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The New York Islanders head to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. Will the defensive struggles for Chicago continue?

Islanders vs Blackhawks Picks: Will Chicago’s Defensive Struggles Continue?

Neither the New York Islanders nor the Chicago Blackhawks are off to the starts that they would’ve wanted. New York, who has Stanley Cup aspirations, is off to an 0-2 start and has an uncharacteristic 11 goals against.

Chicago in the offseason brought in Seth Jones and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in hopes to stop the bleeding of goals against. Well, through three games that hasn’t been the case as they’ve let in 13 which is fourth-most in the NHL.

Which one of these two teams bounces back and gets their season on track tonight? Here are three plays I like for tonight’s contest.

Click Here For Blackhawks vs Islanders Betting Odds

Over 5.5 goals (-120)

Oddly enough, the New York Islanders aren’t a team that usually hits overs. Since Barry Trotz has taken over in 2018-2019, the Islanders have been one of the best defensive teams in the sport. With some turnover, they’ve struggled early this year.

Zdeno Chara was a -4 in their game against Florida on Saturday, and Andy Greene, another veteran on the blue line, has struggled early as well. In the past, under Trotz, the Isles have started slow, but have proven that once they hit their stride they’re a dangerous team.

Chicago finished 24th in the league in goals against last year and are on pace to let in a ton of goals this year, even with the addition of Fleury in net. So far their games have cleared 5.5 combined goals all three times. Don’t expect that to change today as Marc-Andre Fleury and Ilya Sorokin are both top-five worst in the league in goals saved above average.

Islanders ML (-115)

As I previously mentioned, slow starts are nothing new for the Isles under Barry Trotz. They started 3-4 last year, 1-3 in 2019-2020, and 2-3 in 2018-2019. If there were ever a time for this team to get it in gear it would be against a team like Chicago.

New York has just four goals through their first two games of the year, and last year finished 20th in the league in goals for but the underlying numbers for their top line and third line have been pretty solid to start 2021-2022. In Chicago’s last 12 games, they’re 2-10, and despite their success head to head over the Islanders they haven’t played in nearly two years and the teams are trending in opposite directions.

Kyle Palmieri Anytime Goal Scorer +250

This was one of my plays in the Islanders season opener. It didn’t hit but he did have two assists in the Isles 6-3 loss to Carolina. I’m going back to it as the return on the Lee - Barzal - Palmieri line has been quite good.

Kyle Palmieri is leading the team in game score, and the Islanders' top-line has an expected goals for percentage of 54.2. Against a porous defense in Chicago, expect the Islanders top line to shine and Palmieri’s value is better than both Anders Lee (+170) and Mathew Barzal (+185).

Islanders vs Blackhawks Picks

Over 5.5 goals (-120)

Islanders ML (-115)

Kyle Palmieri anytime goal scorer (+250)

Article Author


OddsChecker sports writer Matt O'Leary brings experience sports betting advice to the OC staff. You may recognize Matt from his popular New York Jets youtube channel, but his vast knowledge of sports and betting goes well past the boundaries of New York.


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