Has anyone seen Brock Nelson? Since the Islanders swept the Penguins in four games the center hasn’t made an impact or even stood out in the Carolina series so far.
In round one he played a huge role in keeping Sidney Crosby off the score sheet and then added production of his own. In those four games of round one, Nelson put up three points. Brock gave the Islanders that necessary 200-foot game in round one, but now, after a ten-day break, he hasn’t been giving the Islanders much of anything.
He hasn’t been any good in the defensive zone. Just look at his work on Carolina’s second goal in game two. Nelson was dumped into the boards by Nino Niederreiter who exploits that space and lack of defensive pressure to park himself in front of Robin Lehner and wait for the point shot to come.
It did, and the Swiss forward gets a fantastic redirect on the shot to put the Hurricanes up 2-1 early in the third period.
He isn’t any better offensively either. We know he isn’t producing offensively, no one is. But he isn’t getting many chances either.
If the New York Islanders are going to get back into this series they’ll need all four lines to give them something. At the moment Brock Nelson’s line isn’t giving them anything. Criticism is fair for all three forwards on that line (I’ll get to Josh Bailey in a second), but it starts with the center. And Brock Nelson’s play has been the catalyst for his line’s play in this series.