After two big points were taken in Edmonton, the New York Islanders look to close the Canadian portion of their nine-game road trip. It will be a late night in Vancouver, so set your DVR’s or set your Coffee makers, puck drop is at 10 p.m. ET.
- New York Islanders (31-23-11, 73 pts)
- Vancouver Canucks (28-30-8, 64 pts)
- 10 p.m., MSG, WRHU
- Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
The “Trap” Team
The New York Islanders are closing out the Canadian leg of their franchise record nine-game road trip. Thus far, they are 4-2-1 with two more games to play before arriving back in Brooklyn next Monday. The trickiest game to play will be tonight’s contest against a struggling team.
The Vancouver Canucks have had another disappointing season. After squeezing into the playoffs in 2014-15 and bowing out to the Flames in six games the Canucks are on the verge of a full-blown rebuild. Their core, from the Sedin twins to Ryan Miller, is rapidly aging.
There’s a very good reason they stand 24th overall in the NHL, and this is exactly what the Islanders need to be cautious of.
To avoid losing points where they should not be lost, the Islanders must roar out of the gate from puck drop.
Quick changes, fast feet, and a couple quick goals will help settle things down and slow the pace. Not just for the sake of the Islanders winning, but so they don’t mentally succumb to playing down to a sneaky team.
The last time the Islanders played the Canucks (a 4-2 victory) they were a very different team. Anders Lee and Ryan Strome looked like busts, Cal Clutterbuck was playing alongside John Tavares, and both forwards Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera scored their first goals of the season. Very different times indeed.
Updates from #Isles skate: Weight leaning towards Greiss tomorrow and keeping de Haamonic pair; Prince (ankle) went home, Boychuk still out.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) March 8, 2017
To nobody’s surprise, expect Thomas Greiss to get the nod in goal once more.
The Calvin deHaan — Travis Hamonic pair impressed heavily in Edmonton, and they should be a fun pairing to watch. Getting Hamonic back to speed will be crucial for an Islanders defense that needs to lock down in time for a post-season rush.
Barring any last-minute changes, the defense should reflect no changes from Tuesday night heading into tonight’s matchup.
Greiss in goal
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 8, 2017
With Shane Prince injured, the offense is likely to get a shakeup in terms of the third and fourth lines. Stephen Gionta will likely slot back in and, hopefully, Anthony Beauvillier can center Brock Nelson and Josh Ho-Sang. Beauvillier centering Ho-Sang is an experiment that can be fruitful as both forwards have a lot of speed and creativity.