Sharks vs. Islanders NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: San Jose Has Value as Road Underdog (Dec. 2)
Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Adin Hill
- The New York Islanders return from their Covid hiatus as home favorites against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
- The Islanders have lost eight in a row, but are still getting some love from the odds.
- Which side should you bet in Sharks-Islanders?
Sharks vs. Islanders Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
There’s been a ton of attention on the New York Islanders the last two weeks, and it hasn’t been the kind of attention they want. The Islanders have not had a healthy team in quite a bit due to injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak, plus they’re also mired in an eight-game losing streak, which includes a four-game losing streak at the brand new UBS Arena.
San Jose has been pretty solid through the first quarter of this season and, after a blip, have now won four of five, including a dominant showing in New Jersey on Tuesday night.
The Sharks Have Improved Defensively
The San Jose Sharks are on a mission to get back to the playoffs this season. After a couple of down years due to shoddy goalkeeping, the Sharks moved on from Martin Jones and brought back James Reimer to pair with Adin Hill.
It’s Hill will get the start tonight and the former Coyote has struggled in San Jose so far. Hill has played in nine games, posting an . 897% save percentage (SV%) and a -2.7 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
The Sharks defense should give Hill a chance in this contest as San Jose ranks inside the top-10 in both expected goals against and high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5 through the first quarter of the season. Part of that defensive solitude is on the PK, where the Sharks ranks second overall at 88.1%.
The Islanders Can’t Score
It’s been a frustrating two months for the Islanders. After coming into the season with high expectations, the lineup has been rocked by injuries and Covid, forcing the team to roster up to nine AHL players in their last few games.
The timing of the outbreak couldn’t have been worse, either, as it coincided with the team ending a 13-game road trip and the long-awaited opening of UBS Arena.
The positive news is that the Islanders will welcome Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Adam Pelech and Andy Greene back into their lineup, but they will be without Casey Cizikas who was just put on the protocol list. So while the injury list for the Isles is still deep with Cizikas, Brock Nelson, Zdeno Chara, Kieffer Bellows and Ryan Pulock all expected to miss out on Thursday, this is as healthy as the team has been in two weeks.
What’s most important is that the club starts finding some consistent offense. The Islanders have scored just seven goals in their last eight games and are the second-worst offensive team in the NHL, just ahead of Arizona. To make matters worse, the team has been shutout twice in their four home games this season.
New York also has the worst power play (10.5%) in the NHL, so this matchup with San Jose’s PK could be tough sledding.
Barry Trotz hasn’t named a starting goaltender yet, but you’d guess he will roll with Ilya Sorokin in this spot. Sorokin has a +6.36 GSAx in 13 starts and has been the best player on the Isles in the early going.
Sharks vs. Islanders Pick
With all the uncertainty surrounding the Islanders, I think there is some value backing the Sharks as an underdog.
With the way the Islanders were playing heading into the break, it seems like a good opportunity to take a chance on a team that has played strong defense against a club that has struggled to get anything going on offense.
Although I do think the Islanders will eventually put things together, I think it’s worth a shot going with San Jose in this one.
Pick: San Jose Sharks +105 or better