Pregame 3/4/14: Islanders at Jets

The Islanders hit the road to western Canada for a 4 game road trip starting tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. What should be of note tonight, this is the Islanders final game before the trading deadline on Wednesday afternoon. It could be the final games for Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald in the blue and orange.

This game tonight is the 2nd and final meeting of the season between the two teams who last met on November 27th at Nassau Coliseum, a 3-2 win by the Jets. Since the two teams last met, the Jets have changed coaches; Claude Noel was fired in early January and replaced by Paul Maurice on an interim basis. Winnipeg now sits 2 points behind the 8th and final playoff spot in the West and have gone 11-3-1 since Maurice was hired as interim coach.

Last Time Out

Islanders (23-32-8); 54 points, last in Metropolitan: Lost 5-3 on Sunday at home against the Florida Panthers. The Islanders have lost 4 of their last 5 games.

Jets (30-26-6); 49 points, 5th in Central: On Saturday they defeated the Nashville Predators 3-1 on the road. The Jets have earned points in 8 of their last 10 games.

Key Opposing Players

Forwards

Andrew Ladd

Evander Kane

Blake Wheeler

Defensemen

Dustin Byfuglien

Mark Stuart

Goaltender

Ondrej Pavelec

Islanders Key to Victory

This will be a difficult road trip for the Islanders especially with their recent struggles and injuries suffered. This will continue to be a learning experience for some of the younger players like Strome and Lee as they get the taste of life in the NHL. While the Jets are playing well of late the Islanders look to come in and play spoilers and they will need a full effort from start to finish if they want this to happen.

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