If last night’s games were anything but a preview of what’s to come in these playoffs in 2014, I can’t wait to see what’s in store tonight. Let’s get right into it with my picks for the series winners and a look at a few possible free agents for the Islanders.
Flyers Vs. Rangers: The Flyers will be without starting goalie Steve Mason for the series and I cannot expect Ray Emery to get the Flyers that far against the Rangers. The Rangers are poised, stacked and if Martin St. Louis gets hot, this series should be a quick one. Winner: Rangers.
As far as unrestricted free agents go, I’m not really looking at Philly too much. There’s just not a LW or a D that could help the Isles. For the Rangers, Anton Stralman is an option for a possible bottom 6 defenceman.
The only player out of the two teams unrestricted free agency pool that I would look at would be Brian Elliot, however, with Ryan Miller as the starter, I don’t think we’ll see Elliot unless Miller gets pulled.
Minnesota Vs. Colorado: The Avs goaltending will prevail over the Wild. The youth and the energy of Colorado will overtake Minnesota despite the fact that the Wild have more players with playoff experience. The X Factor will be Zach Parise. Winner: Colorado.
Only Minnesota’s Dany Heatley and Ilya Bryzgalov will be on my radar. I’m sure most Isles fans don’t want Heatley, but for the sake of watching hockey games in April, I’ll keep an eye on him. Bryz could have been had at the start of this past season, but the Isles elected not to. Let’s see how well he plays in the Western Playoffs.
I’m gonna look at Kings defenceman Matt Greene during this playoff series. I know Edmonton is going to be hot on his trail when July 1st approaches, but the Isles could use someone like him.
There you have it folks, my predictions for the first round and the unrestricted free agents that I think the Isles should at least take a look at. For family reasons, I’ll be taking the next few days off and I’ll have my Islanders season review up on Isles Talk by Monday and later in the week, I will have also have the final “Bridge Report” of the year, which will cover the Bridgeport Sound Tigers roller coaster season. Enjoy your weekend everyone.