Pregame 11/9: Islanders at Blue Jackets

The Islanders continue their 4 game road trip tonight against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. This is the second matchup of the season between these two teams with the first being won by Columbus 3-2 in a shootout on October 5th at Nassau Coliseum the Islanders home opener. This is the first of a back to back for the Islanders as they play tomorrow night in Montreal.

Last Time Out

Islanders (6-7-3; 15 points, 5th Metropolitan): On Thursday they lost to the Hurricanes 1-0 in Raleigh and remain winless on the 4 game trip. Kevin Poulin got the start in net on Thursday and played very well. The offense couldn’t get anything going or develop chances which resulted in the shutout loss for the first time this season.

Blue Jackets (5-10-0; 10 points, 7th Metropolitan): On Thursday they lost 4-2 to the Rangers at home and have lost 5 games in a row. Like the Islanders, the Blue Jackets have had issues scoring goals during this losing streak.  

Key Opposing Players

Forwards

Marian Gaborik

Cam Atkinson

Brandon Dubinsky

Defensemen

Jack Johnson

Ryan Murray

Goaltender

Sergei Bobrovsky

Islanders Key to Victory

While it might not have played a result in the outcome of Thursday’s loss the goaltending will still be the top question of this team until some consistency is shown. A sign of that with Kevin Poulin’s solid performance could lead to a 3rd start in the last 4 games tonight but the X factor is still Evgeni Nabokov when he is called to play.

Offensive struggles need to be broken and playing more aggressive and creating scoring chances will eventually help break the skid. They need production from all 4 lines on both ends of the ice and a couple of good shifts could be a sign of good things to come. Production on the power play is also important as the Islanders haven’t scored a power play goal in their last 21 chances.

 

Tonight’s game can be seen on MSG Plus and on the radio at 88.7 FM or 103.9 FM. 

-John Santamaria

Follow me @JSantamariaNY and follow us @TCLIsles