May: Caps-Isles playoff series would be 'knockdown, drag-out'

Chris Lingebach
March 08, 2019 - 6:29 pm

There's one playoff matchup that would make Caps fans grimace.

If the Capitals have to meet the Islanders in the playoffs, staring across the ice at Barry Trotz, the man who helped them vanquish decades of playoff torture in this town, it's hard to say right now how that series might end. Washington holds the 2-1 edge in their matchups this season with a narrow plus-three goal differential, but the Isles' lone win was a 2-nothing blanking.

The Caps would have good reason to feal uneasy going into a playoff series against them, Alan May told The Junkies during The Morning Skate, presented by D.C. Lottery. May was asked which playoff opponent would pose the biggest matchup problem for the Caps.

"I think it's gonna be a knockdown drag-out with the New York Islanders," May said. "Because Barry Trotz has the book on a lot of these players. He knows what their habits and tendencies are."

"And those games, you look at how they played the Islanders," he said. "Those have been pretty tough games this season. So, I think the (Islanders) would go into defensive lockdown mode and just try to sit back against the Caps. And the Caps, you'd hope that they realize they can't play a risky game against them."

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"But I think right now the Islanders, with the defensive hockey that they've been playing," May continued, "I believe they still have the lowest goals-against average in the league. They're relying on defense and it's coming from all of their roster, and teams that know that they have to play that way, they can surprise you every now and again.

"But I think that would be the toughest matchup at this point, if we're just talking about the Metropolitan division."

The Capitals, just for good measure from the NHL schedule-makers, get to close out the regular season against the Islanders.

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