The Edmonton Oilers are always seen as a contender considering they have the two best players in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. But, they're off to a disappointing 3-9-1 start which has resulted in the firing of head coach Jay Woodcroft. The team will be looking to start fresh on Monday though as the New York Islanders come to town for a cross-conference matchup at Rogers Place. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30 PM EST. Edmonton just grabbed a statement 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken, while the Isles just lost by that exact same scoreline to the Washington Capitals, their fourth defeat in a row. Below, find the Islanders vs Oilers picks.
Islanders vs Oilers odds
Despite their struggles, the Oilers are a clear favorite here with -162 moneyline odds. New York comes back at +144. The total in goals is set at 6.5. Edmonton has won four of the last six meetings with the Islanders, including a 4-2 win last season.
Can New York End Skid?
The Islanders are sitting as a respectable 5-5-3 on the season which is good enough for seventh place in the Metropolitan Division, but they're on a downward spiral at the moment. New York has lost four consecutive contests to the Carolin Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and Washington Capitals. Not ideal.
Ovechkin and Co. really exposed the Isles on Saturday, with Ovi scoring twice on his own. Alexander Romanov scored the lone goal for NY, who have had a massive problem producing in front of goal. Lane Lambert's squad actually ranks 30th in the league with a mere 2.46 goals per game and 29th in shooting percentage. Brock Nelson's six goals are a team-best but outside of him, there isn't a ton of consistency. Matthew Barzal is one guy who really needs to get going, having scored just twice. He does have seven assists in 13 outings, though.
This upcoming road trip won't be easy for the Islanders. The Oilers are always a handful and the Canucks, Kraken, and Flames are up next, all quality teams. New York has to start figuring it out offensively. The blue line has managed to hold it down, it simply comes down to everyone contributing in front of net. We'll see if they can do so starting on Monday considering Edmonton is atrocious defensively.
Fresh start for Oilers
How can Edmonton not be a Stanley Cup contender with McDavid and Draisaitl? Well, the reason they continue to fall short is due to a lack of reliable defending and goaltending. Unfortunately, that's the harsh reality 13 games in. But, that's not it. The Oilers are also struggling offensively, with McDavid only scoring two goals in 11 games to go along with eight assists. That's simply not what we're used to seeing from the NHL's best talent.
The Oilers are down in second-last place in the Pacific Division and the front office clearly saw enough, canning Woodcroft and hiring AHL coach Kris Knoblauch. Hopefully, a change behind the bench can make a difference. We did see a glimpse of what Edmonton is capable of on Saturday, downing Seattle. Zach Hyman, who has seven goals already, scored a hat-trick to lead the charge. Draisaitl and McDavid didn't tally a point, though. To put the Oilers' struggles into perspective, they're scoring 2.69 goals per game (26th in the NHL) while ranking third in shots on goal. In other words, this squad is not capitalizing on their opportunities.
Edmonton just sent down goaltender Jack Campbell to the AHL and has now made Stuart Skinner the first-choice netminder. He's allowing 3.53 goals per game and owns a 2-5-1 record. Not awful, but the Oilers definitely need him to be a whole lot better. Everyone expects more out of this Edmonton team, which is built to win a Cup. We'll see if the win over the Kraken can get the Oilers in a bit of a rhythm before it's too late.
Islanders vs Oilers Picks
Sometimes a change is all that's needed to help turn things around for a team. I expect the Oilers to come out on Monday at home and grab a statement win. Take the moneyline with confidence.
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