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New York Islanders: What is Going on with Brock Nelson?

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Anders Lee #27 and Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders prepare to play against the Nashville Predators at the Barclays Center on October 06, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Predators defeated the Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Anders Lee #27 and Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders prepare to play against the Nashville Predators at the Barclays Center on October 06, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Predators defeated the Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders’ forward Brock Nelson is having some serious trouble hockeying right now. Over the first three games, he has amassed 10 penalty minutes and a goal which would have pulled the Islanders within 2 at the 3-minute mark that was taken away.

Tuesday night was surely a bad night for Brock Nelson. He registered 6 PIM in the contest, leading the way for the New York Islanders. During the entirety of last season, he had only 28 PIM, just to put that in perspective.

While the penalty kill didn’t play awful, they killed 3 out of 5, it is difficult to keep up after 10 minutes of killing. The one bright spot on special teams might be Anthony Beauvillier scoring his first career short-handed goal.

The energy on Tuesday was split until the very end of the first period when Nelson received his double minor. It was at this point that James Neal determined that he would like to attempt to surpass his goal total from 2018-19 in one game against the Islanders.

Neal, who has characteristically torched in the past, now 16 goals in 26 games as reported by Rob Taub of the Islesblog.

Nelson Struggled Against the Capitals too

Brock also struggled against the Capitals, drawing two penalties, one which resulted in the game-winning goal from TJ Oshie. If the Islanders are going to make any moves this year they will need Nelson to step up, and play to the level that he did last year.

It’s conceivable that Brock may be trying to prove the worth of his new contract by overplaying on the puck, or he may just be lacking the necessary focus, but the truth of the matter is that he’s given the Islanders faithful little to cheer for outside of a goal against the Jets in the second game of the season.

This is not to say that all of the New York Islanders’ struggles come down to the performance of Brock Nelson. To be clear, there were just two exciting plays Tuesday, the breakaway short hander from Beauvillier and Noah Dobson getting his first career assist on a nifty pass to Matt Martin.

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For the most part, the Islanders have looked flat. Let’s hope they can find a different gear on the road this weekend.

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