Islanders: Stanley Cup Winners And Goals For Correlation
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders offense is in the bottom half of the league. Can you win a Stanley Cup with that weak of an offense?
Defense is something the New York Islanders pride themselves on. They look to let in the fewest amount of goals as possible, which they’ve taken a step back at this for the last month or so, even if it’s at the cost of offense.
Josh Ho-Sang, Kieffer Bellows, and Oliver Wahlstrom didn’t make the team out of camp which led to Michael Dal Colle being in the top-six for about 15 minutes. The point, the Isles value defense over offense by a significant margin.
While the old saying goes “defense wins championships” that’s not always the case. Yes, it’s rare that a team who gives up a ton of goals wins the Stanley Cup but it’s equally as rare for a team who doesn’t score to win a championship.
Over the last five years, here’s where the champions ranked in Goals For:
St Louis: 15th
In the last half-decade, only one team finished in the bottom half of the league in goals for. Every other team was in the top half, and three out of five were in the top-10.
Additionally, most of these championship teams had multiple point per game players on their team. St Louis and Chicago didn’t, Ryan O’Reilly led St Louis with 77 points while Jonathan Toews led Chicago with just 66 points.
Washington, had Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom over a point per game while Pittsburgh had both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin over a point per game as well.
The point of all this? The Islanders aren’t anywhere close to the top half of the league in offense. The 2019-2020 Islanders are 22nd in the league in terms of goals for. They will likely only have one 30+ goal scorer and they will likely have zero point per game players.
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If the Isles would like to compete this year, they are going to have to make significant changes to their roster before the trade deadline this year. Yes, goals against and goal differential are important stats but the team can’t shy away from offense as much as they have over the last two years and expect any kind of sustained success.