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New York Islanders Three Takeaways From Ugly 4-3 Win Over Blues

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders glances at a referee during the third period against the Florida Panthers at the Barclays Center on October 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders glances at a referee during the third period against the Florida Panthers at the Barclays Center on October 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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26th January 1959: Dr H A Thomas, manager of the Instrumentation and Control section of Unilever’s engineering department gives the Faraday lecture at London’s Festival Hall. His subject is ‘Automation’ and here he demonstrates the workings of an electronic calculator or computer. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Getty Images)
26th January 1959: Dr H A Thomas, manager of the Instrumentation and Control section of Unilever’s engineering department gives the Faraday lecture at London’s Festival Hall. His subject is ‘Automation’ and here he demonstrates the workings of an electronic calculator or computer. (Photo by Jimmy Sime/Central Press/Getty Images)

Flying in the Face of Analytics

Again, the New York Islanders had 14 shots on net against the St Louis Blues. Fourteen! The Blues had that many shots in the third period alone. The Islanders had six shots for in both the first and third period and a whole two shots for in the second period. But they won 4-3.

The Blues won the 5on5 Corsi battle at 52-48 and 57.2-42.7 percent in all situations. They won the high danger chances fight at 7-3. The St Louis Blues were the better team based on those metrics.

It’s true, they absolutely were the better team. The Blues were continuously in the Islanders zone causing havoc. For large stretches of the game, the Islanders just couldn’t get out of their own zone. But the Blues didn’t do anything with those chances (outside of the first period).

For the Islanders, they generated few chances (again, they had three HDCF). The difference is that they did something with them.

The New York Islanders continue to fly in the face of analytics. It’s understandable to see that people think this approach isn’t sustainable. Outside of this season it probably isn’t. With the talent level on this team, the Islanders can’t hope to underperform (like 14 shots for a night) and expect to win for years to come.

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For the 2018-19 season, the New York Islanders will be that team that defies what analytics says is winning hockey. And that’s perfectly fine in the short term.

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