The New York Islanders play the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road. Hopefully, a shaky Lightning is exactly what the Isles need to fix their shaky away form.
Over their last six road games, the New York Islanders have gone 1-4-1. That only win came against the Detroit Red Wings. A team that, while not actively losing, they are, for all-intents-and-purposes tanking.
Something needs to change and change soon.
To change things up Barry Trotz has made a few changes to the lineup. Ross Johnston is getting a top-line assignment again for the third game in a row. While strugglers Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle have been placed on the third line with Derick Brassard as the center.
To be fair, against the Dallas Stars, the Islanders weren’t terrible. They certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game. If not for two ill-disciplined penalties by Mathew Barzal, the Islanders could have earned at least a point on the night.
Rolling into to Tampa isn’t necessarily the best of circumstances as the Isles struggle with their away form. But Tampa has been uncharacteristic frail this season. The team that ran away with the President’s trophy last season is out a playoff spot.
The Tampa Bay Lightning just don’t look like the world-beaters they were last season. Maybe this is the perfect time for the Islanders to get a good road win so they can feel better about their road form?
Tampa is heavily favored for tonight’s tilt. According to the Action Network, the Bolts are -175 to the Islandesr +151 (at the time of writing). I know Tampa is the home team but they haven’t been great at home with a 7-5-1 record. They’re also 5-4-1 over their last ten.
I understand that Tampa should be a good team, but giving them a 63.65 percent chance to win is surprising. I guess the fact that the Isles are 7-5-1 means more than I think it should.
New York Islanders
Noah Dobson! The Isles rookie blue lines will get his eighth start to the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nick Leddy is out of the lineup (day-to-day) after tweaking his knee in a late-game collision against the Dallas Stars.
Tampa Bay Lightning
There are a lot number of familiar faces in this lineup. There’s Carter Verhaeghe who joined the Islanders organization in the Michael Grabner trade or Cory Conacher who lasted 15 games with the Isles after signing as a free agent back in 2014.
Curtis McElhinney is probably the freshest. He was in net to help the Carolina Hurricanes sweep the Islanders in the second round of the 2019 playoffs. He stopped 71 of 75 shots to pick up three wins and push the Canes into the Conference Finals. Tonight, the Isles get to have some revenge over the 36-year-old backup.
Where to Watch the Game
Isles Meetup: If you’re in the Tampa area here’s what you need to know for tonight’s Isles Meetup
TV: MSG+, MSG Go (Mobile)
Radio: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 1050AM