With the season on hold, we turned to NHL20 to simulate the New York Islanders Sunday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. And it wasn’t the result we hoped for.
The New York Islanders were scheduled to be on the road in Pittsburgh tonight. With the season suspended, we simulated the results of the games using NHL20 instead of relying on others to do it for us.
With a win over the Oilers in the last simulation, the Isles could use another win to keep up with the rest of the division and maybe even create a little breathing room. That wasn’t the case against the Penguins.
(PS: This was a team effort. Thanks to Ryan Grosso for running the simulation and reporting back the outcome period by period back to us.)
The Penguins drew first blood in this one. Nick Bjugstad was able to get one past Semyon Varlamov 15:19 into the opening frame. So right away there was going to a test for the Islanders to answer back.
Thankfully, Noah Dobson was up for it by scoring just over three minutes later off a feed from Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee. Sadly, that was all the offense the Islanders would be able to generate for the remainder of the game. Shocking, I know.
Over the next two periods, the Islanders would put 18 shots (nine in each frame) towards Matt Murray but couldn’t find another opening.
Meanwhile, Jason Zucker would make it 2-1 for the Pens 14:21 into the second period and Bjugstad would get his second of the game to make it 3-1 and take the two points.
To be fair, the Islanders did well to keep the Penguins big guns quiet. Sidney Crosby was without a point, with three shots, 46 percent on the face-off, and was a -1 on the night. Evgeni Malkin was just as quiet with a single shot on goal, a -1, and two penalty minutes.
The Penguins would amass ten minutes in penalties and the Islanders couldn’t find a power-play goal. Typical.
I know this is just a simulation, but 28 shots on goal, a single goal, and zero percent efficiency on the power play is a pretty spot-on take of the Islanders play right now. With only a single goal and 28 shots on net it’s almost as if it’s glaringly obvious this team can use some offense.
Winners and Losers
Nick Bjugstad: 2 goals, 2 shots, 58% FOW
Jason Zucker: 1 goal, 2 helpers, 2 shots
Noah Dobson: 1 goal
The Islanders rookie blueliner doesn’t get a ton of attention, but every now and then he turns heads. A goal in 11:54 minutes of ice time is what you want to see from the Isles future on the back end. How about that ice-time though, it’s like the game is programmed to know Barry Trotz doesn’t play his rookies much.
It was not one of those games Brock Nelson is going to want to remember. A 29.6 percent FOW (rounded up to 30 percent) is dreadful.
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The New York Islanders next game is against the Calgary Flames at home on Tuesday. Stay tuned for the next simulation!