New York Islanders 5on5 Offense Was Average in 2018-19

Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Say what you will about the New York Islanders offense, but it was still middle of the pack at best. It can certainly be better in 2019-20.

I love hearing a fiery Barry Trotz. As training camp opened, the New York Islanders head coach told the media that his team’s offense wasn’t as bad you think.

He stated that at 5on5, the Islanders offensive production was good enough to shed any implication that the Islanders offense wasn’t any good.

Trotz indicated that he looks at the team’s 5on5 numbers and then he goes from there to judge how good they were on the offensive side of the game last season.

Looking at 5on5

Barry Trotz’s exact words about the perception of the New York Islanders offense was:

"“[…] to say that [the Islanders] aren’t a good offensive team is a bunch of crap”."

We know that the Islanders finished 22nd in the NHL with 223 goals for across all situations. That’s where the knock against the Isles offense comes from. But, like Barry Trotz pointed out that’s not at 5on5. And to be fair to Barry Trotz, most of the game is played with all ten skaters on the ice. If the Islanders are good at full strength then there shouldn’t be much of a worry.

So where do the Islanders rank when it comes to goals for at 5on5?

When you isolate for just full strength situations, the Islanders offensive numbers aren’t much better. With 162 goals for at 5on5, the New York Islanders rank 16th in the NHL. It’s certainly better than 22nd, but that’s still middle of the pack.

The Islanders are OK on offense, but there is certainly room for improvement when it comes to 5on5 situations. Just take their conversion of high-danger chances for example.

The Islanders finished the 2018-19 season with 801 high-danger chances for in 5on5 situations, that ranked seventh in the NHL. They finished 12th in the league in converting those chances to goals with 108 high-danger goals for (13.5 percent conversion).

It’s fair for fans and media to state that the Islanders weren’t a great offensive team.

Comparing to Others

Trotz also indicated that there are a few teams who are touted as “high offensive teams” who may perform better than the Islanders across all situation, but that the Islanders are better than said teams when it comes to 5on5 situations.

Looking at the numbers he’s likely talking about the Florida Panthers. The Panthers finished ninth in goals for across all situations with 264 but had the same number of 5on5 goals as the Islanders with 162.

Or maybe he meant the Colorado Avalanche who had 258 goals for in all situations, ranking their offense as the tenth best in the league. The Avalanche had 156 5on5 goals for, six less than the Islanders.

There are only six teams who had more production in all situations but had fewer – or an even number of goals – than the Islanders when it came to 5on5: Florida (tied), Carolina (-2), Boston (-6), Colorado (-6), Detroit (-15), and Edmonton (-16).

He might be right that certain teams are perceived as high offensive teams but that they didn’t necessarily outperform the Islanders when it comes to 5on5 situations. But there are still 15 teams out there who had more offense in both 5on5 and across all situations than the Islanders.

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The New York Islanders weren’t a high offensive team. They were OK. Do other teams perhaps not deserve being called a high offense team? Sure. But the Islanders don’t either. It’s a fact that the Islanders need to be better offensively next season.