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New York Islanders Power Play Line Shuffle to Generate More Shots

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders leaves the ice following the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders leaves the ice following the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After dropping back-to-back games New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz has tossed his failing power play into the blender and come up with some interesting mixes.

The New York Islanders power play is struggling. There’s no other way to put it. After an initial strong showing, the power play is now floating just under a 17 percent efficiency.

Over their last five games, the New York Islanders have generated just a single goal on the power play. Through the Isles first eleven games of the season, they scored eight power play goals.

So, in the hopes of getting his power play unit back, Barry Trotz has decided to make some changes. The most curious is putting Mathew Barzal on the second power-play unit.

Don’t Call it A Demotion

At practice on Monday, The Athletic’s Arthur Staple tweet out that the power play units had changed with Barzal going to unit two and Pulock being pushed up to unit one.


It makes sense for Trotz to toss the PP lines into the blender. He did just that to the 5on5 lineups on the fly against the Florida Panthers. Now that the Islanders have a few days to get ready for the red-hot Vancouver Canucks, Trotz is trying to get more out of his lineup.

I know that Barzal on the second power-play unit doesn’t look right, but according to Trotz the idea is to get him to shoot more. And if you look at the Islanders PP over their first eleven and the next five you’ll see that shooting is very much their problem.

Just Aren’t Shooting

*All stats from NaturalStatTrick.com

I’m that guy. I’m the person yelling shoot at the television. Looking at the difference between the power play in October and November, you can see that the New York Islanders need to do exactly that; shoot.

Their Fenwick for (all unblocked shot attempts) per power play opportunity is way down in November. They just aren’t shooting the puck enough, let alone getting pucks towards the net, which has, in turn, has reduced other metrics, like high-danger chances for and scoring chances for.

Too often the Islanders are cycling the puck around the zone in hopes to open a gap in the defense. And that hasn’t been working. They just don’t pass the puck around with enough speed to create those openings.

Getting pucks to the net should be the first priority. It’s what they did well at the start of the season. And it’s what they should do now.

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Top 50 Players in Islanders History. Next

It’s hard to see how putting Mathew Barzal next to Cal Clutterbuck will generate more opportunities. But Barry Trotz has shown that he knows what he’s doing.

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