Game Preview: Islanders @ Blackhawks

New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Tomorrow evening the Chicago Blackhawks will welcome in Matt Barzal and the Isles to the United Center. Both teams have earned 10pts in 9 games however the Islanders are currently playing fantastic hockey. The Isles have beaten 3 of the best teams in the NHL in their last 3 games.

NYI has outscored the Aves, Canes, and Rangers 14-6 in those wins. Impressive. Matt Barzal is one of the best players on the planet (my opinion) and depsite not having a goal has really had a strong start to the season and is on a 4 game point streak.

The Islanders, of course, also have one of the best goaltenders in the world. Ilya Sorokin has just gotten better and better since coming to North America 3 years ago. So far this season he has only allowed 13 goals in 6 starts off of 208 shots. That's good for a 2.21gaa and a .933 save%.

There are some things I'll be looking for from the Hawks on Tuesday:

1. Limiting wide open shots from the dots (Wahlstrom, Lee, Beauvillier)

2. Net front presence (make things difficult for Sorokin)

3. Clogging up Barzal's passing lanes (speedy center is an elite passer)

This should be a good matchup if the Hawks can control those 3 areas I've highlighted. I wanted to point out too young defenseman Alexander Romanov (#28). He was the key player that led to Chicago acquiring the #13 and #66 selections in the 2022 draft. The Islanders traded their 1st round selection to Montreal for Ramonov which then the Canadiens flipped (with #66) to acquire Kirby Dach.

This will be the second of three home games for Chicago.