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Fish Sticks; The Stanley Cup Playoffs are wide open for Isles

The New York Islanders finally have their second round matchup and are ready to play some hockey after a week and a half layoff.  They have everything in their favor;  Their opponent just finished a grueling seven game series which resulted in the injuries to two of their stars and a Double OT series clincher.  They’ve been resting for a while and have as many healthy bodies as they can, minus Johnny Boychuk.

The Islanders may not be the best team left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but the playoffs is wide open right now.  Division winners Tampa, Washington, Nashville and Calgary have all lost in the first round and the Islanders are the second “best” regular season team left in the playoffs, just behind Boston.

The Islanders have a chance to blow the door open and fight their way into the Eastern Conference Finals.  It won’t be easy as they face the pesky and always game Carolina Hurricanes, who surprised the reigning Stanley Cup winners Washington Capitals and who have some of their own mojo going for them.  It’s going to be a tough test as the ‘Canes are about as resilient as a team can be.

However, if there is a team who can do it, it’s the New York Islanders.  They’ve been doubted from the get-go.  They’ve been put down after losing John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  They’ve been disrespected during the season and especially in their first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Yet here we are in the second round with the Islanders twelve wins away from a Stanley Cup.

They need to take it one step at a time and not get ahead of themselves.  As long as they can go about it one game at a time, like they did with the Penguins series, they’ll be just fine.  Goaltending and defense takes you far in the playoffs, and as long as the scoring doesn’t dry up they’ll be ready to go come Round 2.

Breathe it in Islander fans;  Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is back for a second round and remember to take it one game at a time as well.  One win four times adds up to a series win, and each series win gets you closer and closer to a Stanley Cup.


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