The struggling New York Islanders begin their run to the finish line with a contest against a Montreal Canadiens team who’s been slogging through a similar slump.
If we flashback to late January, just after the All-Star Break, both the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens were rocking. The Isles held on to first place by five points and the Canadiens oscillated between third in the Atlantic and the first Wild Card spot. Fast forward a mere month and a half and both teams look to be avoiding the panic button.
Needless to say, there is potential for a big momentum builder in this game.
After a disappointing west coast trip, where the Canadiens went 1-2, culminating in a huge 8-2 defeat to the Ducks, they came home and put up the W against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Isles are coming off of a redemption win against a revamped Columbus Blue Jackets team that almost makes up for two embarrassing losses to the Philadelphia Flyers.
To put it bluntly, whoever wins the game has a two game winning streak, and both teams need it badly. One cannot stress enough the benefit of getting on a roll going down the stretch run of the season.
Islanders Need Back to Back Wins
Fortunately, after missing Matt Martin for five games and Cal Clutterbuck for the tail end of that stretch, the New York Islanders fourth line is back together. The dreaded flu bug seems to be behind them.
Pulock and Mayfield are playing solidly. Thomas Hickey is back, and despite a glut of left-handed defensemen, and the fact that his playing time came at the expense of Johnny Boychuk, he still plays the angles on the puck better and doesn’t rely on size alone for his defensive prowess.
Things seemed to really click against the Blue Jackets on Monday night. While the Isles weren’t 100%, they looked a lot better. Here’s hoping they can pull it together for another one. Back to back wins against playoff contenders may be just what they need to get the ball rolling again.
With the Washington Capitals taking on the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Buffalo Sabres, a win for the Isles and with results going their way, they could catch the Caps and extend their two-point lead on the Penguins.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
Where to Watch the Game
Live: Nassau Coliseum at 7:00pm EST
TV: MSG+, MSG GO or NHL.TV.
Radio: 88.7FM WRHU, 103.9FM LI News
Online Radio: radio.com/islanders
Stream Online from ESPN+