After a dominant first round from Carter Hart, the Flyers are getting set to take on the Islanders in round two. Photo from @flyers_fanly (Twitter).
- The Islanders and Flyers are set to square off in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
- Philadelphia beat Montreal in six games; New York downed Washington in five
- With Game 1 set for Monday at 7pm EST, we break down the odds and give our pick
After smothering Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, the Islanders now get set to take on the top-seeded Flyers in round two.
Philly had some trouble solving Carey Price despite winning their series. They scored five goals in the first four games of the series, and ended up being outscored 13-11 by Montreal.
So with a similar challenge on tap, can the Islanders make a statement against the Flyers in Game 1?
Islanders vs Flyers Game 1 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Puckline||Total at DraftKings|
|New York Islanders||+108||+1.5 (-275)||Over 5 (-134)|
|Philadelphia Flyers||-124||-1.5 (+220)||Under 5 (+110)|
Odds as of Aug. 22nd.
Not surprisingly, the Islanders vs Flyers odds are close at DraftKings.
While Philly is favored to take Game 1, the books are expecting it to be close, which makes sense. The Islanders allowed two or fewer goals against the Capitals in four of five games. The Flyers scored two or fewer in each of their first four games against the Habs, and never scored more than three.
The Flyers are currently favored to win the series.
Carter Hart Must Do it Again vs Islanders
The big story in round one was Carter Hart.
Philly’s sophomore netminder was playing his idol Carey Price, and went shot-for-shot with him. On paper, this looks like an easier challenge as Montreal scored 20 more goals than the Islanders this season. But it depends which Hart the Isles face.
Carter Hart: Wins vs Losses against MTL
This isn’t an indictment of Hart. He will likely evolve into one of the best goalies in the league over the next few years, if he isn’t on the cusp of it now. But in round one his two losses were clunkers.
And now Hart goes from facing the Habs, who had the most high-danger chances through Qualifying and the first round, to the Islanders, who are third.
“It was a really special moment. Obviously I look up to him and for him to come over…It was a hell of a series and it was really special. It’s something I’ll never forget.”- Hart on postgame 🤝 with Price. #AnytimeAnywhere | #PHIvsMTL pic.twitter.com/McJP1EO8EB
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 22, 2020
While you think of them as a defense-first club, this isn’t just a playoff facade. The Islanders were fourth in the regular season when it comes to HDCF at 5v5, better than teams like the Leafs, Capitals, Oilers and Lightning. So this isn’t a roll-over for Hart.
Flyers Big Guns Must Step Up
You could choose to think of the Flyers’ offensive woes against Montreal one of two ways. The first is that Carey Price played up to his title as the best goalie in the world and did everything he could to win.
Preview of what’s probably coming if the Flyers manage to make it out of this round… https://t.co/HAG5Ch0l9B
— Kurt (@Kurt_BSH) August 21, 2020
The second, is that Philly is lucky to move on because their brightest offensive stars have yet to shine when it matters most. If you subscribe to the second theory, then they’ll need to be better against the Islanders.
Flyers Top 5 Scorers: Regular Season vs First Round
This group scored five goals. And Jakub Voarcek scored four of them.
Granted Semyon Varlamov isn’t Carey Price, but he may not have to be. The Islanders figured out a way to keep the Capitals to 26 or fewer shots in four of their five games.
Game 1 is Pivotal Between Flyers, Islanders
While it’s tough to use the regular season as a barometer here, the Islanders took all three meetings with the Flyers.
And we expect them to take this one too.
Barry Trotz’s team will put on another masterclass in defending, limiting a Flyers attack that needs to get going. Hart will do enough to keep the total under five, but the Isles come out on top.
The Pick: New York Islanders (+108); UNDER (+110)
Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.