NY Islanders (34-17-6) (1st, Metro)
5 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
The Oilers scored just one goal in last night’s 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Leon Draisaitl is well on his way to scoring 40 goals this season (he scored his 34th of the year in Raleigh), but it was Hurricanes goaltender Curtis McElhinney who put up 40 saves en route to the victory for Carolina. Nino Niederreiter scored a pair for Carolina, and the Hurricanes get two big points in their chase to the second season. Last night’s loss keeps the Oilers exactly one point out of the Western Conference basement. Yeesh.
The Oilers will try to right the ship as they visit the Islanders this evening. Can the Oilers give the leaders in the Metropolitan Division all they can handle?
There’s a lot to cover today.
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
We’re getting down early in games, or we’re chasing the game halfway through, and that takes a lot of energy out of you…I think if we got a lead we might be able to be even better.
That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock after his club’s 3-1 loss to Carolina last night.
I agree with Hitch, I think the Oilers ought to get a lead now and then.
The Islanders are saying
There’s not too many times you get a couple of breakaways in a game…It’s kind of rare so to be able to capitalize on them and get some big goals is nice
A couple of breakaways, a couple of goals. Easy peasy. Cizikas ranks seventh on the Islanders in scoring with 25 points (15-10-25).
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- So much to cover. The Oilers dealt Cam Talbot to the Philadelphia Flyers last night for goaltender Anthony Stolarz. This happened for a couple of reasons, the most immediate reason is that the Oilers needed to free up some cap space in order to activate Andrej Sekera. Stolarz will become a Group VI UFA if he doesn’t appear in 10 more games with the Oilers. Stolarz has played in twelve games with the Flyers this year and has a .902 SV% on the season.
- PARTY LIKE IT’S 2012: The Oilers have swapped Ryan Spooner to the Vancouver Canucks for Sam Gagner. I didn’t have a lot of time for Ryan Spooner during his short time in Edmonton, so finding a trade partner seems like a good sized coup for the Oilers. Gagner has spent most of the 2018-19 season on loan with the Toronto Marlies, where he’s contributed 37 points in 43 games (12-25-37). I don’t hate the move, simply because the Oilers were able to move Ryan Spooner. Gagner carries a cap hit of 50K more than Spooner’s number with the Oilers. He’ll get into the lineup tonight.
- The Jesse Puljujarvi saga keeps moving along, this time with Puljujarvi’s agent suggesting that perhaps it may be time for a fresh start for the 20 year old prospect. The Oiler fans in me rages upon hearing this. If Puljujarvi can get big minutes in the AHL, then put him there. Frittering away his ELC on the fourth line for nine minutes a night is dumb. Any trade that the Oilers make including young Puljujarvi they will lose. Take it to the bank.
- The Islanders are leading the Metropolitan Division right now. That’s a good deal for the Islanders. They’re ahead of the Capitals by three points with a game in hand. How are they doing it? They’re 22nd in the league in goals scored (2.82 GPG). The Islanders are number one in the league when it comes to goals allowed (2.3/G). Robin Lehner (.929 SV) and Thomas Greiss (.930) are two big reasons why the goals allowed number is so low. The Islanders are likely playing way above their heads right now, but if they can get super goaltending from both goaltenders, ride the wave.
- CATCHING THE WAVE: The Oilers are now seven points out of a wild card position. Even more concerning, they’re one point out of last place in the Pacific. Is there going to be a draft party at the Pint this year?
- NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen (14-13-2, .907 SV% / 2.86 GAA / 3 SO ) is likely to start his second game in as many nights. Robin Lehner (17-9-4, .929 SV% / 2.08 GAA / 3 SO) is likely to go for the Islanders.
- SICK BAY: Matthew Benning (upper body) has been placed on IR. The Islanders do not have any injuries at this time.