Eight more games. That's all kids. That is all that remains until September when all of us cheer on Erik Karlsson and the Swedish National Team at the World Cup of Hockey against all enemies, including Canada. For now Karlsson has eight more games to get as many points as possible. Another story line is Mike Hoffman continuing his strong push for a lucrative contract. Aside from that? Meh.
It might be a meaningless game for Ottawa but it is very important for the Islanders. They are currently two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot. The Senators will make a couple of changes with Fredrik Claesson coming up for the injured Dion Phaneuf and Andrew Hammond starting in net. Here is the expected lineup.
Smith - Pageau - Stone
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Chiasson
Dzingel - Gomez - Ryan
Paul - Lazar - Puempel
Methot - Karlsson
Claesson - Ceci
Kostka - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Karlsson needs an unlikely 11 assists in eight games to break the club record for assists in a season.
- Mike Hoffman is on a five-game scoring streak with seven points in that span. His 41 even strength points have him tied with Mark Stone for 16th in the NHL.
- With another eight games still left, Mika Zibanejad has tied his career high of 46 points from last season.
- Hoffman and Zibanejad seem to be performing quite well away from Bobby Ryan. On the other hand, Ryan has no goals, one assists and seven shots in the last five games.
- With Chris Neil's injury, only Karlsson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau have played every game this year.
- Karlsson has 14 shots without a goal over the past three games.
- The 36 power play goals by Ottawa are tied for the third fewest in the NHL.
- The Senators actually played quite a strong game against Washington. They were really unfortunate to exit the first period trailing 3-0.
- Claesson was a -8 in eight previous games for Ottawa.
- Zibanejad and Pageau have a chance to become the fifth and sixth 20-goal scorers for Ottawa this year. Hoffman has an outside chance at 30 goals.
- The Islanders have lost four in a row, including the last three in regulation.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||26||John Tavares
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||61||Kyle Okposo
|Points||Erik Karlsson||74||John Tavares||56|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||228||John Tavares||218|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||29:07||Travis Hamonic||24:03|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.7%||22nd||50.3%||18th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.3%||23rd||50.4%||14th|