3. Do the top 6 forwards create more offense?
This is a trick question, because who are the top six scoring forwards? Clearly Barzal, Nelson and Bailey are top point producers, if not streaky ones. At the all-star break the next four are Lee, Beauvillier and Brassard, followed by Eberle.
Kind of what you would expect, but the Islanders need more scoring from the secondary players on the offense. Eberle has been improving lately but only has seven goals in 39 games. That’s only one more than Ryan Pulock, a D man.
This brings us back to who are the top six forwards? The answer may be easy from a skill perspective, but it is not an easy answer from a goal and point producing view.
Trotz has been struggling to find lines that produce, mixing lines and forwards to try and find the right combination. I think Brassard has been a pleasant surprise on the wing for this team and Beauvillier is markedly improved this year, but it is just not enough.
The Islanders need to be able to roll two solid top scoring lines night in and night out. They just don’t have that at the moment.
This will be one of the more difficult items to address the rest of the season because it is totally dependent on player improvement.