Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled in 2019-2020 and put up a poor performance in the qualifier. The Islanders can take advantage.
The Islanders aren’t a good offensive team. That’s not some hot take or revolutionary idea, it’s an unfortunate fact from the 2019-2020 campaign. The Isles finished 23rd in the league in goals for in 2020 and if you’re interested in Corsi, they finished third-worst in the league.
While the offense isn’t the Islanders’ strength, far from it actually, they might be able to take advantage of an issue for the Florida Panthers and that’s their issues in net.
You’d assume that paying Sergei Bobrovsky $11.5 million this year would solve any issue in the crease, unfortunately, that assumption would be incorrect. In his first year with Florida, Bob had a .900 save percentage and a 3.23 goals against average.
Out of 54 qualifying goalies, Bobrovsky finished 51st in the league in goals against average and 46th in save percentage. To put it lightly, he was one of the worst goalies in the league this year despite being the second-highest-paid goalie in the league.
In Wednesday’s exhibition game, Bobrovsky looked rather shaky against the Lightning. He faced 34 shots and let in five goals. Now, not all of them were his fault but an .853 save percentage in the tune-up game isn’t what you want to see if you’re the Panthers.
Chris Driedger has been their best goalie but when you’re paying Bob $11.5 million this year he’s going to get the start in net, there’s not much you can do about it.
Now, some could point to this year being an outlier, and what if he turns it on in the playoffs? I’d argue unlikely. In 34 playoff games, he has a .902 save percentage and a 3.14 goals against average.
If the Isles are playing their game defensively and keeping shots to the outside, there’s no reason to think that they shouldn’t win these games if they’re getting three goals a game.
What happens when a bad offensive team meets a bad defensive team? Well, we’re about to find out. I’d tend to believe the bad offensive team is more likely to break out of its shell but that’s just me.
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I really don’t think the Islanders could’ve gotten a better matchup in round one. Going up against a struggling goalie is exactly what this Islanders offense needs to get jumpstarted.