The NHL Playoffs are finally upon us, which means it’s time to look ahead to what the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs hold. From the best team in hockey down to those who limped in at the very end of the season, this year’s field is loaded with teams itching to see their championship dreams realized. All the action kicks off April 30th, so let’s take a look at what’s in store for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
|SERIES A||TIME (ET)||#1 VS. #8||NETWORKS|
|WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2013||7:30 P.M.||NY ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH||NBCSN, TSN|
|FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013||7 P.M.||NY ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH||NBCSN, TSN|
|SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013||12 P.M.||PITTSBURGH AT NY ISLANDERS||NBC, TSN|
|TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013||7 P.M.||PITTSBURGH AT NY ISLANDERS||NBCSN, TSN|
|*THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013||7 P.M.||NY ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH||TSN|
|*SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2013||TBD||PITTSBURGH AT NY ISLANDERS||TSN|
|*SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013||TBD||NY ISLANDERS AT PITTSBURGH||TSN|
There’s no doubting that the Penguins are the créme de le créme of the Eastern Conference, but the loss of Sidney Crosby could end up being fatal to their Stanley Cup dreams. It won’t only have a Derrick Rose-type of blow to moral, it’s that the Penguins are aware that this isn’t the first time Crosby has missed time for a head injury and it’s not a fun thing to imagine what life will be like down the road. That being said, Crosby has missed time this season and the Pens still rose to the top. They’re not perfect but they’re by far the best team in the East right now.
New York Islanders:
Typically the unloved brother of the more popular Rangers, the New York Islanders aren’t a team to sleep on this season. Sure, they’re the eight seed in the East, but the Isles have quick, young skates that can go hard and last long into hard fought games. But while they’re young and fast, New York is undersized when it comes to defensemen and that could be an issue. They also have a regular season penalty kill percentage of just over 80 percent, and that’s not going to get it done in the post season.
The Penguins are hurting without Sidney Crosby but they made some pretty amazing deals at the deadline incase something like that happened. Jarome Iginla will be relied on more without Crosby as will other guys like Malkin and the crew. But as powerful and good as the Pens have been this season, don’t sleep on the Isles who could overwhelm the Pens with their speed and youth.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins win series 4-1