The New York Islanders conclude a rare back-to-back homestand tonight as they take on the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Islanders are coming off of a very disappointing loss to the arch-rival New York Rangers – a loss that saw the Islanders widely outplay the Rangers, but come up short thanks to more special teams shortcomings, poor shooting, and an yet another excellent performance against them from Alexandar Georgiev. Georgiev has held the Islanders to one goal over two games and has strangely looked better than Henrik Lundqvist has against the Islanders.
There were no bits articles today, so please kindly submit your FIG picks here. We ask that you kindly don’t pick Ross Johnston – he’s been pulled from the lineup after playing in both games against the Rangers with a combined game score of .1 and playing only 14 minutes. He’ll be replaced by Michael Dal Colle.
You also won’t be able to pick Luca Sbisa. Sbisa spelled Adam Pelech last night and was pretty awful with a 40% Corsi for percentage and a game score of -.3 which was the worst of any Islanders player. Pelech may draw the ire of many an Islanders fan, but Sbisa is just not an NHL player at this point in his career and he and shouldn’t be on an active roster.
Thomas Greiss is expected to start in this one. Robin Lehner was decent, but not spectacular against the Rangers last night and of course playing a goalie twice on back-to-back nights is never a good idea, so this is the logical choice. Greiss has a better 5v5 delta save percentage than Lehner so far this season and there’s not a huge difference between the two goalies.
For those tracking the playoff situation, the Islanders can move into the top wild card spot with a win as the Boston Bruins are idle. They are currently tied for the second wild card spot with the Montreal Canadiens and have two games in hand. The Columbus Blue Jackets won yesterday and now have a three point lead over the Islanders and play tonight against the Rangers.
Game time is at 7:00 P.M. E.S.T.