As the New York Islanders look to continue their march into relevancy, they will face a stumbling Flyers squad.
- New York Islanders (23-18-10, 56 points)
- Philadelphia Flyers (26-21-7, 59 points)
- 7 p.m., NBCSN, WRHU
- Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
After a 10-game tear earlier in the season, the Flyers are struggling to stay within the race for the last playoff position and now, the New York Islanders look to capitalize on their struggles.
When these two division rivals meet tonight, there is one thing they both will have in common: defensive struggles.
After a stretch that saw Thomas Greiss allow 10 goals in seven games (from Jan. 16th-31st), Greiss allowed 10 goals in his last two starts and the Islanders allowed 15 goals in three games.
Even backup goalie JF Berube was burned for at least five after starting just his seventh game of the season.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, has also seen issues on defense all season long with rookie Shane Gostisbehere enduring a sophomore slump.
Head coach Dave Hackstol scratched Gostisbehere for three straight games in favor of veterans such as former Islander Andrew MacDonald. With the Flyers cooling off rapidly after a 10-game winning streak the stage is set for an eastern team to push through.
The Islanders are trying to make a case to be that team.
Doug Weight: "Clutterbuck might be back on the ice Friday or Saturday. Hamonic is still doing rehab, but moving in the right direction." pic.twitter.com/Hq1IXYi4je
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 8, 2017
Clutterbuck has had a rough go at trying to re-insert himself into the lineup as in both games he’s attempted to come back from, he has re-injured himself both times.
For the love of your health, and the sanity of Isles fans, just make sure you’re 100%, Cal.
On the off chance Clutterbuck thinks he’s ready to go tomorrow, it’s likely Anthony Beauvillier will be the odd-man — it’s likely Greiss sees another start in net tomorrow against a key Metropolitan division game.