NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders

It’s a clear validation of how tough it is to win in the National Hockey League that the New York Islanders are tied for last place in the overall standings. The bench mark of regular season success in the NHL is 100 points and the Islanders finished with exactly this many last year. They’ve got 18 through 21 games this year with a record of 7-10-4. Compare that to the last place teams in the NBA–the 4-14 Philadelphia 76ers and the 3-13 Dallas Mavericks. This is yet another reason that hockey is such a great sport–there are seldom real ‘doormats’ and more often than not even the worst teams show up and compete night after night. Even with 18 points, the New York Islanders (and the Arizona Coyotes who have the same point total out West) still have a very realistic change to make the playoffs if they can start winning some games.

None of this will make the Islanders feel any better until they start getting things turned around. They face a tough opponent on their home ice tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins pay them a visit. The Penguins are 13-6-3 for 29 points and are 4 points back of the Metropolitan Division leading New York Rangers. The Islanders are 3-4-3 in their last 10 while Pittsburgh is 5-4-1 in their last 10. Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start tonight amid rumours that he might be traded by the deadline this year. It makes sense–they’ve got a young goalie in Matt Moore that is ready to be a full time starter and there’s just not enough net for the two of them.

The Islanders have been awful on the road (1-6-1) but have been far better at home (6-4-3). Pittsburgh isn’t a world beater away from the Steel City (5-4-2) but that record isn’t shameful either. Penguins have won both games played so far this season taking a 3-2 victory here on 11/18 and a 4-2 win at home on 10/27. Head to head play over the past three seasons has been very competitive with the Islanders holding a 3-2-0 edge in Brooklyn though Pittsburgh has a 6-5-0 record overall. Price seems a little high given this fact and the Isles generally decent play at home.