New York Islanders Back After A Week Off

Dec 17, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck away from New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders hockey is back after a perfectly timed break for us fans. Now the Isles head back out west to take on the two worst teams in the western conference. First stop Colorado.

It’s been six days since we last saw the New York Islanders play hockey. Generally, that would have been a depressing prospect. But with the team playing well enough to peak our interest, but not well enough to win a good enough number of games to be in a playoff spot, the break was kinda nice.

Not to mention how perfectly timed the break was in order to give us all a chance to focus our attention on two Islanders prospects playing at the World Junior Championships: Mathew Barzal for Team Canada and Kieffer Bellows for Team USA.

Through seven games Barzal put up eight points. While Bellows only put up three points, his two goals in the gold medal game were critical as the US won the title for the first time in four years.

It felt good to be an Isles fan for one of the first times this season. Long may they live.

Money Line

New York Islanders -135/+122 Colorado Avalanche (opening lines)

And according to Vegas, they just might. The Isles are clear favorites after their CBA-mandated week long break. Assuming the line is a good prediction of the outcome that would be a second win in a row for the Islanders, and their fifth in six games.

With the Philadelphia Flyers not in action tonight, the Isles would move to within seven points of the final wild-card spot with three games in hand.

That’s assuming Matt Duchene and his cohorts play the part Vegas pegged them with.Although, with all due respect, Colorado is a hot mess right now.

As of December 1st the Avalanche are an abysmal 3-14-0 run. They’re being outscored 66-30 in the process. Oh. And Colorado is 4-13-1 at the Pepsi Center this year. All of those facts together equal: Colorado is gonna lose this game. No matter that the Isles are 4-8-2 on the road.

Maybe Matt Duchene puts on an exhibition for potential suitors. And maybe that five day break put on more rust on the Isles players then was anticipated. But outside of those two almost fluky scenarios, there isn’t a real road for the Avalanche to peg their hopes on.

New York Islanders Potential Starting Lineup:

Lee-Tavares-Bailey                     Leddy-Hamonic
Prince-Nelson-Beauvillier        Hickey-Boychuk
Kulemin-Strome-Clutterbuck  de Haan-Seidenberg
Ladd-Cizikas-Chimera               Greiss (Berube)

Colorado Avalanche Potential Starting Lineup:

Landeskog-MacKinnon-Bourque    Tyutin-Barrie
Iginla-Duchene-Rantanen                 Beauchemin-Goloubef
Comeau-Soderberg-Grigorenko      Wiercioch-Zadorov
Colborne-Mitchell-McLeod              Varlamov (Pickard)

Where to Watch the Game:

Venue: 9pm, Pepsi Center, Denver
Radio: 970AM – The Answer, 88.7FM – WRHU, 103.9FM – LI News

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