NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Islanders (October 18) — Sharks Won’t Have an Answer for Islanders

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Islanders (October 18) — Sharks Won’t Have an Answer for Islanders article feature image

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Mathew Barzal.

Sharks vs. Islanders Odds

Sharks Odds+170
Islanders Odds-208
Over/Under5.5 (-115/-105)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The San Jose Sharks had the honor of opening the 2022-23 NHL season overseas; wistfully, it's been all downhill from there. The Sharks have dropped their first four decisions and will have to figure things out on the road against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

The betting odds favor the home side Islanders, but not by nearly enough.

Sharks' Clear Struggles Compounded By Unfortunate Scheduling

The Sharks have been toothless to start the season, posting below-average metrics and worse results. San Jose has been outplayed in three of four games, with a cumulative 43.6% expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five. Their defense has been inconsistent, but the Sharks are getting let down by their ineffective offense. High-danger chances have been non-existent over their recent sample, with San Jose limited to four in each of their past two games, despite having home-ice advantage in both contests.

A closer inspection of their player stats reveals an underwhelming group of skaters. Matt Nieto is the only player who doesn't have a negative Corsi rating, but his 50.0% grade is nothing to boast about. Otherwise, every one of the Sharks is chasing the puck, and only four skaters have a positive high-danger chance-for rating.

It's worth considering the Sharks' unfortunate scheduling. San Jose returned from Europe just over a week ago, returned to the West Coast, and is now embarking on a four-game in six night Eastern Conference road trip, compounding their current struggles.

Islanders Are Simply Too Much and Too Good For San Jose

The Islanders have a team-friendly start to their season, playing their first four games at the UBS Arena. They had no puck luck in their season-opener, outplaying the Florida Panthers but still walking away as 3-1 losers. They quickly reversed that trend, scoring seven goals against the Anaheim Ducks the next time out.

New York's top line of Mathew Barzal, Kyle Palmieri, and Zach Parise has been dominant. The trio has combined for 71.1% Corsi and 87.9% expected goals-for ratings, highlighting their outright supremacy. The Islanders are giving their first line every chance to succeed, starting them in their opponents' end over 85.0% of the time.

Although Barzal and company drive the scoring, the Islanders' success isn't limited to their first line. As a team, they've posted a 51.9% expected goals-for rating, with the tenth-best shots ratio at five-on-five early this season. That's making life easy on Ilya Sorokin, who's stopping 94.1% of shots through his first two starts of the year.

Sharks vs. Islanders Pick

The Sharks will not have an answer for the Islanders' top line, and they lack the skill to solve Sorokin. Those offensive and defensive inefficiencies will be amplified by some troubling scheduling, putting the Pacific Division basement dwellers at risk of starting the season with five straight losses.

We're betting the disappointment continues for the Sharks.

Pick: Islanders -207

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