New York Islanders: Five Reasons 2018-19 Season Will be a Failure
Defensive Structure Won’t Be Enough
Last season the New York Islanders were the worst defensive team in the NHL allowing 293 goals against. There was no team worse. Not the Ottawa Senators, not the Buffalo Sabres, not the Arizona Coyotes. All three teams were below the Isles in the standings and still had a better defense.
From what we saw last season, the issue for the Islanders defense wasn’t the personnel, but rather deployment. Doug Weight clearly couldn’t set up a proper defensive system. Players were all over their own end, frequently leaving attackers unmarked and leaving huge gaps in their own zone.
The opposition took full advantage of these and made the Islanders pay.
Now we have Barry Trotz behind the bench. A seasoned NHL coach with 19 years of experience and a brand new Stanley Cup ring on his finger. With him comes the promise of a tighter defensive system. One that should limit chances and reduced the number of goals the Isles allows.
But what if we find out that it wasn’t an issue with the system but it was actually personnel that was the problem?
The New York Islanders kept their defensive core almost entirely intact from 2017-18. The only absence is Calvin de Haan. But to be fair he only played in a handful of games last season.
If they can’t execute Barry’s system because they just aren’t any good, the Islanders will still have the worst defense in the league in front of an uninspiring and technically worse goaltending duo then they had last season.