The NHL playoff schedule is even more messed up than usual this season thanks to the pandemic and the staggered series starts (Canada began its series only, like, halfway through the Canucks-Flames exhibition marathon), so it’s no shock that our first snapshot of Round 2 is just that.
The New York Islanders will begin their second-round series (I guess we can call it a “division final” this year?) on Saturday night in Boston, for an official 8 p.m. EDT start on NBC (U.S.). The first round will still be going on at the same time, as the Leafs and Canadiens will play Game 6. (Update: The Predators and Hurricanes also would’ve had Game 7 that day, but Carolina finished that series tonight with an overtime win in Nashville).
[Update: Game 2 is Monday in Boston.]
Though three other series finished before the Islanders sent the Penguins to their latest navel-gazing crisis, the Islanders-Bruins was the first pair of opponents to be set, thanks to the Capitals and Penguins rolling over like obedient little has-beens.
It’s not a lot of rest for the Islanders, who finished off the Penguins in a decently physical series on Wednesday night, but it’s not “beat Pittsburgh in Game 7 OT tonight, head to Montreal tomorrow” either.
The Bruins have been off since Sunday, when they eliminated the Washington Capitals in Game 5. So, lots of rest for them but not so much that you’d necessarily call it rust.
For the Bruins, this is sweet timing, as restrictions will be mostly lifted and they’ll have close to a full house at [some bank or tire company or enema] Garden.
For the Islanders, I’m going to bet that Oliver Wahlstrom is still not ready to return — or perhaps is overlooked for veteran presence in a hostile building — so Travis Zajac may get the call again. If you missed it, Michael Dal Colle “tweaked” something in practice and was not a candidate to replace Wahlstrom for Game 6.
If you’re looking to do some homework within our network, Stanley Cup of Chowder has good people despite their congenital condition of following the Bruins.