Islanders Struggling in a Big Way

Photo By Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Photo By Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

In 2020 and 2021, the New York Islanders were a good enough hockey club to advance all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

This inspired a lot of confidence that the team was going to return to their Stanley Cup playoff-making ways on a consistent basis. That feeling of confidence was bolstered by the fact that the franchise had Barry Trotz behind the bench.

Fast forward to last season, and the team missed the postseason thanks to a 37-35-10 record. For whatever reason, Hall of Fame general manager Lou Lamoriello thought that missing the playoffs was a good reason to fire Trotz and install Lane Lambert, one of Trotz’s assistants, as the team’s new head coach.

As of this writing (Sunday, January 22), it does not look like much has changed. The Islanders are sixth in the Metropolitan Division and two points out of the second wild card spot with a 23-20-5 record.

The Islanders have lost four straight games and eight of their nine last games for a record of 1-5-3. This rough stretch shows that the Islanders have a lot of things that are wrong with their game right now.

For starters, the team does not score a lot of goals. The Islanders are 21st in the league in goals scored, as they have scored 141 goals in 48 games (2.94 goals per game).

In their last four games, they have scored just nine goals in losses to the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and Carolina Hurricanes. The team’s offense was not able to step up against those kinds of offensively-talented teams.

One player who is really struggling for the Islanders right now is forward Mathew Barzal. In his last seven games, Barzal, 25, is scoreless, has no points, has 16 shots on goal, and is a minus-6.

Secondly, the team’s power play has also been horrendous this season. They are 27th in the league, as they have converted just 16.7 percent of the opportunities they have been given.

Lastly, Ilya Sorokin, an All-Star and the team’s starting goaltender, is also struggling a bit. In his last three games, all losses, he has allowed 11 goals.

While Sorokin really is not the one to blame for the team’s recent play, there is no doubt that the team needs him to be his all-world self when in between the pipes. When he is on top of his game, the Islanders will win a lot more than they lose.

The Islanders have a lot of work to do if they want to find a way to make it into the postseason. If they are not able to accomplish that, there will be a lot of questions going into the offseason.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
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Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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