Lock Islanders Odds Before Line Shifts & Make N.Y. Your NHL Pick Over Flyers

Dana Lane

Monday, March 21, 2016 6:14 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 21, 2016 6:14 PM UTC

The New York Islanders are looking to improve their 21-8-4 home mark in an effort to catch the New York Rangers for the third playoff spot. See my NHL pick inside.

Philadelphia Flyers vs N.Y. Islanders
Although securely in the playoff picture, the New York Islanders (38-23-8 84 pts) trail the New York Rangers by three points in the Metropolitan Division while the Philadelphia Flyers (34-24-12 80 pts) are still on the outside of the playoffs looking in as they trail the Detroit Redwings by three points for the final wild card spot in the East. 

It's no secret that the usually potent Islanders offense has struggled as of late which has led them to their recent 1-3-1 stretch. In my power ranking the Islanders have dropped to the ninth position after regulation losses to Dallas and Nashville which dropped them to fourth in their division. New York has only scored seven goals in their last five games, suffering a 3-0 loss to Dallas to close out their road trip 0-2-1. 

Before we start piling on the Islanders let's not forget their body of work which has seen them consistently be one of the better offenses in the NHL.  Let's not forget the islanders have only played two home game since February 19th, winning both, to extend their home point streak to seven. 

When handicapping this match-up it comes down to who wins the battle of the special teams which New York has the clear advantage.  If I'm Jack Capuano the game plan is simple, play physical clean hockey while forcing them into mistakes enabling us to get to their weakness which is the penalty kill. 

Just when you might start to believe the Flyers would make some noise they dropped a 4-1, home loss, to the Penguins which in itself isn't bad but their body language matched their 17 shots on goal.  In basketball you have teams that go on a streak during the game to pull them close to the top of the mountain.  They use so much energy getting there that they very little to complete the comeback.  

The effort Saturday reminded me of a team that just doesn't have enough to get over the hump, a task made more difficult with the Michal Neuvirth injury that will cause him to miss three weeks with a lower body injury.  That means Steve mason, who will take at least ten of the last 12 Flyers games, will have the task of propelling the Flyers into the playoffs. Mason has been a below average 17-16-8 and now has to prove himself as a big time goaltender. I can't back a goaltender who has given up three goals or more in three of his last four starts.  


Betting Analysis
When we talk of trends the Flyers on the road is as far you have to go.  In their last 71 road games Philadelphia is just 23-48 so that always has me peeking at the other side when they're on the road.  

The line has come down to a respectable -126 on the NHL odds boards from it's opening number of -140. So, go out and back Islanders as your NHL pick now.

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Free NHL Pick: Islanders -123
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


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