New York Islanders (30-23-11) 71 Pts @ Edmonton Oilers (35-22-8) 78 Pts
When: March 7th, 2107
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB
Time: 9 PM EST
TV: MSG+2 (Brendan Burke, Butch Goring)
Radio: 660AM, 101.9FM – WFAN, 88.7FM – WRHU, 103.9FM – LI News< (Chris King, Greg Picker)
The Islanders head to Edmonton this evening for game seven of the nine game road trip that has seen the Isles go 3-2-1.
These two teams have quite the history, dating back to their epic battles in the early to mid eighties. Unfortunately, neither team has seen much success since, and that goes double for the Oilers who have not made the playoffs since 2006. However, this year, with Connor McDavid leading the way, and the league in points, barring disaster, the streak will be broken.
The Islanders are clinging to the last playoff spot in the East, and tonight will be a huge test. The Isles have never played in the brand new Rogers Place, (not to be confused with Rogers Centre in Toronto), but in their last six visits to Edmonton, dating back to 2003, they are 0-5-1. The home team is 12-0-2 in the last 14 meetings between the two clubs.
With the 9 PM start, the Isles will know where they stand in the Wild Card race by the end of the first period. There are three important games to watch: Toronto battles Detroit, who for all intents and purposes is out of the race, Buffalo and Philadelphia will face-off in Buffalo, and the Rangers take on the Panthers in Sunrise. Isles’ fans find themselves in the unenviable position of having to root for the Rangers. But, playoff races make for strange bedfellows sometimes. A Toronto loss would keep the Isles in the eight spot no matter what. Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Buffalo are all within five points of the Isles with just about a month to play.
After being bombarded by a ridiculous amount of shots, and finally folding under the weight of a poor defensive showing by letting in four goals, Thomas Greiss is back in the net for the Islanders. He will face former Rangers’ backup Cam Talbot. There will be one small change on the back end, as Coach Doug Weight continues to flip flop rookie defensemen. Tonight, it’s Adam Pelech‘s turn, as he stands in for Scott Mayfield. Johnny Boychuk is still out with a sore foot, and is considered day-to-day.
“We’re going to reboot,” Weight said. “We’ve done some good things, and we’re in position right now where we’re going to learn from our game on Sunday, we’re going to watch and take some things out of it. We’re going to bring some energy, we had a day off and it’s a big test for us.”
Jason Chimera, who is from Edmonton, is excited about getting to visit his hometown.
“It’s good. Always fun to come back home, see your parents and family. It’s a great place, a great place to grow up and you see some people like your parents you don’t see too often, so nice to have dinner with them.”
Puck drops shortly after 9 PM.