The New York Islanders are in Missouri to take on one of the NHL’s most disappointing teams in the St. Louis Blues. The Islanders would move into third in the Metropolitan Division tonight with a win tonight and a loss by the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Florida Panthers. Should they actually finish in third, that would setup a matchup between either the Washington Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins back in Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. That might be fun.
As for the Blues, they were expected to jump in the standings after falling out of the playoffs last year given the acquisition of the likes of Tyler Bozak and Ryan O’Reilly. Instead it’s been their loss of Carter Hutton that’s sandbagged them to the bottom of the standings as Jake Allen struggled tremendously to start the season. they also had some questionable coaching and fired head coach Mike Yeo earlier in the season.
Robin Lehner will get the start tonight and has narrowed the gap in delta save percentage between himself and Thomas Greiss considerably. The two rank 13th and 15th in the league in that regard. For all of the talk about how good Barry Trotz has been, it’s been Greiss and Lehner that have really carried the Islanders this season and crew assembled by Mitch Korn deserve more praise than they’ve gotten.
Jordan Eberle will return to the lineup tonight and play along the first line. Joshua Ho-Sang has been bumped to the third line to compensate and will play alongside AHL linemate Michael Dal Colle with Leo Komarov in between them. Thomas Kuhnhackl will head to the bench which will complete the lineup changes for the Islanders this evening.
Puck drop is at 8:00 P.M. E.S.T.