Face-off: 2100 ET, 11/02/2022
Arena: Rogers Place
Edmonton will look to launch a new era under coach Jay Woodcroft following back-to-back losses against Vegas and Chicago.
The Oilers fired Dave Tippett and assistant Jim Playfair on Thursday, replacing them with Woodcroft and Dave Manson, who had been looking after their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.
The New York Islanders have had a largely forgettable season, even though victory last time out over Vancouver enabled them to improve their record to .500.
On home ice and with players eager to impress their new boss, Edmonton to win by two goals at NHL odds.
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Edmonton Oilers Odds
Woodcroft has done a good job with the Condors, guiding them to an 18-9-7 record and sixth place in the AHL standings.
One thing that is hoped of him and Manson, a former Oilers player who oversaw the defence in Bakersfield, is to improve the penalty kill, which at 76.7 per cent is 23rd in the league. The Condors’ PK was operating at 82.5%.
They do have injuries to contend with, as newly-acquired forward Zack Kassian has been placed on LTIR with a fractured jaw and could be missing for up to eight weeks.
Veteran defenceman Duncan Keith is in concussion protocol and likely to be out for between two and four weeks.
However, 13 players have graduated from Bakersfield to make their NHL debuts under Woodcroft’s leadership, so he knows how to bring fresh blood through.
Edmonton will also be hoping for more from their goaltending, which has been inconsistent all season, not helped by injury problems for Mike Smith, who has managed less than 500 minutes all season.
General manager Ken Holland hopes that Woodcroft can get some consistency from the Oilers.
Holland said: “He and Dave Manson and the staff down there have done a good job in developing young players into NHL players.
“Bouchard. Ethan Bear. McLeod. Skinner. Caleb Jones. Yamamoto. And there’s more. The young defencemen are playing good down there.
“When you’ve got talented people, at some period they either become a head coach for you or they leave and go elsewhere.
“Jay was really, in my mind, in the process of developing into a person that was going to be a candidate to coach an NHL team. Happens to be, today’s the day.”
With players keen to show Woodcroft their true worth and the offensive ability in the Oilers camp, 3.5 for Edmonton to win with over 6.5 total goals in the game is another of our NHL predictions.
New York Islanders Odds
The Islanders scored an impressive 6-3 win over the Canucks in their last game, as they launched a three-match trip through western Canada.
They showed against Vancouver that they have goals in the team and nothing emphasised that more than netting three inside 31 seconds from Zach Parise, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee, which gave them a 3-0 lead with less than four minutes on the clock.
“When you get those early three goals in the first four or five minutes and then it just keeps coming, I thought that was as well as we played all year in that first period,” said Parise.
New York coach Barry Trotz mixed his lines for that game that brought the offensive outburst and they should again cause some issues for the Oilers with their confidence up.
“It hasn’t been working for us,” Trotz said. “We haven’t had consistent production through our line-up, so it was time to put some people in a position where they can add a little more, I’ll say weight, on all the lines.
“Especially what we call our top-two lines and just balance them out with a little more four-line mentality.”
The visitors should come out ready to play after the morale-boosting win in Vancouver and 10.5 for them to win the first period and both teams to score in the opening 20 minutes is a value saver for our Edmonton Oilers vs New York Islanders predictions.
EDMONTON 1-4 Chicago
Vancouver 3-6 NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Head-to-head: NY Islanders 3-2 Edmonton