It’s been a bit of a back-and-forth and wild ride lately, in more ways than one. The Carolina Hurricanes are still digesting the news about Max Pacioretty’s injury — what that means for the team going forward, what that means for the trade deadline, and what that means for Pacioretty himself, who’s battled significant injuries throughout his career.
Despite all of that, there’s still a hockey game to be played. The Hurricanes have headed north to take on a division rival in the New York Islanders. This will be the third of four meetings with the Islanders this season; the Hurricanes lost their first meeting by a score of 6-2 but came away with a shutout win last month on the road.
The Islanders themselves have lost three straight games and eight of their last ten, so things aren’t exactly all good on Long Island. Their only wins have been against the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks, not exactly the cream of the crop of the NHL, and it’s not just that the Islanders are losing — they’re losing games that they should have won.
In four of their five most recent losses, they surrendered a lead en route to that loss.
The Hurricanes are coming into town to face an Islanders team who is struggling for confidence right now. While the Hurricanes are in a great place in terms of the standings, coming away with a win will at least help lift the team’s spirits after learning about Pacioretty’s fate.
- Starting slow seems to be a bit of a theme for the Islanders. They’ve got 32 first period goals this season, but jump up to 53 second period goals, and 51 in the third period.
- Here’s a bit of hockey weirdness for you — the Islanders are just nine for 68 on the power play at home — that puts them 31st in the league.
- More weirdness: The Islanders have 68 power play attempts at home — and 68 on the road.
- The Islanders home penalty kill is pretty solid though: they’ve allowed just six goals on 59 attempts, the best home record in the league.
- The Hurricanes currently lead the league in goals from defensemen, with 30 goals over 45 games played. The Islanders aren’t far behind; they’re fifth in defenseman goals, with 27 in 47 games played.