The New York Islanders offense has disappeared against the Carolina Hurricanes, it is time for the Islanders to switch up the power play and stop being cute.
It is no secret that the New York Islanders played a team first, defensive-minded style all season, one that surprised a lot of folks with a second place finish in the Metropolitan Division. They won by shutting down the other team’s best offensive players, great goaltending and being timely with goal scoring.
Though their defense has been good against Carolina, the Islanders find themselves down 2-0 against a team that plays good defensive hockey as well and has scored timely goals.
The Islanders offensive has been frustrating to watch and has disappeared for stretches at a time. The Hurricanes have done a great job of mitigating the Isles first line and keeping the Islanders of the score sheet.
Other than a line change or call up there is not much Trotz can change, he just does not have many options. The one option and change they can make is with their struggling power play. If you cannot score against a very good defensive team 5 on 5 then it is absolutely imperative that the team take advantage of power play opportunities.
I think everyone watching the Isles power play is thinking the same thing, shoot the puck more and put pucks on net. By the way, Barzal’s power play goal the other day was a pass deflected by the Hurricanes defender that went in, not a shot on goal.
I would love to see Trotz do something different, like put out Cizikas, Clutterbuck (if not hurt), Filppula, Pelech, and Pulock on the first PP unit and mix it up. The current power play seems to try to find the perfect shot and they get cute with passes. They are focusing on shot selection instead of putting pucks on net.
The Islanders need to try something different and get creative. Put five players out there that focus on grinding and shooting, working the boards hard and firing shots on goal. Cizikas and Clutter can put their bodies on defenders to control play when the puck goes behind the goal line and force defenders to work harder at clearing the puck.
Filppula is a smart and skillful player who can feed the point. The points need to fire away at the net, creating bounces, rebounds and defensive confusion. Any change in strategy is better than the one they are currently using.
Cizikas and Clutterbuck have proven they can score and Filppula has shown he can step up when needed. The New York Islanders absolutely have to make changes to their power play in game three, or this could turn into a short series.