The New York Islanders will face off against the Washington Capitals Thursday night in Washington D.C. in hopes to continue their recent offensive dominance.
- New York Islanders: 4th in the Metro, 15 points (7-4-1)
- Washington Capitals: 6th in the Metro, 11 points (5-6-1)
- NHL, Metro, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, 7 p.m. ET, MSG+
- Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
- Isles Focus:
- Battle of the captains
- Special Teams Improvement
The New York Islanders are coming off of a 6-3 victory that made the Vegas Golden Knights look like the expansion team they are; albeit three of the Islanders goals came in the third.
A big factor to the Islanders recent offensive success is that John Tavares has been firing on all cylinders. The captain has amassed 12 of his 15 points this season in the last five games. Included in that span, he’s potted nine goals. On Tavares’ wings, Josh Bailey has 14 points and Anders Lee has 12. With this line clicking, it gives Jordan Eberle the opportunity to work with rookie Mathew Barzal. Barzal has looked better every game getting around 15 minutes of ice time whilst going through some growing pains along the way.
On the other side of the ice on Thursday will be NHL superstar, Alex Ovechkin. Ovi had a hot start to the season starting with back-to-back hat tricks. Over the past five games, the Caps captain has added five points bringing his total to 15. In addition, Evgeny Kuznetsov quietly has 15 points as well.
One of the main aspects will be the special teams for this matchup. The Isles power play seems to finally be on the right track. Defenseman Ryan Pulock has certainly helped that boasting the threat of his 105 m.p.h. slapshot. The power play has connected in three of the last five games putting the percentage at 16.3 percent. While that is still low, it is a major increase from how they started the year.
As for what to expect from Doug Weight tomorrow, minimal changes are expected.
#Isles Lines at Practice:
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 1, 2017
Only change for tomorrow is Hickey in for Pelech (day to day with undisclosed injury). Halak makes 3rd straight start. https://t.co/GMO3Rkpdsy
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) November 1, 2017
As for the goaltending, which has been the main question all year, it looks safe to say that Weight will ride Halak until the Slovakian netminder has a bad start. Everyone knows that Halak can be dominant on when he’s on a hot streak, but what about Thomas Greiss?
If you ask me, this will be the main formula Weight uses throughout the duration of the season. There will be times where one makes three or more starts in a row, but do not be surprised if the other does the same. Both netminders keep the Islanders in every game when they play to their potential.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET in Washington D.C. and will be aired on MSG+.