Monday 1st April 2019

Event of the Day: New York Islanders versus Toronto Maple Leafs

testsOur event of the day is the heavyweight NHL clash between the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Nassau Coliseum. The hosts have already clinched a playoff berth this term and will be looking to cultivate a run of good form heading into the postseason campaign. Meanwhile, Toronto look in good stead to follow suit, as they currently reside third in the Atlantic Division despite winning only one of their last four outings. Should New York manage to secure victory tonight, they will not only close the gap on the teams above them in the East, but they can also seriously dent their division rivals’ hopes of playing postseason hockey this term with Toronto sitting just two points behind tonight’s opponents.The Islanders will be full of confidence going into tonight’s clash after booking their playoff place last time out against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

However, Barry Trotz will hardly consider it job done just yet as his side will look to finish as high up in the conference as possible to give them an advantage when postseason hockey begins later this month. Though they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders are only three points behind third-placed Washington Capitals and four off the Boston Bruins who will no doubt be looking over their shoulders at the in-form New York Islanders. As they prepare to make their first playoff appearance since 2016, Barry Trotz’s men will look to extend an impressive run of home form which has seen them win 24 times on home ice already this year. Despite making back-to-back playoff appearances in the past two seasons, the Maple Leafs haven’t progressed further than the first round since 2013 and they will be desperate to amend that record this time round. They looked a shoo-in to qualify a month ago, however a recent run of poor form has seen them drop to fifth place in the Eastern conference and their playoff fate now hangs in the balance. Mike Babcock’s men will be desperate to bounce back after losing to bottom-placed Ottawa last time out in a humiliating defeat. However, they will have to break down one of the league’s most efficient defences if they are to leave New York with the W tonight which they couldn’t manage on their last meeting, on which occasion the Islanders ran out 6-1 winners. It should be an exciting night of hockey.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Indian Premier League where the Kings XI Punjab will take on the Delhi Capitals at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. The sides currently share an identical record of two wins and one loss after three games and both will be desperately looking for the win as they look to keep touch with pace setters Chennai Super Kings. Elsewhere around the globe, there is plenty of MLB action as the reigning champion Boston Red Sox travel to Oakland to face the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum whilst the Atlanta Braves take on the Chicago Cubs. Whilst the playoff race in the West has already been settled, there are still three spots to fill in the Eastern Conference of the NBA and there is a crucial clash as the Brooklyn Nets welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the Barclays Center. There is also some Monday Night Football to look forward to in the Premier League as Champions League-chasing Arsenal play host to Newcastle United who themselves are desperate to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle. Finally, the prelude to the World Championship gets underway in the snooker today as the China Open begins in Beijing.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!


Photos by NHL


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