New York Islanders Three Keys to Win vs. Unbeaten Edmonton Oilers
Stay Out of the Box
So far so good for the New York Islanders on the discipline front. Only the Winnipeg Jets average fewer penalty minutes per game than the Islanders. That has to continue for the Islanders tonight against the Oilers.
There’s no need in giving a power play that features Connor McDavid and 50 goal scorer Leon Draisaitl get an opportunity to shine. The Oilers averaged a 21.2 percent efficiency on the power play in 2018-19, good enough for ninth in the NHL.
That year, Draisaitl scored 16 of his 50 on the power player, while McDavid scored nine and added 24 assists on the man advantage. Given them less goal-scoring opportunities, like going down a man for a full two minutes is always going to be a key against McDavid.
This year, The Oilers already averaging a 28.6 percent efficiency on the man advantage.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, their penalty kill this year is sitting at 75 percent. Last season, Barry Trotz and Lane Lambert had the Isladners kill at a 79.9 percent efficiency. It’s just about the average mark around the NHL.
Something that an elite player like Connor McDavid can use to make a team pay, quite easily.
It’s not an easy task to stay out of the box against a player with McDavid’s speed. We see it on a nightly basis, how Mathew Barzal taunt’s players into taking hooking and tripping calls as they try to slow him down or imped his dance in the offensive zone.
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With a 2-0-0 start to the season, the Edmonton Oilers are looking good. But it’s quite early the New York Islanders can win this game if they keep to these three simple keys.