Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
‘The New York Islanders Hardcore’ Pregame Report:
EDMONTON OILERS vs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tonight the New York Islanders (2-2-2, 6 PTS) host the Edmonton Oilers (1-5-1, 3 PTS) in game no. 7 of the 2013-14 NHL season. Here’s what you need to know before puck drop…
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
When: 10/17/2013, 7:00 pm EST
Watch: MSG + (HD) (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)
Listen: WRHU 88.7FM, WRCN 103.9FM (Chris King)
Another dangerous game awaits the New York Islanders as they continue their homestand with a match against the Edmonton Oilers.
After suffering a shootout loss on Tuesday to the previously winless Buffalo Sabres, social media has not been kind to the team or management, seemingly scrutinizing and criticizing every move. At the final horn tonight, I am sure that everyone hopes the reaction looks much different.
That success will depend primarily on two major factors; the play of the defense and the power play. Matt Donovan makes his return to the lineup tonight and hopes the lessons he learned from watching the last two games from the press box will benefit his defensive game to complement his offensive skills. Colin McDonald also returns after taking Tuesday off with a sore hip.
The Oilers come in with a ton of offensive talent that will test the Islanders defense but unfortunately for them, still have not learned much on the other side of the red line. They have allowed 32 goals in 7 games (4.57 per game) and are 29th in the league on the penalty kill at just 66.7%.
Taylor Hall (1-5-6), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2-1-3) and Jordan Eberle (2-3-5) are top talents that can terrorize in the offensive zone and have to be watched extremely closely by a defensive unit that has struggled early on in clearances and zone assignments.
Nostalgia will be surely be front and center as well in this matchup, as the teams did not meet last season in the conference only 48 game schedule. Everyone remembers the classic battles of the early and mid 1980s between these two great franchises.
What They’re Saying…
“It’s such a fine line between winning and losing in this league,” forward Jordan Eberle told the team’s official website. “We’re not playing bad by any means. We’re doing a lot of good things but we just can’t get over that line of winning games and I think once we find that way to do that, we have confidence in here that we’ll start winning more.” [link]
Jack Capuano, on what he expects from Edmonton tonight: “It’s a track meet when you play these guys. They’re young, they’re fast. They’ve got D that get up in the play. You never know how the game is going to go when the puck drops. Obviously, you don’t want a wide open game.” [link]
Matt Donovan, on what he gained from sitting out the last two games: “I think just watching overall and thinking to myself what I need to do to get back in the lineup and play well and make the team better. [Being scratched] pushed you that much harder. I’m here now, and I don’t want to get sent back down, so it makes me want to work that much harder to get back in the lineup and stay in the NHL.” [link]
- Edmonton GF/GA ratio is -9 over the first two periods. Islanders are +5.
- The Oilers have already allowed 3 shorthanded goals in just 7 games.
- Isles are 8-3-0 in their last 11 vs Edmonton and 6-0-0 at the Coliseum.
- All time series is tied, 26-26-14
- John Tavares has a 5 game point streak (3-4-7)
- Matt Moulson is 2nd among all active players in shootout percentage (56.7%)
- Isles are 6-0-3 in their last 9 games at home. Matches longest home point streak since 1989-90.
40 Grabner – 91 Tavares – 21 Okposo
12 Bailey – 51 Nielsen – 96 Bouchard
26- Moulson – 16 Regin – 15 Clutterbuck
17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 13 McDonald
47 MacDonald – 3 Hamonic
11 Visnovsky – 14 Hickey
37 Strait – 46 Donovan
Scratches: 7 Carkner – 29 Nelson – 36 Boulton
Rich Dias-Rodrigues (@RDNHL) will be covering the game live from the press box.
Please join us in the comment section below for in-game discussion and commentary.