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Islanders inexplicably sit Noah Dobson for Braydon Coburn

Oct 11, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson (8) looks on against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson (8) looks on against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz indicated pre-game that Braydon Coburn could see the ice tonight. Just about everyone thought Andy Greene was the one coming out for the 2021 trade deadline acquisition.

After all, Greene and Coburn are about as similar as you could expect. Both are left-handed veteran defensemen. It’s not much of a change but it allows the Islanders to keep a fairly stable d-core while integrating their new player.

But for some reason, Barry Trotz pulled Noah Dobson out of the lineup in favor of Coburn.

New York Islanders bench Noah Dobson for Braydon Coburn

On the surface, that makes sense. If there’s one thing we know about Barry Trotz it’s that he holds a tight leash on his rookies and not such a tight leash for veterans. But after that, the decision starts becomes questionable.

It’s not as if Dobson has been awful of late. He’s third for defensemen in CF%, xGF, and fourth in scoring chances-for per NaturalStatTrick.

In terms of average game score since his return from COVID, Dobson ranks fifth for defensemen with a -0.12. Scott Mayfield is just ahead of him with a -0.08 and Nick Leddy is way back with a -0.46.

Game score is a stat that measures game-by-game impact. So just on that alone, you know that Dobson hasn’t been the reason this team is in the funk it’s in. To be fair it hasn’t been any single player to blame, they all are.

Coburn stepping in is something a number of Islanders fans wanted to avoid. The 2020 Stanley Cup winner isn’t what you’d call a good defender. Perhaps, Barry Trotz can get something out of the 16-year veteran.

I’ll say this in Barry’s defense. It’s entirely possible that Noah Dobson can use a bit of a break after recovering from COVID. He may not have had many symptoms (if any), but perhaps a break could do him some good. I understand that Barry Trotz likes his veterans, but this seems like a gamble on the blueline.

I don’t imagine this is a long-term solution. Dobson will likely be right back into the lineup for Tuesday’s matchup against the New York Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum.

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