Another edition of the battle of New York is tonight in Brooklyn, as the Rangers and Islanders meet in Brooklyn for an important matchup in the NHL on Thursday night. The Rangers are 37-18-0 and are in firm control of the 1st wildcard. With 75 points, the Rangers are 12 points ahead of the 2nd wildcard, which is currently occupied by the Toronto Maple Leafs. They shouldn’t find any issues finding a place in the playoffs.
However, for the Islanders, it’s going to be a different story. They will need to come from behind to make some good things happen. Thanks to an extremely slow start, the Islanders are 3 points back off a playoff spot. Nevertheless, even threatening for a playoff spot looked like an afterthought just about a month ago. The Isles were last in the conference, before they found a different gear in them to get things going. We look to make it another victory with our NHL betting pick today.
Part of the resurgence of the Islanders has to be directly related to the firing of Jack Capuano. Capuano got sent out the door, and almost immediately the team took on a different look. While the Islanders still have some work to do, they’ve been looking better and if they keep it up, 3 points should be nothing for them to overcome. The Islanders have captured eight wins in thirteen attempts since the firing of Capuano. However, they have gone 1-2 in their last three games.
A win Tuesday night over the Maple Leafs would have put them in the wildcard slot; however, they lost and they’re 3 points out at the moment. Every game is mighty important for them from this point on. A win against the Rangers would make it all the more sweeter. We’ll see if they can do it tonight in Brooklyn.
N.Y. Rangers vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
The Islanders have had some success against their rival of late, though. They’ve gone 5-1 in their last six meetings. If you’ve looked at their overall success across that time period, the Rangers have had the upper-hand, but at least the Islanders have the head-to-head to brag about. Nevertheless, the Rangers are feeling hotter coming into this game, as they’ve won six straight games entering tonight.
The Rangers have scored an average of 3.8 goals over that stretch and have allowed 2.2 goals a game. No, Henrik Lundqvist has not been as good as he’s been in the past. He has a 2.68 GAA on the season, which pails into comparison to his work before. However, all he needs to do is get hot at the right time and the Rangers are looking like serious contenders.
The offence is there, they just need the extra help from the defence. The Rangers didn’t have the best of offences before but had the defence, now they have offence but the defence is lacking.
Nevertheless, the Rangers have looked good in that regard of late, allowing just 2.20 goals over their last ten games.
Conversely, the Islanders have given up 3.20 goals a game. The Isles are coming off an embarrassing performance against the Leafs, a 7-1 loss. I think they put together a better effort tonight against the Rangers. Perhaps they were looking ahead? I could see the Ranger offence posing some problems for them, though. My pick is on this one to go comfortably OVER the posted total of 5.5.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)