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Islanders: Is the Power Play Or Penalty Kill The Bigger Issue?

TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 12: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders argues a first period call during the game against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 12, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 12: Head coach Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders argues a first period call during the game against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 12, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Debating which issue is more important to work on for the New York Islanders. Is it the power play or the penalty kill.

The New York Islanders were on the ice for practice today before Game 4 tomorrow night. Barry Trotz said that everyone practiced today and it was a short one as they just worked on an issue that they identified.

Naturally, Twitter began to speculate that it was the power play. The Islanders are 10th in power play percentage in the playoffs but it is just 16.7 percent on the man advantage with five goals in 30 chances.

For reference, that would’ve been 26th in the league during the regular season if that was there pace. Under 20 percent is pretty weak and the Islanders could’ve put the game away in regulation if they didn’t go 0-for-5 on the power play on Sunday.

While the power play could definitely be what they worked on, I would bet that it was the penalty kill instead. The Islanders are 22nd out of 24 teams in the playoffs with a 72.0 kill percentage.

During the regular season, the Isles were 15th in the league (average) with a 80.7% on the penalty kill. 72 percent would be worst in the league for the regular season by over two percentage points.

If I know Barry Trotz like I think I do, he had the guys working on the PK. He has a defensive first mindset, and let’s be honest this series and the Florida series for that matter would’ve been a complete landslide if they were effective on the PK.

That’s how dominant the Isles have been on 5v5. I wrote about how good they’ve been at 5v5 after the win yesterday and it’s the truth, they can hang with anyone right now 5v5 but the special teams have been brutal.

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The Isles have allowed seven goals when on the penalty kill. If they get that under control and continue to play the way they have at 5v5, lookout.

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