The New York Islanders are in a bit of a slump. It appears their lack of scoring is finally catching up to them during this stretch.
The Islanders have now dropped three in a row and haven’t won in regulation in over two weeks. While goals continue to fly in, 24 in the last five games, it’s not a defenseman or goalie that needs to be replaced, it’s the forwards.
Of course, the Islanders have to stop the bleeding when it comes to goals allowed over the last couple of weeks but with Barry Trotz’s system that’s meant to change, likely sooner rather than later.
Offensively, they’ve been below average for the past two seasons and with the Isles current lineup, it’s not too difficult to see why they are losing games. Last night, the Islanders had Matt Martin, Ross Johnston, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Michael Dal Colle all in the lineup.
Combined, those four guys have seven goals on the season. Throw Leo Komarov in the mix and that’s five guys with seven goals between them. I understand they aren’t goal scorers, and that roles are different but you can’t have a third of your forward group give you absolutely nothing offensively.
There’s no reason for Matt Martin and Ross Johnston, who are essentially the spiderman pointing at each other meme, to be on the ice at the same time. They both give you about 10 minutes and five to 10 hits a night. Can’t have them both skating the same nights.
Michael Dal Colle is just a nonfactor in every sense of the world. He doesn’t do anything five on five, he doesn’t kill penalties, and he doesn’t play on the power play. He’s pretty much just out there because they have to play 12 forwards.
Martin, Johnston, and Kuhnhackl are fine role players but the problem is the Islanders have too many role players, they need more pop like what Barry Trotz said after last year. It’s the truth.
Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, Derick Brassard, and Casey Cizikas down the middle is solid. Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, and Anthony Beauvillier are all good wingers. They just need one more.
Is that calling up Kieffer Bellows? The former first-round pick from 2016 has nine goals in his last 12 games. He certainly has potential but that’s a lot of pressure to put on a 21-year-old who has never played at the NHL level yet.
A trade is the most logical choice here. Maybe it’s JG Pageau who has 18 goals this year and is on an awful Senators team, or maybe Buffalo wants to blow things up and Sam Reinhart becomes available, perhaps if Florida falls out of it someone like Mike Hoffman would be a nice rental.
Something has to give, and Lou Lamoriello can’t afford to stay pat again this year.
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He’s going to have to acquire more talent for this forward group, it’s becoming painfully obvious. The Islanders are a good team, they just need to be put over the top.