Two struggling teams are set to square off as the Metropolitan’s seventh place New York Islanders visit its sixth place Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders are coming off of an incredibly disappointing loss that saw them drop a two goal lead in the third period and ultimately losing to the Florida Panthers who picked up just their second win of the season. The Flyers should be a tougher opponent.
With that being said, the Flyers have not been that tough of an opponent this season. They come in with the fifth worst xGF% in the league and a horrible P.D.O. to boot. One would think that would mean bad puck luck, but in all actuality their defense has been putrid - Brian Elliott and Calvin Pickard have the third and fifth lowest expected save percentages in the league of goalies with at least 100 minutes played. Ron Hextall has done a decent job of assembling a team, but it’s almost impossible to judge how good this team actually is under the guidance of David Hakstol. He’s essentially so bad that he’s setting back their development and it’s mind boggling that he’s still employed. The best example of those missteps - he’s played former Islander Andrew MacDonald in six out of their ten games and in those games MacDonald has a relative xGF% of -25.39%. MacDonald will be active again tonight, so hopefully the Islanders can take advantage of that.
There will be no changes to the active roster tonight for the Islanders, but the lines are mixing up as Anthony Beauvillier and Andrew Ladd switch places between lines two and three. Beauvillier has struggled without Mathew Barzal as his centre, but then again the entire team has struggled without Barzal as their centre. Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Luca Sbisa will make up the healthy scratches.
Game time is at 1:05 P.M. E.S.T.