New York Islanders (24-33-9) at Vancouver Canucks (29-27-10)
|Date & Time||Monday March 10, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -173 / New York Islanders +157 --- Over/Under: 5.5
Two struggling teams meet up in Vancouver on Monday as the Islanders look to play spoiler for a Canucks team desperately seeking to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Islanders were one of a handful of teams to make some noise as last week’s trade deadline as they made a last ditch effort to ship Thomas Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens officially ending a disappointing relationship between both parties. The Isles were scrutinized for making the deal originally as it disrupted the chemistry that John Tavares had with the departed Matt Moulson and just months after the deal was processed earlier this season both players have new homes and the Isles are left with virtually nothing to show for. Evgeni Nabokov has a been a bright spot for the Islanders this year as the veteran goaltender formerly of the San Jose Sharks has had a strong campaign and is perhaps lobbying himself to potential suitors for a pay cheque in the coming years. New York heads into Vancouver with 15 of their 24 wins coming on the road while the Canucks have lost 8 of 10.
Vancouver was another team at the focal point of the NHL trade deadline but not for the reasons many expected they would be as the trade mill swirled around Ryan Kesler’s name but it was goaltender Roberto Luongo who was shipped out of town. The Canucks have been in the midst of some serious drama over the last two seasons with respect to their off ice movements and now that Luongo is out of town, which has left the Canucks without either of their potential “number one” goalies from last season and are stuck with Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks are in shambles right now and while they’re still a playoff type team if they can get healthy I don’t see them having the fortitude to compete with the top end teams in the West this season and even if they get into the playoffs I don’t expect them to play more than four or five games. Vancouver needs to regroup and while the Islanders may be the perfect punching bag they seem to play a lot better on the road than at home and why not take a chance with them here as a nice paying dog.