Islanders Need To Stay Out Of The Penalty Box
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders need to stay out of the penalty box in Game 4 in order to finish the series against the Florida Panthers.
Staying out of the penalty box isn’t a revolutionary idea. I mean, the entire point of the game is to score more goals than the other team, and putting yourself in a disadvantageous situation isn’t exactly a good way to do that.
Yesterday, the Islanders took five penalties, and three of them were just absolutely unnecessary or careless. In the first period, Scott Mayfield took a penalty for delay of game. He panicked and shot the puck out of play.
Luckily, the Panthers didn’t score on this one but still, that is a reasonable penalty to avoid. In the second, the Isles were called for too many men on the ice. Again, a dumb penalty that is just a lack of focus.
This time, the Islanders weren’t so lucky keeping the puck out of the net. In the third, Semyon Varlamov was called for delay of game for playing the puck out of the trapezoid. The Isles defensemen was nowhere in sight but allowing a goal on a delay of game, a too many men, and then taking another delay of game earlier in the game is just brutal.
In the series, the Panthers are technically three for eight on the power play but if you count the Mike Hoffman goal (which was scored four seconds after the power play expired) that would put them at 50 percent on the power play.
Yes, a part of it is the Islanders needing to be better on the penalty kill, there’s no denying that, but it’s really no secret the Panthers strength is that power play. The mindset going forward for the Islanders must be to stay out of the box.
In Game 3 on Wednesday, the Islanders looked significantly better at 5-on-5. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Islanders had a 61.19 Corsi-For Percentage, a 68.79 expected goals for percentage, and a 64.71 high danger chances for percentage.
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At even strength, the Islanders controlled the play. If they are able to stay out of the box, there’s no reason not to be confident heading into Game 4. Please, no more stupid penalties.