New York Islanders will take on Boston Bruins on Thursday evening in the NHL 2021-22 action. The home side cannot be happy with its performances, and they need to improve, especially in the offense. The visitors want to challenge the post-season spot, and they should stabilize their form.
New York is very far from the playoffs zone, and their recent form has been very poor. The hosts will likely end their campaign in the regular season if they don’t raise the level of their game significantly. On the other hand, a big fight for the post-season spot is ahead of Boston. The away side is very close to the top four in their division and wants to stay in the race.
New York Islanders – Will they be more productive?
The Islanders return home after a 2-1 defeat against the Red Wings on Tuesday evening. Although Ilya Sorokin had an excellent .949 save percentage, saving 37 shots, New York had severe issues in the offense again. After that defeat, the Islanders are hammered to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division even more. Although they have at least three games in hand compared to their division rivals, the Islanders cannot be happy with their 7-12-5 record.
Stats speak enough of how bad New York is in the offense. Only three players have contributed with 10+ points, and Mathew Barzal is the most productive with 17. He also has a team-high 12 assists, while Brock Nelson is the Islanders’ top scorer with nine goals. Besides Nelson with 12 points, Oliver Wahlstrom has chipped in with 13. New York has scored 51 goals this season, which is just a bit more than two goals per match on average. On the other hand, Ilya Sorokin has a very good .926 save percentage, allowing 2.47 goals per contest on 18 appearances.
Expected Line-Up: Ilya Sorokin, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee
with best odds
Boston Bruins – Can they enter the top four?
The Bruins’ two-game winning run ended on Tuesday evening after losing to the Golden Knights 4-1 at home. That defeat saw them staying on the 5th position in the Atlantic Division with a 14-9-2 record and a point behind the Red Wings, but with four games in hand. Jeremy Swayman didn’t enjoy his latest performance after conceding four times from only 25 shots and having a .840 save percentage. On the other hand, only Patrice Bergeron managed to find the back of the opposition’s net.
Brad Marchand leads the Bruins’ offense with 27 points, being the best scorer and assistant with 11 and 16, respectively. Patrice Bergeron has produced 23 points, while David Pastrnak is another player with 20+ points (21). Three other players have chipped in with 14 points or more. On the goal, Jeremy Swayman has spent a bit more time between the pipes than Linus Ullmark, conceding 2.29 goals per match with a .917 save percentage. Ullmark also has a solid record, stopping 92.1% of the rival’s attempts and allowing 2.56 goals per contest.
Expected Line-Up: Jeremy Swayman, Derek Forbort, Charlie McAvoy, Taylor Hall, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak
Expert Pick #1 – Bruins to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+112
Although the Bruins have been pretty inconsistent lately, I see a good value backing them on the road on the plus money odds. New York booked only two wins on the previous 15 occasions, and therefore, I’ll take Boston as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 5.5 @-125
The Islanders struggle to find the back of the oppositions’ net, while Boston has been pretty disciplined in defense. The Under cashed seven times in the Bruins’ last eight matches, and I think they’ll dictate the tempo here as well. Give me the Under as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Bruins +1.5 @-270
If you search for a safer bet, then backing the Bruins on the puck line market could be a good choice. Although the price is not so generous as the two above, I’ll take it as the third pick since I don’t believe Boston could lose this match by more than a goal.