Islanders-Leafs Game to Buck Trend and Stay 'Under' Generous Total

Dana Lane

Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:26 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 6:26 PM UTC

New York and Toronto usually play higher-scoring games; the "over" is 9-1 in their past 10 meetings. For tonight's matchup, however, expect a different result with your NHL picks.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Thursday NHL: Islanders vs. Maple LeafsFree NHL Pick: 'Under' 6.5 (+105)Best Line Offered: Heritage

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We can’t win them all, but for Dallas to not score Wednesday in Anaheim is a concern moving forward. The Ducks gave me exactly what I thought they would but the Stars failed to fulfill expectations. We’ll get that loss back tonight, like we always do.

Make sure to join "The Ice Guys" show on the SBR YouTube page Saturday morning at 9 ET. Ian Cameron hosts the show with Alex B. Smith, Andrew McInnis and me. With tonight pending I’m on a 21-4 streak that has made a lot of people a lot of money. Don’t miss it!

From the West Coast to the East Coast is where we’ll find tonight’s winner. The New York Islanders (29-26-6, 64 points, -16 GD) travel to Toronto (37-20-5, 79 points, +33) to face the Maple Leafs. The Islanders are not ranked in my top 10; the Leafs are No. 8.

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#Isles game day in Toronto 🔷🏒🔶

🆚 Leafs
🕖 7PM
📍 Air Canada Centre
🎧 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News, AM970 - The Answer

— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 22, 2018

Since the All-Star break the Islanders are just 4-6-1 and have fallen out of the playoffs -- as of now. New York hasn’t won three in a row since beating Montreal 5-4 in overtime on January 15.

If the Islanders had any semblance of solid goaltending or defense they wouldn’t have any problem reaching the postseason. Jaroslav Halak (18-19-4, 3.21 GA, .911) and Thomas Greiss (11-7-2, 3.84, .891) have struggled at the back of a defense that allows 36 shots per game. In Halak’s past four starts, New York has allowed 187 total shots (46.7/gm). You can say all you want about how bad the goaltending is, but if I’m asking my goalie to make 50 saves as Halak did in a 3-0 shutout of the Rangers a week ago, then of course the goals-against average is going to be last in the league (3.57).

I’m going to draw from Halak’s past to say I believe he’ll have a phenomenal game tonight. Last season the Islanders thought it was a great idea to carry three goaltenders, which never works. Halak and his agent Allan Walsh complained publicly that his client didn’t get enough playing or practice time. Halak was then sent to Bridgeport in the AHL where he was the clear No. 1 goaltender. Yes, it was the AHL but he responded well, posting a 17-7-1 record along with a sparkling save percentage (.925) and goals-against average (2.15).

He’s the man once again as Greiss has been placed on injured reserve. We need a good effort from Halak to cash this wager in our NHL picks. Tonight looks like the likely spot for that, especially with Halak’s name being thrown around as trade bait.

This game is staying "under" the number on the NHL odds board despite both teams’ elite offensive capabilities.

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