The Brooklyn-bound Islanders are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007, although it portends to be a short visit, given the power and might of the Penguins. As if things weren’t looking tough enough for the distant sons of Mike Bossy, the Penguins could have superstar Sidney Crosby back in the lineup at some point in the series after fracturing his jaw on March 30. The Islanders are plucky, led on offense by emerging star John Tavares and linemates Matt Moulson and ex-Bruin Brad Boyes. Their shortcoming is lack of second- and third-line scoring and a defense that thins out quickly beyond a top pairing of Mark Streit and Radek Martinek. Penguins GM Ray Shero performed brilliantly around the trade deadline, acquiring key support players in Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla, and Jussi Jokinen. Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Chris Kunitz lead an awesome attack, one that will be almost impossible for the upstart Isles to contain. The only potential vulnerability for the Penguins: goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Unless he’s Mr. Softy, this one ends quickly.
Prediction: Penguins in four.