- The Boston Bruins have won two of three games so far versus the New York Islanders
- Boston won Game 3 in overtime on the road just like New York won Game 2
- Does New York still have value even though Boston has gained back home-ice advantage?
The New York Islanders have value despite losing Game 3 on Thursday night to Boston.
New York dropped a home game to Boston but has still won four of their last five games on Long Island and Brooklyn. The Islanders have also won a game on the road.
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Despite this, Boston will be favored in every game the rest of the series. They are an early -141 favorite for Game 4. The Isles are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games, however.
Islanders vs Bruins Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|New York Islanders||+380|
Odds as of June 4thAdvertising Disclosure
Are the Islanders the More Complete Team?
The past dozen games prior to Game 4 have been pretty even between the two teams. Boston has won six times, and New York has also won six times. Both teams have gone on runs of several games against each other.
Bruce Cassidy prior to this series said this about New York.
Boston Bruins Bruce Cassidy sees his Bruins in the Islanders..” They have a lot of our attributes.They want to be structured.They want to play with discipline.”@TomCuddySports pic.twitter.com/SyXPWulTvA
— Tom Cuddy (@TomCuddySports) May 27, 2021
Aside from the third period of Game 1, the series has been even, which favors the Islanders. The longer the games stay tied, it feels like the greater the odds New York has of winning. They have to drag out games to win.
Are they the more complete team? No. Does New York have a greater opportunity to win close games? Yes.
Bend But Not Break
New York must play differently against Boston when the Bruins’ top two lines are healthy. Craig Smith makes a big difference in this series, and his return in Game 3 paid dividends.
Smith scored a goal in Thursday night’s overtime win. Furthermore, it was about Boston’s second-line dominance.
During Taylor Hall's 16:37 of 5-on-5 ice time tonight, the Bruins outshot the Islanders 15-0.
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) June 4, 2021
Taylor Hall was double shifted a few times at even strength, but this drives home the point. Hall and Smith play most of their time together, and so far, the Islanders have had few answers.
New York has had to play a bit of a rope-a-dope style. They allow more shots and chances to create small windows of transition later. This almost worked in Game 3 as Mathew Barzal tied the game, and New York nearly won in the closing seconds of regulation.
The Islanders know Boston’s top-six presents matchup problems, but Boston knows New York’s transition creates its own. Their structures are different means to the same, disciplined end.
Why Did Scoring Spike Early?
This is why. Game 1 was 2-2 going into the third period when Boston’s top-six erupted for three straight goals. Game 2 featured the Islanders striking three straight times only for Boston to tie then lose in overtime. The big reason was how both teams played. Again, mistakes end up as goals.
NHL PLAYOFFS: Brad Marchand just fired the puck at the net and it got past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Marchand scored 3:36 into overtime and the Boston Bruins beat New York 2-1 Thursday night in Game 3 to take the lead in the second-round playoff series.
— Tony White (@TonyUbiquitymme) June 4, 2021
Early in the series, the top line combined for six goals and 12 points. The trend has headed down from three goals to two to one. Familiarity breeds less scoring.
Boston had scored three or more goals in six straight contests against the New York Islanders. New York tallied four-plus times in three of four early-season matchups. In Game 3, the goaltenders and defense made less critical mistakes. Basically, discipline returned things to normalcy.
Bruins vs Islanders Series Trends
Did Game 3 shift series momentum? It does feel a lot like the Game 3 from the Boston-Washington series that swung towards Boston. The Bruins went on to close Washington out. However, the New York Islanders are not the Washington Capitals. Barry Trotz has a well-coached team with four lines that are capable of generating timely offense. Even New York’s power-play is 3-for-9 in the series. That trend may continue.
Between the improved power play and transition game, New York can stay in the series where Washington could not. This is why the New York Islanders at +380 series odds still have value. Boston is not quite the team that Tampa Bay is, and New York is just a team that cannot be dismissed. The 2020 playoffs showed it is okay to look at New York with plus money.
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