The New York Islanders have fallen down and they can’t get up. On a six-game losing streak, the Islanders have been doing a good job at giving their season a death sentence of late. The Isles have dropped to .500 on the year, with a record of 29-29-6. With their offence, it looked like for a while that they were going to find a way into the playoffs. However, their defence provided more questions than answers. So, how long was it going to take for the bubble to pop and the offence couldn’t carry the entire weight of the team? Nonetheless, despite losing six in a row, they’re only 5 points of the final wildcard. They’ve done themselves no favours, though.
It looks like that’s what happening at the moment. Like the Dallas Stars of a few years ago, just a little bit of defence would make them a playoff team. An average defence would have them in a comfortable position at the moment, but their defence is bad, very bad. John Tavares is quite the talent, but his defence isn’t helping him out much. If management doesn’t do something, his talent is going to go to absolute waste in New York.
Tavares has held this team together. Without him they are trending towards the bottom of the league. At the same time, though, the Isles maybe should have considered initiating a trade at the deadline. He is already 27 years old, and if they want to balance things out on this roster, they may need to get some younger prospects and draft picks along the way. Barzal is going to be the future centerpiece of this franchise, and we’ll see what they do to help him out.
Tavares is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. In the end, they might end up getting nothing for him. The Isles just signed Josh Bailey to a $30 million dollar contract, but it remains to be seen what’s going to happen with Tavares. The Canucks have some talented young talented in Vancouver. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with them in the next few years. Head below for our free Islanders vs. Canucks pick.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Vancouver Canucks PickM/h2>
It hasn’t only been the defence that has let them down lately. The offence has been in a rut, but they’ve played hot for the majority of the year. The Isles’ offence was due for some regression at some point. Problem with that is they don’t have a defence to hold them up for that regression. In their last ten games, they’ve averaged 2.2 goals per game. Overall, their goal scoring is slipping as well. They are now averaging 3.18 goals per game for 8th in the NHL. The Isles were looking good in the top-5 for pretty well the entire season until recently. And then there is that defence who’ve been so terrible. They’re allowing 3.56 goals per game for last in the league.
The future of the Islanders could be a bit iffy in my opinion. They’ve locked Bailey up and Barzal is promising, but it still doesn’t answer what’s happening with Tavares, along with addressing their defence. The Canucks, on the other hand, have some pieces in place that should be with them for the foreseeable future. Barzal will take on Brock Boeser tonight, a guy who he is going toe-to-toe with for the Calder.
The Canucks have lost three games in a row, so between these two clubs, they’re on a nine-game losing streak. Vancouver did, however, pick up a couple of points in overtime losses to the Rangers and Predators. The Islanders have allowed a staggering 50 shots per game in three of their last nine games. Since mid-January, this has happened an embarrassing five times. It’s the first time since the 1993-94 Kings a team has allowed 50 or more shots in five games in a year. The Isles have beaten the Canucks in four straight meetings, but I think it ends tonight, as they head into Vancouver frustrated and looking for answers.
PICK: CANUCKS (-115)