The New York Islanders are on a three-game winning streak as they make their push for relevancy in the league. And now they welcome the just-out-of-the-wild-card Philadelphia Flyers. It’s a four-point game.
A four-point game might sound like a league-mandated talking point for TV personalities, but this 6:00 PM puck drop between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers is very much that.
The Flyers are the Metropolitan division team that the New York Islanders need to pass if they have any hopes at making a playoff spot. A win today is two points in the bank for the Islanders and two dropped points for the Flyers.
More importantly, it brings the Isles to within two points of the Flyers, and the Isles would still have three games in hand.
Focusing on just that, and not the other seven teams they would have to leapfrog, makes the goal seem very much attainable.
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- Islanders Zdeno Chara trending in the right direction
- Islanders: Semyon Varlamov Deserves Benefit of the Doubt
- Islanders Ilya Sorokin becoming number one goalie
- Islanders Zach Parise Was Quiet in Return to Minnesota
Key’s To The Game
- Stay out of the box: The Flyers have the ninth best PP in the league at 21.8%. Reduce the favorable odds for Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds to add to their 21 and 17 power play points respectively.
- Play a Full 60: The Flyers grow significantly weaker as the game goes on. They allow an increasing amount of goals-against as the game grows; 41 in the first, 50 in the second, and 55 in the third.
- Shoot: The Isles are 8-11-5 when the opposition out shoots them.
In an attempt to highlight other players I won’t mention John Tavares’ eight goals in his last five games…except for just there. How about Anders Lee?! He’s back! After that ridiculous scoring pace Lee slowed down, going four games without a point. Now he has six in his last four.
For a while, it had to be either Lee or Tavares that scored like mad men. The Isles couldn’t get both going simultaneously. Until now. Combined, Tavares and Lee have 15 points in the last five games.
We’re still waiting to see the best from Ryan Strome. In his last five games, Strome hasn’t been able to get on the score sheet. He has, however, been able to buy accolades from the fan base for defending John Tavares back in Florida.
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If he’s not going to get on the scoreboard plays like that are imperative. I’ll settle for a Ryan Strome that takes on a physical role. He just isn’t a physically intimidating player. Nor is that the type of player he was lauded to become when the Isles selecting him fifth overall in 2011.
Much is still left to be desired from Ryan Strome. Here’s hoping he can deliver, both for his and the Isles sake.
New York Islanders Potential Lineup:
Beauvillier-Quine-Chimera de Haan-Seidenberg
Prince-Cizikas-Kulemin Greiss (Berube)
How to Watch the Game:
Venue: 6:00PM Barclays Center
Radio: AM970 – The Answer, 88.7FM – WRHU, 103.9FM – LI News