The New York Islanders come into Saturday night’s showdown with the New Jersey Devils hanging on by a thread to their season in all honesty. The Islanders had lost five straight games before a win on Thursday and now face a New Jersey team that has double the points but at least the game is at home. This is a game that the Islanders must win even if it is early in the year to make sure the snowball doesn’t keep rolling down the mountain of hope.
This is already the fourth time that these two teams have faced off this season. It is the final meeting of the two, but with New Jersey being so hot right now, the Islanders need to stop their own negative momentum and stop the Devils from getting even further ahead in the Atlantic Division. I think the key to this game for the Islanders is John Tavares. Tavares has 16 points this season and I truly think he needs to step up in this game and needs a goal and an assist.
There is no doubt that the Islanders are talented being in the top ten for goals scored, power play scoring and penalty kill percentage but with all of those great stats, there is a team that is below the .500 mark. That has to change right now for the Islanders. They must use this home game to reverse their fortunes and turn their season back around. It won’t be easy against a great New Jersey team but if the Islanders want to make the playoffs, they need this win.