The Islanders (6-2-0) have proved to be a confident bunch and the high scoring offense looked to flex their muscles early on against Winnipeg (3-5-0) at the Coliseum. The upstart Isles team has played well and beaten teams that were challenging cogs on their opening schedule but haven’t faced an inferior opponent since Carolina.
The Jets came into 2014-15 without any lofty expectations to burden them. Now they are expected to do even less with an injury sidelining premiere player Evander Kane. Struggling to score goals and without any reliable sources of sustainable offense, they should be dominated by the Isles on any given night. The Isles are clearly the better team at this junction of the season in every facet of their game.
But as every fan and analyst knows, projections and predictions mean nothing when the teams step on the ice. Hockey is a game with its ups and downs built on emotion, momentum and grit. On any given night, the NHL provides a stage for teams to upset supposed better teams.
On the day that the Islanders revealed their new threads for the Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium, they will look to get back to their winning ways in front of their home crowd. The New York Islanders will be taking on the Winnipeg Jets, who are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. On the other side of that, is the struggling Isles who has won just 2 of their last 10 contests. They have only walked away with 4 of 24 potential points. These losing ways have the Isles resting rather uncomfortably in the basement of the Metropolitan Division with a measly 19 points.
The Blackhawks started off strong in Winnipeg on Thursday night: commanding on the dot, strong defensively, and leading 1-0 after the first from a Patrick Kane laser shot.
Dustin Byfuglien would take a holding penalty for the Jets, followed by Duncan Keith taking a slashing penalty in order to prevent a goal. On the ensuing 4-on-4 play, Brandon Saad stretched the lead out to 2-0 just over 3 minutes into the second -- but the lead would last less than a minute.
Andrew Ladd would open up the scoring for Winnipeg 19 seconds after the Saad goal; and then, as the Byfulgien penalty expired, Keaton Ellerby put in his first of the year, a PPG, just 29 seconds later.
A strong defensive core is quite possibly the best asset any team can have going into the Olympics. It promotes continuity, kick starts the transition game, regulates the flow of play, and most importantly it protects the goaltender. For team USA’s defensive pairings the following must be considered.
- Complementary styles of play: The ability to mesh with one’s partner quickly will lead to early success in Sochi.
- Breadth of play: Despite some talented rookies and sophomores in the NHL today, it is important to have more veteran members taking the ice in bi...
Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks (8-2-3, 2nd in Central) will play at Winnipeg vs the Jets (3-5-2, 7th in Western wildcard), their first time playing each other as Central division rivals. It will be the first of four games between them this season. The two teams have not played each other since October 2011.
Due to the annual "Circus trip", the Blackhawks play the majority of their games on the road in November; just five of fifteen games will be at home. After Saturday afternoon's game, the Blackhawks will return to the United Center to face the Flames on Sunday, and then on to Washington, DC, for their visit to the White House.
The Isles took a big step towards the playoffs yesterday afternoon with another road victory in Winnipeg. Brian Strait was back in the line up, so Matt Carkner sat yesterday.
This was one of the most exciting games this season, with so much on the line for both teams. In the beginning of the first, the Isles looked a little tired. That would not last long though, as Frans Nielsen scored his 6th of the season just 4:21 into the game on a nice play from Okposo and Bailey. (Photo: MVerminski/flickr)
24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in the 2nd period. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)