Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook
New York Islanders
11-9-2 (4th in Central Division)
15-9-0 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
Flip Forsberg (20)
Mathew Barzal (26)
Nino Niederreiter (9)
Brock Nelson (11)
Mikael Granlund (14)
Mathew Barzal (24)
Ryan McDonagh (5)
Adam Pelech (11)
Roman Josi (4.28)
Shots (Per Game)
Anders Lee (3.04)
The Nashville Predators will face the New York Islanders in a tough matchup. The Predators are one spot outside of a Wild Card spot but can move into one of the spots if they win today. On the other side, the Islanders are playing outstanding hockey and are in third place in the Metropolitan Division. A win today would cement their place in the division.
The Predators have one of the most stagnant offenses in the league. They shoot a decent amount but barely score. They have strong defensemen and decent goaltenders, but their offense often makes it hard for them to win.
The Predators are without a star on their roster but have some solid players in Flip Forsberg, Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, and Nino Niederreiter. Flip Forsberg leads the Predators with 20 points, Matt Duchene is an all-around talent with five goals and 12 assists, Mikael Granlund is a passer and leads the team with 14 assists, and Nido Niederreiter is the top goal-scorer on this squad with nine goals.
Juuse Saros is the top goaltender in Nashville. Saros has never been an elite netminder, but he has played well enough to maintain this role for the second season in a row. With that being said, Saros may need to step up his game for Nashville to make a Playoff run.
The Islanders are firing on all cylinders. Offensively, they have plenty of weapons to put the puck in the back of the net. In addition to the offense, New York has quality defensemen and one of the NHL’s best netminders in Ilya Sorokin.
The Islanders' offense is led by Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and Anders Lee. Mathew Barzal only has two goals but is an elite passer with 24 assists. Brock Nelson can score and pass and has 11 goals and 12 assists. Anders Lee plays less than 17 minutes a game but has eight goals and 11 assists.
Ilys Sorokin is having an outstanding season in net for the Islanders. Sorokin only allows 2.18 goals per game (fourth-lowest in the league) and has a save percentage of .933 (second-highest in the league). If Sorokin continues to play at this level, he will be the Islander’s x-factor all season long.
The Islanders perform very well at home and have more offensive weapons, so they will win. In addition, the Predators struggle on the road and have lost their last three games away from Nashville.
The Predators are the inferior team but can win if they slow down Mathew Barzal and shoot 35+ times.
Mathew Barzal is one of the NHL’s best passers. The 2015 First-Round pick’s 24 assists are the second-most in the league. Marzal always knows where his teammates are and how to get the puck to them. The Predator’s defensemen must take the puck out of his hands before he can set up his teammates.
As I mentioned above, the Predators have one of the NHL’s worst offenses. They shoot upwards of 30 times a game but average less than 2.5 goals. Nashville needs to shoot more in this matchup. If they do, they will increase their scoring chances.
The Islanders will win if they score a power play goal and set up Brock Nelson with scoring opportunities.
The Islanders do not have an elite power-play unit, but they are in the top half of the league. New York converts 23.61% of their opportunities (11th best in the league). The Islanders do not need to score a power play goal today, but it would do them a lot of good. New York could build or cement a lead if they scored with a man advantage.
Brock Nelson is the top goal-scorer on this Islanders squad. The veteran did not score in the Islanders’ previous game but had one goal in the two games before that. Nelson’s teammates must pass him the puck and set him up with opportunities.
Roman Josi averages well over four shots a game but rarely scores. The defenseman has taken 92 this season and only has five goals. However, one of Josi’s five goals was the overtime winner in Nashville’s game on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.
Josi is probably feeling good about himself after Tuesday’s game. He needs to take that energy into this matchup and help his team.
Noah Dobson scored his first goal in four games on Tuesday. It was a power-play goal in the first period and ended up being the Islanders' only goal in their 3-1 loss.
Dobson has seven goals on the season and three on the power play. He needs to remember that even though he is a defenseman, he too can be a scoring threat.
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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