After a tough California road trip, the New York Islanders are back at home. Waiting for them are the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.
The New York Islanders are back home from a failed California road trip. Before going to California, the Isles were 15-0-1 in the previous 16 games. They left the sunshine state with a 0-2-1 record. The road trip was easily their worst stretch of hockey this season.
They’ll make a quick stop in Brooklyn tonight to play the Blue Jackets before heading back on the road for five out of their next six games.
Thankfully for the Islanders, the Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t in great shape. They’re seventh in the Metropolitan Division with an 11-10-4 record. And they a habit recently of taking “stupid” or “ridiculous” penalties according to the head coach John Tortorella (subscriptions required).
The Islanders have a good chance tonight to get back to winning ways. It won’t be easy, it never is in this league. But Columbus is a weaker team (sorry Columbus fans but it’s true) and they’re playing the second leg of a back-to-back. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Isles to get a ‘W’ and start to put that disastrous California road trip behind them.
The New York Islanders are the favored team according to oddsmakers. The Action Network has the Islanders opening at a -150. Not only are the Isles a better team based on their record, but they hold two decided advantages when it comes to the NHL.
First, they’re at home. Second, the Columbus Blue Jackets are on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Splitting home games between the Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays Center, the Islanders hold a 10-2-1 record. On the road, the Blue Jackets are 3-4-3. In back-to-back situations, the Blue Jackets are 1-2-1.
New York Islanders
This lineup makes a lot of sense for the Islanders. I know, Brassard going to line three, away from Anthony Beauvillier might not be ideal. But consider that Jordan Eberle still doesn’t have a goal on the season. The Islanders have to get him going. And what better way to do it then play him next to Beau and Brock Nelson?
And in net, the goalie rotation continues with Thomas Greiss all but guaranteed a start. With the way, Varlamov played in Los Angeles it wouldn’t surprise me if Trotz breaks the rotation to get Greiss a few more starts.
Columbus Blue Jackets
With a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at home last night, I imagine the Blue Jackets will start a similar lineup. The only difference will likely come in net.
Joonas Korpisalo played last night, stopping 29 of 31 shots for the win. Meaning Elvis Merzlikins could get his sixth start of the season. The 25-year-old Latvian is 0-3-2 with a 0.890SV% and 3.54GAA this season.
Where to Catch the Game
Live: Barclays Center, 7 PM. Get tickets here.
TV: MSG+, MSG GO (Mobile)
Radio: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 98.7FM,