New York Islanders (6-3-0) at Colorado Avalanche (2-4-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 30, 2014, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Colorado Avalanche -127 / New York Islanders +115 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
Things haven’t gone as smoothly to start Patrick Roy’s sophomore season behind the Colorado Avalanche bench. After a year in which everything broke right and there were zero expectations the Avalanche haven’t been able to get out of their own way. Colorado is 2-4-4 to start the season and they’ve lost six of their last seven matches heading into Thursday night’s contest with the New York Islanders. One of the strangest things about Colorado’s start is that they haven’t been scoring any goals. With all the offensive firepower the Avalanche throw out there they’re currently 26th in the National Hockey League, averaging a paltry 2.20 goals per game. Colorado did put up a seven spot against Vancouver in their one win during this stretch but that just goes to show how ineffective they’ve been in every other game. The Avs followed that up with just one goal against Winnipeg and Tuesday night could only muster two against San Jose. Alex Tanguay scored shorthanded, his fourth goal of the season, to even the score with San Jose 1-1 in the second period. It looked like Colorado might be able to steal a win after Gabriel Landeskog scored early in the third, but just two minutes later the Sharks tied things up. The game eventually made it to a shootout and Semyon Varlamov was unable to stop either of the Sharks shooters her faced and Tanguay and Matt Duchene were both denied as the Avalanche were handed another defeat. It has to be just a matter of time before the Avalanche start lighting the lamp regularly but right now everybody on the club is gripping their sticks pretty tightly. Thursday match up with the defensively inept New York Islanders might be exactly what Colorado needs.
Scoring hasn’t been a problem for the Islanders this season who have average 3.78 goals per game this season, second in the National Hockey League behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins. Defensively things have been another issue entirely for New York. The Islanders are 26th in the league in goals against average, allowing 3.44 per contest. A big part of that has been their abysmal penalty kill which is second to last in the league at 67.7 percent. Despite all that, the Islanders offense has been so good that they’ve found ways to be extremely successful to start the year. Despite Tuesday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets the Islanders are off to a 6-3-0 start to the year and are in first place in the Metropolitan Division. Unfortunately the biggest question they had coming into the season is still a question at this point. Jaroslav Halak was brought in to be the No. 1 goaltender for the club and he’s been unimpressive at best to start the season. Chad Johnson is a more than capable backup but neither one of these guys is a true No. 1 and that’s something that will most likely cost this team a lot of points throughout the season. If the Islanders are in contention heading toward the trade deadline it would behoove general manager Garth Snow to try and pry away a guy that can do better than Halak. Playing in front of a club that plays defense as well as the St. Louis Blues is much different than playing in front of this Islanders defense.
This is the type of game where you’d expect the Avalanche to finally find their game offensively. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to win however, because the Islanders can put up goals with the best of them in this league. Look for this one to go over the total with some shaky goaltending.