New York Islanders’ Strength of Schedule
When searching for a reason for the New York Islanders to have struggled so far this season, their strength of schedule is not the place to look.
Judging by the manner in which the team lost to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, there likely aren’t too many people thinking their schedule has been to hard, but here are the numbers to back it up. Using the average score-adjusted Corsi of all of a team’s opponents, we ranked the degree of difficulty teams have had to face in their possession numbers.
Related Story: Isles' Possession Numbers are Concerning
While Corsi doesn’t capture how good a team is in every aspect (Special teams, goaltending, shot location), possession is the main area that the Islanders have seen a significant drop, so that’s what we’re measuring.
In this measurement, the Islanders schedule ranks as the 16th hardest in the NHL.
That’s in the bottom half of the league and fourth hardest in their division. So, scratch that one off the list of potential excuses for this team’s struggles.
Other notable things in this graph are the Edmonton Oilers having faced the strongest schedule and the New Jersey Devils the weakest. Oilers fans may have gotten what Islanders fans wanted in this test, an excuse.
They’ve been missing Connor McDavid for most of the season so far and now facing the hardest schedule in the league, they’ve had an uphill battle. Luckily for them, they’re only five points out of a playoff spot. With McDavid coming back soon and their schedule likely to get a little easier, they’re not totally out of it.
New Jersey on the other hand is already an absolute mess of a team riding Cory Schneider and high shooting percentages into the sunset, and this just highlights that if you want to worry about any team catching the Isles, it’s not them.
Next: Flyers Shutout the Isles 4-0
Tomorrow we’ll be looking into what the schedule looks like moving forward. Until then, hold off on writing out the Oilers and give any New Jersey fan you know a hug, they need it.
(Stats courtesy of puckon.net)