Both were going to have to learn on the fly before getting some valuable practice time after a Sunday meeting with the New York Rangers. With that, Islanders fans braced for a slow start to both Palmieri and Zajac’s time with the Islanders.
But minutes into game number three, Kyle Palmieri scores his first with the team and on the power play nonetheless.
Kyle Palmieri gets his first for New York Islanders
The addition of Palmieri to the roster was supposed to give the team an offensive boost. The 30-year-old forward has been a consistent 24+ goal scorer over the past five years. The right-hander would supplement an already deep roster as they chased a Stanley Cup.
But he’d also give the Islanders some help on the power play with 53 goals on the PP since 2015-16. Help the Isles desperately need. Over the last ten games, the Isles have three power-play goals. On 25 power-play opportunities. That’s a 12 percent efficiency.
Cue a Chris Kreider puck-over-the-glass penalty 1:23 into Sunday’s tilt against the Rangers. Not 24 seconds later the puck is in the back of the net thanks to some heads-up play by Palmieri in the bumper position.
This is exactly what the New York Islanders wanted out of Palmieri when they acquired him from the Devils. They need him to be an impact player and to bury his opportunities when he gets them. Specifically on the man-advantage.
With this goal, he did just that.
The psychological impact of scoring this goal is immeasurable. Palmieri no longer needs to worry if he can be the player the Islanders need him to be. Maybe that was never an actual issue, but we know confidence matters in this league. Scoring a goal in your third game with the new club will give that confidence a big boost.