If Johnny Boychuk is forced to miss time, the New York Islanders can turn to Andy Greene or Noah Dobson.
In Game 1, the Islanders lost Johnny Boychuk to an apparent injury after he took a questionable hit up high in the second period. With Game 2 on Tuesday afternoon, the Islanders are faced with a very tough decision.
There’s probably a pretty good chance that Boychuk isn’t ready to go. We didn’t receive word after the game, and likely won’t until Tuesday morning, but the safe bet would be to assume that Boychuk won’t be ready for Game 2.
While losing Boychuk stinks, the Islanders have two pretty solid options who could fill in; Andy Greene and Noah Dobson.
Andy Greene was acquired from the New Jersey Devils for a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. In 10 games with the Islanders, Greene put up three assists in 16:32 of ice time per night.
Greene’s 44.4 Corsi-for percentage ranked him seventh out of eight qualifying defenders on the Islanders. He finished sixth for the Islanders in scoring chances for percentage with a 45.8. Greene’s game isn’t offense.
He’s a stay at home style lefty d-man with a ton of experience at age 37. In Greene’s career, he had 50 playoff games under his belt.
Noah Dobson is almost the exact opposite. He’s just 20 years old, has never played in a playoff game, and leans a little more on the offensive side. Dobson had seven points in 34 games with the Isles averaging 13:17 of ice time per night.
That doesn’t jump off the page but when looking at his advanced numbers they are pretty solid. Dobson finished second on the team in CF% with a 49.75 and led the way in SCF% with a 52.25. Dobson also had the highest goals for percentage with a 53.33.
In the tune-up game against the Rangers, both Andy Greene and Noah Dobson looked solid. You could argue that the pair was more effective than the Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk pair.
Boychuk plays on the right side of that pair so we’re essentially looking for someone to play on the right side with Nick Leddy.
Nick Leddy and Noah Dobson played 39:31 together this year. Over that time, the pair put up pretty solid numbers. They had a 53.25 CF%, a 62.5 SCF%, and a 78.95 HDCF% according to Natural Stat Trick.
Andy Greene and Nick Leddy played very little together this year, only 7:03. It’s a very small sample size but the pair was brutal in that little amount of time. They had a 38.46 CF%, a 14.29 SCF%, and a 0 HDCF%.
These numbers are drastically different. To me, the obvious choice is putting Dobson next to Leddy as he fills in on his natural side and he’s shown that they work well together. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Islanders make it that easy.
We know how much they like to favor veterans, and even though Greene stunk with Leddy and would be playing on his off side I wouldn’t be surprised if they played him over Dobson. Again, that’s not what I would do but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the route they decided to go.
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The Islanders eventually have to get over this bias towards younger players, especially when they’re better. Dobson proved this year that he should be the one stepping in for Boychuk.