The New York Islanders are going into game 57 of an 82 game season, and this is the first time they face Taylor Hall’s New Jersey Devils.
That’s right, we’re now five months into the NHL season and this is the first time the New York Islanders face-off against the New Jersey Devils.
Thank the NHL’s scheduling department for a clash between divisional rivals on back-to-back nights, and then another two times between February 21st and April 8th, 2017. That a potential eight-point boon in the standings.
That’s assuming the Isles can sweep the series between the two. The Devils are bad, but not season sweep bad. At least recently.
Going 5-4-1 in their last ten, the Devils are still far from making noise in terms of a playoff position, though back-to-back wins against the Isles would certainly help them in that regard.
A win for the Isles would help establish some distance between them and the Flyers who aren’t in action tonight. A three-point lead with a game in hand would look mighty good in the race for a wild-card.
Jason Chimera has hit one of those rich veins of form, where every night he seems to be either creating a great scoring chance, or putting one in himself. He has a three-game point streak, four points in his last five.
Against a slower New Jersey Devils, Chimera might just be able to create some separation for a breakaway or two.
In terms of simple production, Thomas Hickey has real cold of late. Without a point in his last seven games, he sits with 13 on the year and on pace for 19.
Assuming he keeps that 0.25 points-per-game pace he’ll have a better year, production wise that the previous season. But he falls short from his two other NHL seasons where he recorded 22 points in each.
New York Islanders Lineup
Ladd-Quine-Chimera de Haan-Seidenberg
Kulemin-Cizikas-Gionta Greiss (Berube)
How to Watch The Game:
Live: 7pm, Prudential Center
Radio: M970 – The Answer, 88.7FM – WRHU, 103.9FM – LI News