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Kicking off the Monday slate of NHL games is the Eastern vs. Western Conference matchup between the New York Islanders (5-5-3) going on the road to take on the Edmonton Oilers (3-9-1).
The Islanders are attempting to get out of the middle of the pack in the East and find a real identity. After starting the season with an overall record of 4-2-1, the Islanders have lost five of their last six games. New York is on a four-game consecutive losing streak.
The Oilers are the most disappointing team in the league this season. Despite having great stars on the roster, the Oilers have started horribly and have fired head coach Jay Woodcroft on Sunday morning as a result. This game against the Islanders will be the Oilers’ first game under interim coach Kris Knoblauch.
What has made the Oilers one of the most disappointing teams in the team is their lack of efficiency on the defensive side of the ice. Edmonton is allowing an average of 3.92 goals allowed per game, which is the third worst in the league. Goalkeeper Stuart Skinner (86.1% on saves) has been one of the more efficient defenders on the ice.
The Islanders are not going to find many opportunities to score against this defense, as they average only 2.46 goals per game, the third worst in the league. New York lacks the offensive stars to play at a high-paced level, as defender Noah Dobson leads in points accounted for (12).
Edmonton possesses a solid set of offensive players, including two stars in Leon Draisatti (15 points) and Connor McDavid (10 points). The Oilers have six players who have accounted for 10 points this season, as opposed to the Islanders, who only have two players who have accounted for 10 points.
Time: 10:00 PM E.T. - Monday
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The final game of the night is set for a Western Conference Wild Card round rematch between the Colorado Avalanche (8-5) going on the road to take on the Seattle Kraken (5-7-3). This game will be the third meeting on the ice since the Kraken defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Avalanche in the first round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs.
The Avalanche and the Kraken met earlier in the season on October 17 in Seattle. Colorado defeated Seattle 4-1 in an early revenge game. The Kraken took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Avalanche had four different players account for goals.
The Kraken got revenge on the Avalanche this past Thursday in Denver with a 4-3 score. Kraken forward Oliver Brorkstrand accounted for two goals against the defense of the Avalanche.
Colorado and Seattle are similar on the defensive side of the ice. The Avalanche allow 3.31 goals per game, while the Kraken allow an average of 3.4 goals per game. Both team’s defensive role players have been more lenient in suppressing the opposing offense. Seattle allows an average of 31.3 shots at the goal through 15 games this season.
Colorado is set to start Alexander Georgiev (88.7% on saves) at goalie, while Seattle is set to Phillip Grubauer (89.1% on saves).
The biggest key of the game is the consistency and production of both team’s offenses. The Avalanche are averaging 3.23 goals per game, while the Kraken are averaging only 2.6 goals per game, which is fourth in the league. Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen (19 points), defender Cale Makar (16 points) and center Nathan MacKinnon (15 points) have accounted for more points than Kraken's leader, Jaden Schwartz (14 points).
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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