The confident Colorado Avalanche arrive in Long Island for a Monday night matchup against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. The Avalanche are coming off a 5-2 win in Newark over the Devils. Mikko Rantanen notched his second career hat trick to lead the Avalanche on Saturday. The Avalanche are winners in two in a row after knocking off the St. Louis Blues a couple of games ago as well.
Colorado poured it on offensively, as they dosed the Blues for 7 goals in a 7-3 win. The Blues had numerous defensive breakdowns in their next game against the Golden Knights, too. A 3-0 lead evaporated because of super sloppy play by the Blues in their own zone. The Avalanche aren’t likely going to see the same lackluster effort on the blue line from the Islanders tonight, though they are coming off two shaky losses versus the Devils and Maple Leafs. It’s never good to lose against a team like the Devils, and losing to a Maple Leafs squad that has developed into a rival, never feels good either.
The Islanders were feeling good on New Year’s Eve, though, as they topped the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-3 at Capital One Arena. They won as sizable underdogs at +150 in that contest. However, any momentum they hoped to pick up was lost thereafter. A little too much celebrating was being done on New Year’s Eve after the win over the Capitals, apparently. Barry Trotz has to get the attention of his team before their season begins to snowball. They are winners in just two of their previous seven games, so it hasn’t been a productive stretch recently for the Isles.
Having said that, the Islanders are still holding strong with a record of 25-12-3 and 53 points. Thanks to their struggles, the Penguins have been able to sneak ahead of the Islanders in the Metropolitan. Considering the injuries that the Penguins have had to deal with to key players this season, it’s impressive to see them ahead of the Islanders at the moment. The Islanders have a nice opportunity to build up some momentum with a quality performance against a worthy opponent on Monday night. We’ll see if a 3-0 loss against the Maple Leafs woke them up. Head below for our free Avalanche vs. Islanders pick.
Colorado Avalanche vs. N.Y. Islanders Betting Odds:
Avalanche vs. Islanders Prediction:
If there was any positive to find against the Maple Leafs, at least their defence was able to hold in there and offer some pushback versus a dangerous offence. However, there was absolutely no offence from their side, as Michael Hutchinson recorded his first shutout of the season and only his second win. The Islanders have to feel some level of shame after getting blanked by Hutchinson. It’s not something to be proud of, but they may have just caught Hutchinson on a rare night. Despite the shutout, Hutchinson still owns a 3.59 GAA and 0.896 save percentage. In any event, the Leafs have been really good since Mike Babcock got fired, so it’s not a bad loss by any means.
The Islanders will be back at Nassau Coliseum on Monday night. They’ve been good at home this season, with a record of 13-5-2. However, the Islanders are losers in four straight games at home. Their latest defeat was a 2-1 no-show performance against the lowly Devils on Thursday. The Devils have looked somewhat better recently, but they’re not a team with as much talent as the Islanders. That said, the Islanders have been better at home than not, despite their recent slip ups.
They’ve racked up 3.15 goals per game, while allowing an average of 2.5 goals per game in their defensive zone. The defence has certainly been sloppy of late, though, having allowed 3.4 goals per game in their last ten games. That’s not what Trotz instilled in his team when he took over as the head coach. I’d be surprised if they don’t turn it around and get back on track in that regard soon, though.
The Avs have been hot offensively, with 3.9 goals netted per game in their last ten outings. However, they’ve also yielded 3.7 goals per game. The Wild scored 6 and the Jets 7 goals on the Avalanche in recent matchups. Playing against the Islanders on the road hasn’t been kind to the Avalanche. The Islanders are 10-1 against the Avalanche in their previous 11 meetings in New York. Overall, the Islanders have been the more dominant team with wins in six of their last nine games against the Avalanche.
The offence has been able to produce against the Avalanche in their most recent outings. They’ve scored 4 goals in each of their previous two meetings, and at least 4 goals scored in four of their last five. After getting held down by Hutchinson and the Maple Leafs, I could see the Isles coming out focused tonight. The Avs are a good team, though the Islanders look like pretty solid value as small underdogs in this spot on home ice.