Gary Bettman made a return to play announcement for the NHL today, confirming the 24-team playoff format. This means the New York Islanders will be playing against the Florida Panthers in a best-of-five series, to determine which team moves on to the first round.
The Islanders won all of their games against Florida this season, though each was a close, low-scoring game. While they went 3-0 against the Panthers, New York was also outshot by an average of 36-31 per game. Considering Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov weren’t performing overly well at the time the season was paused, hopefully this won’t be a problem for the Islanders. Regardless, this is a good matchup for New York.
In 2016, the Islanders beat Florida to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in over two decades and hopefully, their good playoff fortunes against the Panthers continue this year.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted on the weekend):
Do you think the Islanders will win their qualifying round series against the Panthers?