After a hot start, the Rangers have cooled and are in fourth place in rugged Metropolitan Division. The Islanders are in last place in the same division and those who bet on hockey are wondering about both clubs.
What should hockey bettors look for in the days and possibly weeks ahead for NHL picks?
New York Islanders a Mess
It was just a few years ago the Iles were an up and coming team, with young players who could skate and score and the future was bright. Fast forward to this week and the Islanders fired coach Jack Capuano on Jan. 18th, after just after a 4-0 shutout victory no less.
Captain John Tavares was reportedly in the discussion about the direction of this franchise, which has been completely mismanaged the last few years and if he were to walk as a free agent is 15-18 months, this directionless franchise would really be in trouble.
The truth is, maybe coaching would help, but the roster needs fine-tuning to turn this into a playoff team and going on from that point, especially when you look at goals for/goals against of the other division dwellers.
N.Y. Islanders -5
If you look at teams with less than 50 points, the Islanders are near the top of that group and could make a move by tightening up all aspects, especially the special teams.
Rangers Need Lundqvist of Old
The hockey season is a few sticks north of the halfway point. The New York Rangers are in fourth place in the Metropolitan and to understand how tough their division is, realize the Blueshirts are also 4th in the entire league in goal differential.
The talk in the Big Apple besides the new president is what is the deal with the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist. The 34-year old netminder is at a career-low .902 save percentage, which places him tied for 37th among goalies with at least 17 starts.
It sure looks like a regression in skills in some games and that he's also battling himself in others. When looking over the NHL odds, you realize a unique talent can turn it around in one game (think Aaron Rodgers), but you have to wonder if we have seen the best of "King Henrik" and what it means to the Rangers chances to win looking forward.