In a rather uneventful night on the ice, the Calgary Flames are hoping for a fun trip to Brooklyn for their meeting with the Islanders. There is another game on the docket, as the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues look to earn wins on Monday night. With the football season getting deeper, the NHL and NBA will soon take over as the attention in the sports world. I certainly can’t forget college basketball either, I’m already getting excited for March Madness. Until then, though, there is plenty of other action to concentrate on. If you had enough of football yesterday and want to check out other areas of the sports landscape, look no further than the NHL tonight. I’ll be handicapping the Flames and Islanders in what is a meeting of teams who want to get their season in order going into 2017.
The Isles have seemingly looked like a different team this season. They enter tonight with a dismal record of 6-10-4. Yuck. That is not the same Islanders we’ve seen, pretty well ever since John Tavares arrived on the scene. With a lot of time left in the 2016-17 season, they are certainly not down and out yet. Nevertheless, they haven’t looked the part and look sort of beat down and not interested. Usually when this happens, the coaching staff is ultimately held responsible. If they continue to play this way all season, Jack Capuano may find himself on the chopping block in the offseason. The Islanders have won their last two games, so perhaps they can get something going and win their third straight game tonight. Calgary come in with a mark of 10-12-1, including only 1 win in their last seven attempts. Their last win in regulation came on November 7th against the lowly Vancouver Canucks. It’s a battle of below .500 teams in Brooklyn this evening.
The Flames have been getting a much better defensive effort of late. The point of bringing Brian Elliott in was to get better in that regard. They’ve been playing well lately, allowing only 1 goal in their last two games. How long can they keep this up, though? The Flames are still surrendering an average of 3.08 goals per game, which is 26th in the NHL. In other words, I don’t believe that the last two games is much of a true representation of the Flames. More often than not, I think the Flames are going to have problems with their defense.
The Flames addressed their goaltending issues in the offseason with a new goaltender. The Islanders may have to go through an overhaul to their defense in the offseason. It hasn’t been too pretty for the Isles, who have allowed 3 or more goals in their last ten games. On the season, they’ve allowed an average of 3.05 goals per game, just a hair better than the Flames, in 25th in the league. They are also giving up 32 shots per game. The Islanders have allowed 7 goals in their last two games, including an average of 3.2 goals in their last five times on the ice. With a total of 5, I think the total is worth a look in Brooklyn tonight.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-110)