NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Islanders (November 6)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin
- The Islanders beat the Blues last month, and now St. Louis hits the road looking for revenge.
- Unfortunately for the Blues, there's little optimism for improvement, especially with goaltender Ilya Sorokin in net tonight.
- Below, Tony Sartori shares his best bet for the game.
Blues vs. Islanders Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-102 /- 120)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Metropolitan Division’s New York Islanders host the Central Division’s St. Louis Blues in a fascinating rematch.
On Nov. 3, New York beat St. Louis 5-2 on the road and now returns to home ice in an attempt to complete the season sweep.
Will the Islanders take care of business once again, or can the Blues pull off the upset on the road?
St. Louis Blues – Bad and Possibly Getting Worse
The St. Louis Blues enter this contest amid a four-game losing skid and have now lost six of their last seven. Based on how this group has looked and their underlying metrics, brighter days are likely not ahead.
At 5v5, St. Louis ranks just 20th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and 22nd in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Their defense has been particularly disastrous this year, which makes sense considering the aging players on the blue line and the lack of depth at that position.
The impact of the injuries to defensemen Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich, both of which occurred before the season started, cannot be overstated as this team bleeds high-danger scoring chances to their opposition every night. Entering this matchup, the Blues have allowed four or more goals to their opponent in seven straight games.
Over that stretch, they have surrendered an average of 5.29 goals per game. Backing up this poor defense is goaltender Thomas Greiss, who is slated to get the start since they are on the second half of a back-to-back.
Greiss has performed relatively well as a backup to Jordan Binnington so far this season, posting a .907 SV% and 3.57 GAA through seven games played. However, his metrics suggest regression is looming for the veteran netminder.
If he qualified, Greiss would rank just 24th among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5. A goaltender primed for regression backing up this defense is a recipe for disaster.
Net’s Secure Tonight for New York Islanders
Unlike the Blues, the New York Islanders enter this contest in good form and have won five of their last seven games. Their play on the ice has honestly not been much better than St. Louis despite the contrast in recent records.
At 5v5, the Islanders rank in the bottom half of the league in both xGF/60 and xGA/60. However, the difference in this matchup is in net as goaltender Ilya Sorokin is slated to get the start between the pipes for New York.
To give Sorokin the praise he deserves, he is one of the four best goaltenders on the planet. In whatever order you want, he is certainly in the conversation among Andrei Vasilevskiy, Igor Shesterkin and Connor Hellebuyck.
Through 18 appearances this season, Sorokin boasts an outstanding .932 SV% and 2.17 GAA. Based on his metrics, regression should not be an issue for one of the league’s best netminders.
Among starting goaltenders, Sorokin ranks first in GSAx/60 at 5v5. As usual, he was terrific in his first start against the Blues this season, stopping 32 of 34 pucks for a .941 SV% in route to a 5-2 victory.
Blues vs. Islanders Pick
The Blues are a mess right now, and turning things around on the second half of a road back-to-back against one of the world’s best goaltenders is not the ideal spot to do so.
Playing their third game in four nights, St. Louis will likely come out lethargic against a goaltender who has stifled them previously.
Over his two career starts against the Blues, Sorokin is 2-0 with a .954 SV% and 1.50 GAA. New York has won six of the last eight meetings between these two clubs, a trend that is likely to continue in this contest.
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