When Defense Fails, Offense Shines
Last season the New York Islanders were the best defensive team in the league with the fewest goals against. This year has been much of the same. With 49 goals against, the Isles are once again the best defensive team in the league.
The Islanders typically staunch defense has had its moments over this 16 game stretch.
They kept the Buffalo Sabres off the scoresheet with a 1-0 shutout. They kept the Winnipeg Jets, the Ottawa Senators (the second time) and the Florida Panthers (the second time) – who have the second-best offense in the league – to a single goal.
On four other occasions, the Islanders held their opponents to only two goals.
But of late they haven’t been as tight. Over their last four games, their opponents have scored at least three goals, while Toronto and Pittsburgh (the second time) were able to get four goals against the Islanders.
That’s not typical of a team that’s allowed 2.35 goals against since the start of the 2018-19 season (the lowest in the NHL over that span).
Thankfully, when the Islanders defense wasn’t having the best game, the offense was rolling.
The Islanders offense is tied for the tenth best in terms of goals for per game played at 3.25. That’s an incredible improvement for last season when the Isles scored 2.72 goals per game (ranked 22nd in the league).