New York Islanders Need To Reduce High Danger Attempts

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Markus Granlund
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Markus Granlund /

If there’s somewhere the New York Islanders can improve it’s allowing fewer chances in high danger area’s because they rank in the bottom tier of the NHL.

The New York Islanders loss on Friday against the Ottawa Senators was a tough one to take. It was a 6-5 back-and-forth game that the Islanders had every business winning. When you score five goals you should be winning games.

We’ve placed enough blame at the feet of the goaltenders that doing so again would be counter-intuitive. We know that the New York Islanders goaltenders haven’t played their part this season. We and they know they have to be better.

But the New York Islanders need to find a way to support their goaltenders rather than let then try and figure their way out of their respective issues.

I know Jaroslav Halak has made some strides over the last few games, but I still don’t trust him to all of a sudden be that 0.915-.920 SV% goaltender again.

What I suggest is that the New York Islanders need to limit high danger chances.

High Danger Coverage

High Danger Chances NHL
If you aren’t sure what a High Danger chance is, divide the offensive zone into quadrants. And the quads that form an arrow towards the goal (as shown in this picture). See what I mean about the arrow? /

The Islanders need to set up defensively to limit chances in all those red quadrants. They can’t get rid of them all. They won’t get rid of them all. But reducing them is going to be the goal for them going forward.

More from Analysis

At the moment the New York Islanders rank 21st in terms of high danger chances against with 218 chances against. You can find the data on Natural Stat Trick under the HDCA column.

The goalies have been good enough -relatively speaking – to still have an 87.61% high danger save percentage, good enough for 14th in the league. That’s top half of the league.

Limiting chances and keeping that high danger save percentage would go a long way to supporting their goalies as they try to recover and improve as the half-way mark of the 2017-18 NHL season creeps closer.

How do they do so? The defenders need to cover the high dangers areas and reduce shooting lanes. I know that Doug Weight’s plan this season is to let goalies see the puck more and not have defenders get in front of the shot, but maybe that needs to change in high danger areas.

Next: Belmont Plans Seem To Have Leaked

The New York Islanders are playing well, and this isn’t to show something that they’re doing incorrectly. It’s to point out a marginal improvement they can make that can return a better result on certain nights. Like against Ottawa on Friday night.