Caps Outsider Roundtable: Caps vs. Islanders, Round 1

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Posted August 11, 2020

Woooo! Playoffs. John Carlson will be back in the lineup for the Caps. (Caps Outsider)

Ben Sumner

Even though the round robin games meant very little, only Boston appeared less prepared than the Caps. Teams that tend to do well in the playoffs often get hot at the end of the regular season, so the Caps will have to find new momentum (unless they’re still on Cloud 9 from that 2-1 win) to play competitively. The Islanders, however, fresh off a series win against Florida, have that momentum, which gives them an edge going into this series. That, plus Barry Trotz’s complete understanding of the Caps’ system, is a major advantage for New York. The Caps fan in me always picks the Caps but the pragmatist in me thinks the Islanders can pull this off – even while Braden Holtby puts up good numbers – and send the Caps packing in the first round yet again. I hope I’m wrong.

Islanders in 7

Brandon Alter

The Caps-Islanders series may seem like a repeat of the Caps-Blue Jacket series back in 2018. The Isles are disciplined and well structured defensively. But that strength will be their downfall against the Caps. The Isles play coin flip hockey. They’re not a deep team offensively or on the backend. The Caps are deep enough to be able to match up well against their defense. The question will be if Todd Reirden will have a plan in place to combat the Isles style. If the Caps can get enough chances, they should be able to convert on enough to win the game and win the series.

Caps in 6

Cory Lyons

With Braden Holtby not feeling pressure to lose his role in net, Holtby will be locked in and ready to go against the Islanders. The Capitals will need to rely on goal-scoring from their bottom tier players while on even strength, to win tight games if they plan on winning this series.

Caps in 6

Barbara Banks

As Tom Wilson explained recently, the Caps and the Islanders really know each other. The coaches have worked together and, of course, many of Barry Trotz’s Stanley Cup champs are still in Washington. I look for it to be a pretty balanced series, but not easy!

Caps in 6

Carina Vasquez

This year feels like it’s anyone’s Cup due to the sudden suspension of the season. The players clearly show that they are under a lot of pressure to get those wins and facing Barry Trotz will be weird. Playing against the Islanders will clearly bring a lot of tension between the Caps and Trotz. The Caps can easily win this round if we get back John Carlson and Lars Eller. Also, it depends if Evgeny Kuznetsov decides to finally play well. Hopefully, Jakub Vrana will continue scoring as well as he did through the season. If Holtby doesn’t choke and everyone shows up, I believe the Caps will win in 6.

Caps in 6