Islanders Need To Take Josh Bailey & Matt Martin Off The Power Play
By Matt O'Leary
Since Anders Lee went down with his season-ending injury, the New York Islanders power play went directly into the toilet. At one point, it was considered a top-half of the league unit, and then an absolutely dreadful stretch.
Now, they plummeted down to 22nd in the league at just 18.6 percent. When on the man advantage there is far too much standing around and very little movement which makes the penalty killer’s job much easier.
While it isn’t pinned on one player, I would start by removing two players from the unit to start and see if that works.
Islanders have to take Josh Bailey off the power play
The first guy I would move is Josh Bailey. He has eight assists on the power play so far this year but more often than not he is just holding onto the puck for way too long along the half wall. Additionally, he’s far too indecisive with the puck.
Here’s a screengrab from the Islanders last game against the Rangers, when he had a wide-open Kyle Palmieri and couldn’t pull the trigger.
Bailey’s struggled this year (no he shouldn’t be out of the lineup because of it) and taking him off the power play and putting someone else up there may be a wise decision.
The second guy I’d move is Matt Martin. He’s tried to take over the net-front presence role but it’s just not effective. He has one power play goal on the season, his first since 2012-2013. I love the guy but he’s in over his head.
Instead, I’m proposing these two units:
Power Play 1
Wahlstrom – Barzal – Palmieri
Leddy – Eberle
In this instance, you have Barzal and Leddy who are the puck carriers, and Oliver Wahlstrom on his off-wing being set up for the one-timer. Palmieri and Eberle are both versatile veterans who can roam around and play different roles for you on the man advantage.
Power Play 2
Pageau – Nelson – Beauvillier
Dobson – Pulock
This power play is slightly different. We have the two righty d-men who can be set up from the blue line with Pageau and Beau on the off-wing being set up for scoring chances by Brock Nelson (who can also go to the front of the net if need be).
Something has to change, as our guy Ryan Grosso perfectly laid out on Sunday. I can’t watch Bailey just hold the puck for forever with no one moving though, it’s going to drive me mad.