New York Islanders (0-0-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (0-0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 4, 2018, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes -167 / New York Islanders +110 --- Over/Under:
The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes meet Thursday in NHL action at the PNC Arena.
The New York Islanders followed up two playoff appearances with two straight disappointing seasons and begin a new era under coach Barry Trotz, who comes over from the Washington Capitals. The Islanders will also have to adjust to the absence of John Tavares, one of the games top offensive players. While it’s likely going to take time to adjust, the Islanders do have a proven coach leading the way and still have a terrific forward on the roster in Mathew Barzal, who led New York last season with 85 points. The issue for the Islanders is that they allowed a league worst 3.57 goals per game last year, and I’m not sure the addition of Robin Lehner changes much. If the holes in the defense aren’t cleaned up for the Islanders, it’s going to be a third straight year where New York fails to sniff the postseason. The New York Islanders have lost each of their last three regular season openers.
The Carolina Hurricanes have missed the playoffs each of the last nine years, which is currently the longest drought in the league. Rod Brind'Amour takes over at head coach and he has four of the top five points leaders from a year ago. Sebastian Aho has 53 goals under his belt, and he just turned 21 years old, while Teuvo Teravainen has improved his point toal each of the last four years. What will make or break the Hurricanes is the defense, as Scott Darling has to have a bounce back year and return to the player he was with the Chicago Blackhawks. (Darling will start the season on the IR) With guys such as Calvin de Haan and Dougie Hamilton now on the squad, the Hurricanes have the ability to be one of the better defenses in the league, which gives Carolina a fighting chance to end this playoff drought. The Carolina Hurricanes have lost six of their last seven regular season openers.
The Islanders are 5-12 in their last 17 vs. Eastern Conference, 3-8 in their last 11 road games and 6-16 in their last 22 overall. The Hurricanes are 8-2 in their last 10 Thursday games, 7-15 in their last 22 vs. Eastern Conference and 4-12 in their last 16 vs. Metropolitan. The Islanders are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Carolina, the road team is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings and the over is 28-12-1 in the last 41 meetings.
It's likely going to take the New York Islanders some time to adjust to a new voice at coach and the fact they're without their best player. The Carolina Hurricanes have issues of their own, but for the most part, the key players from last year are still around and the defense got a big boost with offseason signings. The Islanders also didn't look good on the road last season. I'll back the Hurricanes in what would be a rare season opening victory.