East Wild Card 1 New York Islanders vs. Atlantic 1 Florida Panthers
SS: FLA 2-1-0
It’s the first playoff battle for the “Torrey Cup”. Bill Torrey was a member in the front office of both. The Panthers have a ton of young talent led by veterans such as Brian Campbell, Jussi Jokinen, Roberto Luongo, Willie Mitchell (injured) and Jaromir Jagr. The Panthers won a crazy shootout where each team scored until Brock Nelson was robbed by Luongo after 5 rounds. The second game jumpstarted the Panthers 12 game winning streak 5-1 and game 3 was a loss the Cats blew in the final 7 minutes 3-2. Erik Gudbranson is ready to go as well as Trocheck midway through the series. The series starts April 14th. Here is the key matchup:
Barkov vs. Tavares
So far Aleksander Barkov has shut down the offensive centerman. I hope he can keep it going.
My prediction: Florida (not biased)