The New York Islanders start their annual California road trip tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. The Islanders come into tonight’s contest with a 2-2-0 record which is good for the seventh spot in the Metropolitan division. The Ducks are 4-1-1 and are in first place in the Pacific.
At first glance, that sounds like it would be quite bad for the Islanders, but the Ducks have some abhorrent advanced stats - they have the worst xGF% in five-on-five play out of every team in the NHL. They’ve been lucky enough to shoot the puck quite well, but their real savior has been John Gibson. Gibson has been nothing short of stellar as he leads the league in GSAA and is fourth in dSV%.
The Islanders will welcome Casey Cizikas back into the fold tonight as they’ve shipped Steven Gionta back to Bridgeport. The best fourth line in hockey will not be reunited however as Ross Johnston will make his season debut. He’ll replace Matt Martin on the left hand side. Adam Pelech has seemingly found his way into Barry Trotz’s doghouse and he’ll be replaced with Luca Sbisa.
Puck drop is at 10:00 P.M. E.S.T. Good luck at work tomorrow everybody!