Lighthouse Hockey is an Islanders-focused site, but we have an annual tradition of polling our readers to pick each playoff series. No reason to dispense with this tradition just because the Islanders have put us in the suddenly unfamiliar position of watching playoff series that actually involve them.
As has been noted in many quarters, Toronto is the most outshot team to make the playoffs since 2002. They rely on James Reimer to save their bacon, and some speedy (and very talented) forwards to convert on the counterattack. Through 48 games, it worked.
For the next seven games, it shouldn't.
The Bruins are a better team. They struggled some down the stretch -- oh man, are teams allowed to do that? -- and Milan Lucic hasn't been Mythical Beast Milan Lucic in a while, but the Bruins should be able to take this series without much incident.
|2.21 (3rd)||GA||2.67 (17th)|
|54.35 (4th)||Fen/Cl.||44.01 (29th)|
I know some are understandably suspicious of how comprehensively advanced stats can serve us. There are always outliers, whether they be from small sample sizes or from untrackable factors.
But the Leafs are soooo far down the league table in possession stats, they are unlikely to win a series and are a 100% guarantee not to advance multiple rounds. Teams that play that far in the red cannot get lucky enough to advance far against consistently good competition.
That said, it's cool to see them face off in the playoffs. May luck and chaos rein, and an interesting series result.
The series schedule:
|Game||Date||Matchup||Time (ET)||National TV|
|Game 1||Wed, May 1||Maple Leafs at Bruins||7 p.m.||CNBC, CBC, RDS|
|Game 2||Sat, May 4||Maple Leafs at Bruins||7 p.m.||CNBC, CBC, RDS|
|Game 3||Mon, May 6||Bruins at Maple Leafs||7 p.m.||NHL Net, CBC, RDS|
|Game 4||Wed, May 8||Bruins at Maple Leafs||7 p.m.||NHL Net, CBC, RDS|
|Game 5*||Fri, May 10||Maple Leafs at Bruins||7 p.m.||CBC, RDS|
|Game 6*||Sun, May 12||Bruins at Maple Leafs||TBD||CBC, RDS|
|Game 7*||Mon, May 13||Maple Leafs at Bruins||TBD||CBC, RDS|
And now, tell us who you think will win, and why?
LHH Playoff Pool
You'll see this in the other playoff poll posts, but Mark set up a pool (no money involved, this is Communist LHH remember) like last year for everyone to make their full playoff picks, for all four rounds. Bonus for getting upsets right. No actual prizes -- this is just for fun. Link and full details here.