The New York Islanders head on the road to close out the 2016 calendar year with a date against the red-hot eleven wins in a row Minnesota Wild.
The last time the New York Islanders met the Minnesota Wild back in October at the Barclays the game ended in an exciting 6-3 win for the Islanders. I wouldn’t expect that again.
At the start of the season, the pendulum was swinging pretty wildly for Minnesota. For all the games they won by big margins, they were equally capable of putting up a stinker themselves. Case and point, that 6-3 loss to the Isles some three months ago.
But since going 11-0-0 recently the Wild have kept their opposition to 1.63 goals per game on average. Not good for a team like the Islanders who aren’t anything more than average when it comes to scoring. Their 94 goals for ranks them at 16th in the NHL.
Devan Dubnyk, the Wilds starting goalie tonight, is a big reason for this recent not-at-all-porous Wild defense. With an outstanding .953 SV% and 1.433 GAA, in the nine games, he’s played in during the Wilds nice winning streak.
Can we quickly talk about the Edmonton curse? And about how some players are just lights-out fantastic after leaving McDavid-City Canada? Dubnyk is a Vezina nod now that he got a chance with a legitimate team in Minnesota and then there’s Justin Schultz who’s looking like one of the top ten defenders in the game at the moment with 19 points in his last 18 games.
We can agree that Edmonton was the problem? Like, these players that have now left are clearly quality players, and some of the pieces they have are quality players. How did this not work? I guess going through six coaches since 2010 isn’t a good thing.
But who am I to judge the Isles have had the same coach that entire six-year period and the results haven’t been that much better. Though we do have three years of playoff hockey over the Oilers.
New York Islanders -186/+207 Minnesota Wild (opening lines)
After tonight’s game, someone’s winning streak will die. Either it be the Wild’s eleven game run or the Isles minuscule in comparison three-game streak. Vegas clearly thinks the Wild’s will live on to a hit 12. At a +207 they almost laughed at the thought of the Islanders winning.
To be fair the Wild are 13-2-1 at home this season, while the isles are 3-7-2 on the road. The Wild can’t seem to lose right now, scoring in bunches and stopping anything but 5% of the shots they face. At that rate, the islanders are going to have to get 50+ shots on Dubnyk in order to have a statistical chance at getting the upper hand.
With the Islanders at an average of 29.7 shots-for per game, the proposition of 50+ indeed seems laughable.
New York Islanders Potential Lineup:
Kulemin-Strome-Clutterbuck de Haan-Seidenberg
Ladd-Quine-Chimera Halak (Greiss)
Minnesota Wild Potential Lineup:
Stewart-Graovac-Schroeder Dubnyk (Kuemper)
Where You Can Catch the Game:
Venue: Xcel Energy Center, 8pm
TV: FS-N, FS-WI, MSG+, NHL.TV