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Islanders Have League’s Fewest Power Play Chances

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 02: Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders celebrates his third period goal with teammates while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. New York won the game 4-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 02: Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders celebrates his third period goal with teammates while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. New York won the game 4-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Are the New York Islanders just bad at drawing penalties or is there some underlying bias here when it comes to this team and the refs?

Complaining about refereeing is usually a lame and tired excuse when a team is struggling. In most cases, it’s fans or players looking for excuses for a loss or a poor effort. Last night there were certainly some questionable calls but this isn’t a new thing for this Islanders team.

When you take a look back at the entire league and the amount of power play chances, the league average is roughly 140 power play chances. Every single team, except for one has over 100 power play opportunities, that one team is the New York Islanders.

They have just 95 power plays on the year, by far the fewest in the league. The next closest is Anaheim who has 121 chances on the season. That’s 26 more chances than the Isles have gotten on the year.

Now, are the Islanders just bad at drawing penalties? Well, to an extent I guess that’s true they had the ninth fewest chances on the season last year but with virtually the same roster you can’t tell me that it should be that stark of a difference.

Are teams really just not slashing, tripping, or interfering when they play the Islanders? It’s like some magic force comes over them on Long Island where they suddenly play this really crisp and clean game.

The only explanation, whether it’s intentional or not, is a bias. I’m not sitting here and saying that the referees are specifically trying to not give the Islanders power play chances. All I’m saying is that it’s hard for the league to explain a team having the fewest power play chances by more than 25 chances.

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It feels like the Islanders are never on the power play but I guess that’s because it’s true, they very rarely are on the man advantage. Not quite sure what else we can say on this one other than this team is definitely a head-scratching outlier.

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