The Philadelphia Flyers face a critical matchup tonight at home. They welcome the New York Islanders, who are in an equally important game on Thursday night. Both are about in the same position, the Flyers 6 points behind the Bruins for the final wildcard, and the Isles 4 points back.
Needless to say, it’s an important game in Philadelphia tonight for the Islanders and Flyers. The Flyers made the playoffs last year, barely, only to lose 4-2 to the Capitals in the first-round. They finished up the season strong, fending off a few other teams to reach the postseason.
It’s going to be tough to find that rhythm again, as they’re running out of time to stage a comeback this time around. The regular season is done on April 9th, so that doesn’t leave much room for error. This goes for the Islanders too, but a 2-point advantage at this juncture is a big advantage.
The Islanders started off as one of the slowest teams in the NHL. The poor start resulted in the firing of head coach Jack Capuano. Doug Weight took over as the interim head coach, and the Islanders have responded, giving themselves a chance to reach the playoffs.
That much is something to be proud of for the Islanders. The Flyers, though, are looking at taking a step back from last season. There were expectations for a better season for this team in the summer. While they have had their moments to celebrate, inconsistencies have plagued them throughout. Perhaps some better goaltending, and the Flyers would be signing a different tune.
Mason nor Neuvirth have been particularly solid, losing them more than a handful of games. Insert a capable netminder, and I think the Flyers are in the playoffs right now. A lot of teams can say “what if”, though. Let’s try and hammer out a winner tonight. Head below for our Thursday night Islanders vs. Flyers pick in the NHL.
N.Y. Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
The Flyers can get a bit back with a win tonight. It’d put them and the Isles in a tie with 82 points on the season. The Islanders haven’t done themselves any favors completing a comeback. They’ve dropped their last two outings after beating the Rangers and Penguins. Just when you think this team could have gotten on a roll, they flounder against a couple teams they should have beaten.
Conversely, the Flyers have won two games in a row, against the Penguins and Senators. So, both teams have wins over the Pens recently. Defence has been an issue for these teams as well, with the Islanders 26th in the NHL and the Flyers 22nd. The Islanders have been getting exposed of late, allowing 3.40 goals per game in their last ten showings. This series has seen three straight wins on the UNDER, but I see that fortune changing tonight in Philadelphia. It should be a good one, with a 4-2 or 4-3 final score. It leads us to a pick on the OVER 5.5.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)