I know that title is a cheap joke and a few years old, but it’s worth it. Just like how the trip to New York will be worth it for the Nashville Predators.
The Islanders are the most fascinating team in the NHL today. Their offense is an unstoppable force but their defense is an extremely movable object. It’s safe to assume that they aren’t winning many games 1-0. If you’re a gambler, take the over on this game. The Nashville Predators’ defense will have their hands full with two elite scoring lines, but otherwise not too much. The Islanders’ bottom six is extremely physical and filled to the brim with special teams players. Their strength comes from their ability to get the puck up the ice quickly and attack on transition.
Let’s get to a know a few of the big guns on the Islanders.
You can’t mention the Islanders without talking about John Tavares. He’s the heart and soul of this franchise and it’s a bit crazy to think that he might be gone after this season. I don’t want to focus on that, but you can’t not mention it. Anyways, Tavares has 58 points in 53 games and is singlehandedly lifting up Anders Lee and Josh Bailey into new heights. He’s always a player to watch and tonight will be no different.
If you love rookies, Mathew Barzal is who you want to watch. He’s my personal pick for the Calder trophy, despite Brock Boeser‘s incredible scoring ability. Barzal has 53 points in 53 games and is a true playmaker in every sense of the word. He centers a line with Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier which has been as potent as any line in the NHL. He has the puck on a string and will make use of any space you give him.
An up and comer on the blue line is Ryan Pulock. The 23-year-old is having a great little season in the NHL. Pulock has 17 points in 39 games and is one of the better possession players on the Islanders. Expect to see him at five on five and on the power play, he’s an incredible offensive player.
The Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg is suspended and will miss the next three games and will be in against the Canadiens. Otherwise, here’s the lineup:
- Use your depth to your advantage: The Islanders have one of the best top sixes in the NHL, beat their depth with your depth.
- Kill them with kindness: Don’t take any penalties. Their powerplay is bursting with talent and they convert on about 20% of their opportunities.
- Bad goaltending: The Islanders have the worst goaltending talent in the league with Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak. Long gone are the days of Halak vs Price, but here we are. Make your shots count.
Where to watch
The game will be on Fox Sports Tennessee with puck drop at 6 PM. The game can also be heard on 102.5 The Game at the same time.