If you were told before round 1 the Flyers would get only two-goals out of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, & Ivan Provorov and win the series. You would have thought that person was crazy.
But, sometimes the crazy does happen. Just like it did in round 1.
The Flyers did not get a goal from their leading goal-scorers from the regular season until Game6. Ivan Provorov & Kevin Hayes goals in Game 6 helped lead the Flyers to the series win.
In round 2, the Flyers will rely heavily on these five. With the Flyers depth on display in round 1, it is now time for the Flyers leaders to take over.
4- Since their 4-game losing streak to start January, the Flyers have yet to lose back-to-back games. A mentality and bounce-back that has continued so far in the playoffs.
The game after the Flyers 10-losses since January 7th, the Flyers are a perfect 10-0. Outscoring their opponents 44-19 in those 10-games. Including 2-0 in their 1st round series vs Montreal. Outscoring the Canadiens 4-2 in those 2-games.
A short term memory is a key to any teams success in the playoffs. Whether is be losing after having a lead or being blown out. Forgetting about it & moving on quickly is something the Flyers have had no problem with so far.
5- Could Oskar Lindblom possibly return in the 2nd round vs the Islanders? Oskar Lindblom has been in Toronto with the Flyers since the first weekend of games. Joining the team on a regular basis last Saturday after completing his quarantine.
Before joining the Flyers in Toronto, Lindblom went home to Sweden to visit family. But, Lindblom also took the time to get back on the ice with his former team Brynas.
Since last Saturday, Lindblom has practiced with the Flyers everyday. While also skating & working out on his own. Michael Raffl said after the Flyers Game3 win that “he’s (Oskar) is at the gym at the hotel every morning. He’s trying to get back as fast as he can.” Alain Vigneault mentioned that “I’ve (Vigneault) been told that Oskar could play at some point in September.”
With the end of round 2 coming at the beginning of September, it is still unlikely that Oskar returns vs the Islanders. But, that didn’t stop Oskar from saying “We’ll see how I feel when I start skating here for real with the team and we’ll take it from there; Just take it slow and see what happens.”
Monday 8/24 Game 1 – New York Islanders 7:00pm NBCSN
Wednesday 8/26 Game 2 – New York Islanders 3:00pm NBCSN
Thursday 8/27 Game 3 – @ New York Islanders 7:00pm NBCSN
Saturday 8/29 Game 4 – @ New York Islanders Noon NBC
Monday 8/31 Game 5 – New York Islanders TBD *If necessary
Wednesday 9/2 Game 6 – @ New York Islanders TBD *If necessary
Thursday 9/3 Game 7 – New York Islanders TBD *If necessary