What a difference 24 hours can make.
On Wednesday night as the Islanders prepared to face-off with the Anaheim Ducks, there was a feeling of “here we go again” around the club and fans. An overtime victory in Anaheim followed up by a shoot-out win against the Stanley Cup Champion Kings Thursday night and the good vibes were rolling again on Long Island.
The Islanders are set to kick off the first game of their 5 game road trip tonight in Denver, against the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado is currently riding a four game point streak, and will look to extend it tonight.
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.
The Islanders will probably need to improve their regular season points-performance (79 or less in each of the last five years-excluding the lockout) by at least 26 points if they are to make the post-season.
The Islanders host the Dallas Stars Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum as they look to win their second game in a row coming off a thrilling victory Thursday night in Boston. (Image credit: flickr/ chiefx70)
The New York Islanders (4-0-0) will look to continue their winning ways tonight when they visit another Metropolitan Division rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-0) at the Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins are going to look to come out strong from the gate after a heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night. The Pens were headed to overtime with the Stars, but Tyler Seguin would score a power play goal with only 3 seconds remaining on the clock while Sidney Crosby sat in the penalty box.
A tough loss to swallow will likely have Crosby and Co. fired up and ready to go on home ice from the second the puck is dropped.