New York Islanders Possession Metrics Conundrom
Possession is 9/10ths of the law. Or something like that. The New York Islanders don’t even have half at this point of the season.
Having the puck leads to goals. There’s no debate about that. So it shouldn’t come as surprise when I tell you that three New York Islanders forwards have positive Corsi ratings.
The Isles have been poor this season. I can’t deny it. You can’t deny it. And the standings sure don’t deny it either.
You can chalk it up to bad luck. But you’d be wrong. The Islanders PDO rating is at .999. You can say it’s the defense’s fault. You’d be wrong again. The defense is running a seven-game scoring streak and have an even plus/minus rating.
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The Islanders just can’t keep control of the puck.
Three of eleven Islanders forwards have positive Corsi ratings going into Saturday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Anthony Beauvillier (52%), John Tavares (50.6%), Nikolai Kulemin (50.4%).
Sure there are a few specific areas of concern, like the powerplay or the penalty kill. But the negative rating in one of the more fundamental approaches to the game sticks out the most.
Without the puck, the Isles can’t hope to create. This isn’t soccer where you can figuratively park the bus at the goal line and hope to eek out a goal on the break, or just settle for a draw.
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This just can’t continue. But how?
Step one has to be staying out of the box. The Islanders have become one of the most penalized teams in the NHL in this short season. And the Islanders are one of the most porous penalty kills in the league.
Step two is generating time in the offensive zone. The Islanders are spending a lot of time defending the puck rather than driving the attack.
Next: Recognizing a Problem Isn't Fixing It
Fix those two and maybe, just maybe the time of possession metrics will start to tick north a bit. But, then again I’m not a coach. Although, to be fair, the guy who is, isn’t getting it done either.