The New York Islanders face the Columbus Blue Jackets with both teams on opposite ends of the standings to start the season. The Islanders have a 13-8 record and with back-to-back wins, boast the second-best record in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets have a 7-11-1 record which is the worst in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams are looking to improve in the division and the Eastern Conference and the upcoming game should be a good one as a result.
Islanders defense has fueled strong start to seasonThe Islanders are having a great season with their offense stepping up and scoring 3.29 goals per game. Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and Anders Lee have scored 19 goals and 43 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has also been great. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Kyle Palmieri have combined for 16 goals and 17 assists while defensemen Noah Dobson and Adam Pelech have added eight goals and 15 assists from the point to open up the offense.
The offense has been great but the defense has carried the Islanders, allowing only 2.62 goals per game with only two goals in the last two games. Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock have combined for 2.9 defensive point shares and 66 blocked shots while Noah Dobson, Scott Mayfield, and Alexander Romanov have combined for 3.1 defensive point shares to add depth to the unit. Moreover, goaltender Ilya Sorokin is having a remarkable season in the net with a .934 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average on 467 shots.
Blue Jackets have struggled on both ends of the iceThe Blue Jackets are having a rough season with their offense struggling and scoring only 2.95 goals per game. While Johnny Gaudreau, Boone Jenner, and Yegor Chinakhov have scored 18 goals and 24 assists to lead the top two lines, the rest of the offense has struggled. Only four skaters have scored four goals or more while only eight active skaters have added five assists or more and opposing defenses can limit the top-heavy offense as a result.
The offense has struggled but the rest is one of the worst in the NHL, allowing 4.26 goals per game including 12 goals in the last three games. Vladislav Gavrikov and Erik Gudbranson have combined for 1.1 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has been awful, allowing opponents to find open shots on the net at will. In addition, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo has struggled in the net with a .901 save percentage and a 3.85 goals-against average on 252 shots.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Blue Jackets are looking to win on their home ice and provide great odds in the process as Underdogs. The problem is that they face an Islanders team that looks like one the best in the Eastern Conference and looks to overwhelm them on both ends of the ice. The Islanders, who average 3.29 goals per game, should find the back of the net at will against a Blue Jackets defense that allows 4.26 goals per game with Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and the rest of the forward unit controlling the puck in the offensive zone and creating open shots with great puck movement. The Islanders, who only allow 2.62 goals per game, should also limit the Blue Jackets with Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Ilya Sorokin to make plenty of big saves. The Islanders should win the game with a dominant performance on their home ice.
Take the Islanders money line as road Favorites.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Blue Jackets have an awful defense that can easily make this game a high-scoring one. However, the Islanders have been led by their defense and both defensive units look to step up and control this game from the opening puck drop. The Blue Jackets should limit the Islanders' offense with Vladislav Gavrikov, Erik Gudbranson, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to make plenty of big saves. The Islanders, who have only allowed two goals in their last two games, should eliminate and potentially shut out the Blue Jackets, who average only 2.95 goals per game with Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, and the rest of the defensive unit forcing turnovers in the neutral zone and defensive zone while goaltender Ilya Sorokin blanks shots on the net. The Under should cover in a low-scoring game with both defenses stepping up.
Take the Under on 6.5 goals.
Full-Game Prop Bet