CALGARY, AB -- After making the playoffs for the first time in six years last season, the New York Islanders are struggling mightily to replicate that success in 2013-14.
The Islanders currently sit 14th in the East and a full 10 points back of the second and final wild card spot in the Conference. They’re doing little to improve their standing, too, with just one win in their past six games, a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
New York will look to turn their fortunes and push their streak to two games at the expense of the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
This Season: 22-28-8, 52 points (14th in East)
Last season: 24-17-7, 55 points (8th in East)
Notable Additions: RW Thomas Vanek, C/RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard, RW Cal Clutterbuck, C Peter Regin
Notable Subtractions: C Keith Aucoin, RW Brad Boyes, RW Nino Niederreiter, LW Jesse Joensuu, D Radek Martinek, D Mark Streit, RW Matt Moulson
Notable Injuries: Travis Hamonic (upper body) is currently on injured reserve.
Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-0
Though he’s been held without a point in two of his past three outings, Okposo has been impressive in the bigger picture. The 25-year-old St. Paul, MN product has 12 points over his past nine games and currently leads the Islanders with 24 goals. His 58 points places him seventh overall in NHL scoring.
Though he leads the Islanders and sits second overall in points in the League with 64, Tavares hasn’t been particularly productive of late with New York’s recent offensive struggles. The 23-year-old former first overall pick has been held without a point in four straight games following a six-game point-scoring streak.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Acquired in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first-round pick at the 2014 NHL Draft and a second-round selection in 2015, the unrestricted free agent Vanek is no lock to return to Long Island. In his 42-game stint in New York, the 30-year-old has 15 goals and 38 points.
MacDonald has blossomed on the Islanders blue line this season. The 27-year-old former Moncton Wildcats standout leads all New York rearguards with four goals and 24 points, amassed while playing in all 58 games this season. His play has garnered MacDonald plenty of opportunity. He averages 25:39 of ice time per game, the seventh-highest mark in the league.
Hickey, the former fourth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has seemingly blossomed in New York after being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings just over a year ago. The 24-year-old Calgary, AB native has three goals and 15 points in 58 games this season and is a team-high plus-7.