The next nine games are all on the road for the New York Islanders. If this were the last three or four years, I’d be a little more optimistic. One thing is for sure, if the Islanders don’t rack up at least nine points, they’re going to need other teams like Toronto, Boston and Philadelphia to lose and lose often. So let’s go over which Islanders team may show up for at least the next three games as there is a four-day break in between the third and fourth games and of course, the March 1st trade deadline. So the first three opponents are Detroit tonight, Montreal and Columbus.
If we go by my percentage (Point Pace) standings, the Red Wings (81), and Canadiens (97) are not in the top ten in the NHL. If that’s the case, then the Isles are 17-8-9. I like those odds. If Montreal (currently ranked 11th in the NHL) creeps back into the top 10 in two days, then it gets a little tougher as the Islanders are 10-13-1, which concludes with a matchup against the Blue Jackets (112). The Islanders are 7-9-3 against teams in the Atlantic Division (Detroit, Montreal) while 9-7-4 in the Metro (Columbus). Since the games are evenly spread apart, we should see Thomas Greiss in net for all three of them and he enters with a 18-11-3 record. Again, it’s promising, yet the Islanders are 16-16-7 against teams in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders are 10-4-2 under interim head coach Dough Weight, yet are 1-4 on the road.
See where I’m going with this? I have no clue how this is going to shape up, but the Islanders better start to because they’ll need all the points they can get to stick around for the rest of this playoff push. I think a win over Detroit tonight would cause the Red Wings to begin selling closer to this weekend as their next game is not until next Tuesday in Vancouver, a day before the trade deadline. That may happen anyways. So let’s literally take one game at a time. We’ll talk about Montreal and those odds in two days and go from there. My guess? I think the Isles can squeeze out three points before the trade deadline.