Colorado Avalanche (36-16-5) at New York Islanders (22-29-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday February 8, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +100 / Colorado Avalanche -110 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Islanders look for a rare home victory as they host the Colorado Avalanche who have dropped back to back contests.
The Avalanche have been one of the game`s bigger surprises this season as they have gone from drafting with the first overall selection last year to be a Western Conference contender this year and while some of that has to do with the Calder Trophy favourite Nathan Mackinnon the picture is much bigger. Colorado wasn`t a last place team last season as they were much more talented than a while slew of teams in the league and even some teams who made the playoffs but they didn`t seem to have direction or an identity which they addressed in the offseason by bringing in Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. The Avs head into Saturday night`s encounter with the Isles coming off a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night – a game in which they were outmuscled and pushed around – so you know they`ll be in a mood to bounce back and won`t take any mercy against a lowly team like the Islanders.
New York was expected to be the talk of the town this season and perhaps overtake their in-city rivals on Broadway but so far it has bene more of the same on Long Island and it doesn`t look like things are going to get much better any time soon. The team made a push at legitimacy early in the season by trading beloved winger Matt Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Thomas Vanek and now that the move hasn`t paid off for either party it is clear that Vanek will be on the move once again and it will likely come before the trade deadline. John Tavares is in the top echelon of NHL talent and is second in league scoring behind Sidney Crosby but has hit a bit of a lull in his point production and as such the Islanders have faltered. The Isles are home dogs in this spot and for good reason as they don`t match up well against the Avs who will control the pace of the game with their team speed and with Colorado having the goaltending edge and looking to take out their frustrations I think we see the road team leave with two points.