Remember when the New York Islanders power play was terrible? Remember when it was the worst in the NHL? Well, it’s made leaps and bounds since then.
At the start of the 2017-18 NHL season, the New York Islanders power play was a hot pile of garbage. Through the first six games of the season, they failed to register a goal on 20 opportunities.
It didn’t get much better from there. The Isles only put up two power-play goals on 13 chances over the course of the next four games. That’s a 6% efficiency. Which I’m sure you’ve figured out is el terrible.
But since then things have started to get significantly better for the New York Islanders. At the time of writting, they sit tied for
with a 22.4% efficiency.
How It Happened
They followed it up with another 26 power play goals in the next 26 games. Key to that was two little runs. First was a four-game run at the end of October where they put up nine goals. The second was a more recent a seven-game span where they put up eight power-play goals.
For months Isles fans, like myself, criticized the coaching staff about the Isles troubles on the man-advantage But it seems they’ve figured it out. Thankfully.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen the New York Islanders utilize some of their old tricks in some time. Remember the “Speed-behind-the-puck” strategy? Where the Isles would leave the puck to a trailing skater only to be stopped at the blue line due to overcrowding.
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That play is long gone. Now the Isles have a zone entry that makes sense where not only a single player is attacking the offensive zone, but three. Making zone entry and puck retrieval much easier.
Just look at these last few examples. The first is when the Isles exploded for three power-play goals in a single game against the Nashville Predators back in October.
The point of this example isn’t to show you the goal, but how they entered the zone. Watch how three Islanders players are entering the zone in tandem with speed.
The New York Islanders would score in the resulting offensive zone presence against the Predators. Just look at the space between defenders. They Isles used to clog up the neutral zone on their own with stationary players on the blue line.
Now watch how that same strategy works later on in the season. This time against the Anaheim Ducks in December.
Three New York Islanders players enter the offensive zone in stride. The GiF thankfully jitters right when I want you to notice how Leddy, Ladd and Nelson enter the zone together.
The Isles would again score from the resulting offensive zone presence.
Now that the power play is working maybe the coaches can get to work on the penalty kill? Cause it’s ranked 30th in the league at the moment with a laughable 74.5% efficiency/