The New York Islanders are playing the second half of a back to back in New Jersey Tuesday night. After beating the Avalanche Monday night, the Isles will look to start rolling.
The New York Islanders are halfway through the 2019-2020 season. As of now they are second in the Metropolitan division and are fourth in the NHL. It is safe to say the Islanders are a good hockey team, perhaps even very good.
What's stopping this team from being great? It's a simple answer: goal scoring. The Isles are scoring 2.76 GPG, ranking them 23rd in the NHL. Since Barry Trotz took over, we've learned to expect a new kind of Islanders hockey: defense first, offense second.
Trotz's system has worked wonders on the Island and has turned the Isles into a playoff team. If the Isles can find more scoring, they may just find themselves as a Stanley Cup caliber team.
Only four Islanders have scored double-digit goals this season: Mat Barzal (16), Brock Nelson (15), Anders Lee (12), and Anthony Beauvillier (10). Sure, 30 goal scorers don't grow on trees, but the Isles may just be one bonafide scorer away from a long playoff run.
Islanders Golden Opportunity in Jersey
Since the calendar turned to 2020 the Isles have scored two goals in three games. The first of those games was a 2-1 loss to the Devils last Thursday. The Devils also allow the second most GPG at 3.24.
The Islanders will be looking for revenge against the Devils tonight. It's easy to be worried as a fan with the Isles's lack of scoring. Though one game won't erase offensive worries for the Isles, scoring tonight will at least be able to put fans' minds at ease for a little bit.
With Anders Lee finding the back of the net last night against the Colorado Avalanche it's the turn of some of the Isles other underperforming forwards to get on the goal sheet. Like Jordan Eberle.
Eberle has three goals in 41 games this season. He's scored 20 goals or more in six of nine previous seasons. He's on pace for seven goals over the remainder of 2019-20. Tonight is a good opportunity for him to get back on track.
I want to see the Isles come out hot tonight. Set the tone early for this game, take the home crowd out of the game with an early goal. I think a 5-2 win would do wonders for this team.
Where to Catch the Game
Live: 7 PM, Prudential Center (Get tickets here)
TV: MSG+, MSG Go
Radio: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 98.7FM