Islanders Huge Momentum as the Sharp NHL Pick Over Shark

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 3:26 PM GMT

Can John Tavares & company keep winning and put the pressure on the teams at the top of the division? We will provide you with a NHL pick as we take a look at this matchup.

Face-off is set for 10:30 p.m. EST, tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. According to 5Dimes, home ice is important as the Sharks are a -124 betting favorite and the total for the game is 5 goals (+127) on the NHL odds board. I really disagree with those odds as the Isles are the hot team and San Jose actually plays better on the road than they do at home. This Islanders look to be a very appealing price, but let's take a closer look.

 

Starting Goalies
We look for some conformation of tonight's goaltenders, but being that this is a West Coast late game, we don't have the confirmation and we'll have to assume that the 1st string goalies will get the start. You may keep checking on the starting goaltenders by googling key phrases as they should be updated as we draw nearer to game time.

Jaroslav Halav should be in goal for the Islanders tonight and Martin Jones will be between the pipes for the Sharks. If you look at the Islanders overall statistically, they're a well rounded team on both sides of the puck. They rank 12th in goals, 9 in goals allowed, and dominate on the power play as they're 4th each in power play % and power play kill. 

I mention Halav at 4-3-1, hasn't totally gotten the goal support that he deserves, but has been a beast in net as he's split goaletending duties with Thomas Greiss. Thus far, Halav has a 1.87 GAA and 2 shutouts. He's been very reliable and with the momentum that New York carries into this game, they have a good chance of winning as a live underdog.

Martin Jones has definitely been the more reliable of the goaltenders for the Sharks. Although he carries a 6-5 record into this game, he has a 2.06 GAA and .924 %. Jones was as hard luck loser as the Sharks provided no offensive support for him in his last outing, a 1-0 loss to the Anaheim. Although wins and losses are the name of the game, they don't always tell the story as in the Ducks vs. Sharks defense battle. This should be a competitive matchup tonight between these two teams.

 

Go To Guys
One can't help but mention Kyle Okposo (4 goals, 7 assists) , John Tavares (5 goals, 6 assist), and Frans Nielsen (5 goals, 5 assists) when mentioning the Islanders offense. Tavares, who has only played in 12 games this season, is one of the best players in the league  That said, he's fighting an illness, but will play in tonight's matchup tonight.

In 1 game against the Sharks this season, he had 2 assists. Okposo has also had major success against San Jose as he has a goal and an assist against them in their only matchup, and Nielsen also had a 1 goal and an assist against San Jose. If these key players can come close to duplicating their prior performances and Tavares has gas in the tank, San Jose is certainly at a major disadvantage.

 

Joe Pavelski and Joel Ward
San Jose is very top heavy where talent is concerned as center, Joe Pavelski and, right winger Thomas Ward, have come racing out of the gates this season. Pavelski leads the team with 8 goals and 5 assists and Ward is not far behind at 7 goals and 5 assists.

What's amazing about Ward is that he's converted on 30.4% of his shots and that's simply unheard of. Let's also not forget about veteran, Joe Thornton (8 assists) who is an elite puck distributor in this league. This is a team that needs to stay away from committing silly penalites as they rank near the bottom of the league in penalty killing along with power play goals.

The Islanders have the advantage here as they have a ton of momentum and San Jose simply isn't intimidating on home ice. Take NY as your NHL pick tonight.

NHL Pick: Islanders +108 at Heritage

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