The New York Islanders embark on their first road trip of the season, starting with a match against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Here’s what you need to know ahead of time.
Pelech A Game-Time Decision; Martin Out:
Defenseman Adam Pelech did, in fact, make the trip with the Islanders to Edmonton after sitting out the team’s last two games with a lower-body injury.
Pelech was present at morning skate earlier today. Islanders head coach Lane Lambert has labeled him a game-time decision and is “fairly optimistic” he will play.
Meanwhile, Lambert also said there’s a possibility Matt Martin will not dress for the Islanders tonight. Martin’s ice time has remained limited while the Islanders have played from behind for much of this year.
If Martin is a healthy scratch, Julien Gauthier will draw into the lineup for only the second time this season.
Season Already Approaching Critical Status:
The Islanders begin a four-game road trip in Edmonton tonight, having lost five out of their last six contests. It truly feels as if the season is already reaching a make-or-break point. The result of these next four games will determine which it is.
Last Time Out:
The Islanders lost their fourth game in a row, Saturday night at home against the Washington Capitals, 4-1.
Alexander Romanov tied the score with his first goal of the season at the end of the first period, but the Islanders gave up three answered goals the rest of the way.
Throughout the third period, a “Fire Lambert” chant grew increasingly louder from the stands at UBS Arena as fans called for the Islanders to axe their head coach.
Islanders fans would love for Lambert to suffer the same fate Jay Woodcroft did yesterday.
On Sunday, Woodcroft and the rest of his coaching staff were given their walking papers by the Edmonton Oilers, as the franchise is off to a horrendous 3-9-1 start that, in some regards, doesn’t feel real.
Kris Knoblauch has been hired to replace Woodcroft, leading a staff that features Hockey Hall of Fame member Paul Coffey as an assistant coach.
Most recently, the head coach of the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack, Knoblauch, reunites with Connor McDavid in Edmonton after coaching him during his junior league career.
A new coaching staff is only the latest change for the Oilers.
Last week, they placed goaltender Jack Campbell on waivers and reassigned him to the minors. Stuart Skinner is expected to start in goal tonight.
After making the playoffs last year with 109 points, the Oilers are two points out of last place in the league.
They rank 9th in power play percentage but 30th when shorthanded.
While the Islanders are simply trying to stay afloat, the Oilers are in absolute desperation mode. Expect them to come out fast tonight and use their speed to keep the puck away from the Islanders, resulting in a lot of shots on net. Use odds presented by Draft Kings to take the over 30.5 saves for Ilya Sorokin’s tonight.
How To Watch:
Puck drop between the Islanders and Oilers from Rogers Place is scheduled for just past 8:30 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on MSG Network and streamed on MSG+ or ESPN+ for out-of-market viewers. 88.7 FM WRHU will broadcast the radio feed of the game, which can also be heard on 1o50 AM ESPN and 103.9 FM WRCN.