The New York Islanders are in a deep slide. Now after losing for an eighth time this short season they have to deal with shots being fired from camp Tampa Bay.
After the New York Islanders lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a third time in fourteen days, Lighting forward Nikita Kucherov decided to take a shot at the Isles.
Following the Bolts 4-0 win over the Isles just this past Monday, Kucherov, who had a goal and an assist on the night, had this to say about the Islanders: “I wish we could play them more”.
In many ways, it’s the perfect dig. It’s concise. It’s on point. It’s got that calm sort of deliverance, kinda like a father’s disappointment.
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Dig aside, there are probably 28 other teams in the NHL saying the same: “Give me some of the Isles business!”
It hurts, but it’s true. The Isles are on every team’s wish list. There aren’t any “gimme” games in the NHL, ask the Montréal Canadiens about that. With the Isles current form, you can guarantee that those other teams circled their dates with the Islanders as ‘winnable’.
The Denigrating Factors
The Islanders are just demonstrably bad right now. As in, just about any categorical metrics will say that this team isn’t playing well. Granted, these aren’t predictive numbers, but what they describe isn’t anything positive.
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We already know that the special teams aren’t any good. Both the power play and the penalty kill are some of the worst in the league in terms of efficiency.
The Isles also ranks 27th in the league in terms of their 5-on-5 Corsi-For percentage, with 47.1%. Aside from that one good 5-on-5 game the Isles had against Tampa they’ve certainly let other teams dictate the majority of proceedings.
The Isles have no resolve, ranked tied second with six loses while trailing after a single period. Giving them a .000 win ratio when trailing after a single frame. Add to that, the fact that the Islanders are ranked 27th with three wins when scoring first, and the picture becomes much bleaker.
The Islanders can’t keep a lead, they can’t make a team pay for any infractions they commit, infact they are likely to be scored on when the tables are turned, and their opposition generally has the run of play. So, while Kucherov’s comments sound jerky, they’re totally understandable. The Isles are awful right now, and every NHL team can’t wait to face them.