They lost, 6-4, to the uneven Canadiens on Saturday, so nothing is a gimmie. Two points are two points regardless of how you slice it, but the Blues have played with fire against teams that aren’t as deep as they are, and it almost cost them against the Maple Leafs and the Senators. It did cost them against the Habs.
Both Blues goaltenders have demonstrated themselves to be human so far, but the Blues have been giving players that shouldn’t have a lot of space too much damn space. This afternoon, they’re going to have to contend with an Islanders squad who haven’t gotten off to an ideal start. They’re only averaging two goals a game, while the Blues are averaging 3.4. When you average two a game and you’re allowing three against on average, that’s not a recipe for success (then again, neither is the Blues’ allowing of 3.4 goals a game).
To make today harder on the Islanders, Jordan Eberle was injured Saturday and will sit out today’s matinee. Eberle has had a decent enough start to the season with three assists through five games.
The Islanders are 6-1-1 against the Blues over their last eight games, which is surprising considering that the Blues are the best team in the West versus Eastern Conference opponents. Five of the last ten games between these two teams have ended in extra hockey or a shootout.
Brayden Schenn’s four game point streak being extended into this afternoon would go a good ways towards getting the Blues two more points to end the road trip; so would the continued production from the second line. The line, featuring Sammy Blais, Ryan O’Reilly, and David Perron are one, two, and three for points (technically, Blais and Perron are tied with Schenn for second place).
The Blues could stand for Tarasenko’s goal scoring prowess to wake up. Over five games, he has four assists but hasn’t scored yet.
The Blues’ will be spending this holiday afternoon somewhere that they haven’t visited since 2014 - the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are splitting home games between their old stomping grounds and new (and contentious) home, the Barclay’s Center. Eventually they’ll get a shiny new arena, but for now, everything old is new again.
If you’re off today, enjoy the game. Those of us who have to work, well, we’ll just live vicariously through you.
Let’s do this. Let’s Go Blues.