Doug Weights first game as a bench boss, at any level, will come for the New York Islanders as they take on the visiting Dallas Star. At team who’s last game against the Rangers saw them score seven goals. Good luck Doug.
Tonight will mark a bold new venture for the New York Islanders. It’s the first time in six years that they don’t have Jack Capuano behind the bench. In comes his understudy Doug Weight.
It almost doesn’t matter what Doug Weight has to say. Fans just want to see a winning product on the ice. He says the Isles have to “play better“. Sure. A 28th rank halfway through the season makes that point fairly obvious.
But let’s see that happen. Let’s see the Islanders play a full 60 minutes. Let’s see them avoid third-period collapses. Let’s see them win games they’re supposed to win.
Tonight might not be a “supposed” to win game, but it’s certainly one the Isles can conceivably win against a bad road team that’s 4-5-1 in their last ten.
The Dallas Stars might have won their last game by scoring seven goals, but they also allowed six to be scored against them. With all of their strength up front in players like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza, they are terribly fragile at the back.
The Stars rank 27th in terms of save percentage with a teamwide 0.896 SV%. Already terrible in it’s own right, but worse when you consider that the Dallas tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi are the highest paid tandem in the league at a $10.4 million cap hit combined.
The Isles, ranked 14th in terms of teamwide save percentage, spend $2.175 million for Greiss and Berube. Even adding Halak to that list, with his full $4.5 million hit, only brings the number up to $6.575 million.
The Isles had great forward depth, that, in the leadup, before the week long CBA-mandated break were scoring an average 4.6 goals per game. If that’s the Islanders were going to see tonight, a win should be almost guaranteed.
New York Islanders
Last Five Games: 3G (1 SHG), 1A, +4, 6 SOG
The 37-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta has been on fire recently. Who knows why now. Maybe it just took him that long to get settled in? Maybe it has to do with playing alongside 19-year-old Anthony Beauvillier that’s given him a jump. Whatever it is, well have more of that please!
New York Islanders
Last Five Games: 0G, 0A, -2, 5 SOG
Where is Brock Nelson? In the Isles last five games, the Minnesota native has been completely absent. Much like the team itself, Brock was fantastic leading up to the Isles bye-week, with four points in two nights. But Nelson hasn’t recorded a point since that 6-2 drubbing against Winnipeg.