New York Islanders Versus Philadelphia Hunger Games Edition

Feb 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates his goal with left wing Nikolay Kulemin (86) and defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Islanders defeated the Flyers, 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) celebrates his goal with left wing Nikolay Kulemin (86) and defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Islanders defeated the Flyers, 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Islander head to Philadelphia for a single road game. It’s going to be a game of who’s hungrier…It’s the NHL Hunger Game(s)!

Both the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers are hunting for a playoff spot. Even though one team is much closer than the other. Sorry, Philly.

Yeah, Philly has 80 points to the Islanders 82 points, but the Islanders still have a game in hand. That’s a significant advantage to have when there are only a handful of games remaining on the season.

You’ve heard of four point games? Well, tonight is one of them. A regulation win for either of these two teams would be a big step.

New York Islanders

For the Islanders, it would effectively kill off one of their competitors for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

For the Flyers, it would put them squarely in the picture. Six points back of that final spot is an awfully big hole to climb. Four points back makes it interesting.

Today’s game is going to be a battle of “who wants it more”. Who’s hungrier for those two points.

A Little Flat

We’ve heard that about the Isles a few times now, “they have to want it”. But every time they come out flat.

Against Boston, they couldn’t get anything going, even though they had six power play opportunities. Then against Nashville, it was the same story. The team came out flat and were completely dominated (even if the score line was only 3-1).

Two games that had significant implications for the post-season and the Isles seemingly let it slip.

Tonight against the Flyers this can’t be another of those scenarios. The Isles have to come out of the gate flying, hungry, desperate. Whatever adjective you want to use, use it.

Must Read: Snow Was Smarter Than You

Boychuk!

Oh, and Johnny Boychuk is back. How perfect.

The Islanders top defensive pair is back intact after being apart for what seems like forever. Just in time to hold the fort against the not so high scoring Flyers and a not so hot penalty kill.

This would be the perfect time for the Isles to get their woeful power play off the ground. At 79.3% efficient, the Flyers are ranked 22nd in the NHL. It’s not Dallas Star bad at 74.0%, but it’s bad enough for the Isles to capitalize on. Especially with Boychuk back.

Next: Isles Magic Number is 94

Where to Catch the Game:

Live: 7PM, Wells Fargo Center
TV: MSG+
Radio: AM970 – The Answer, 88.7FM – WRHU, 103.9FM – LI News

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