Why does he need to make this decision?
The Islanders power play in this series has been atrocious. Through four games it holds a 9.1% efficiency. Again, atrocious.
Well, the Islanders have someone who can help with that on the taxi squad. Oliver Wahlstrom holds ten points on the power play during the regular season. Only Nick Leddy (with eleven) has more production on the man advantage than the Islanders rookie.
Having Wahlstrom out on the power play would add a whole new danger for the Tampa Bay Lightning to deal with. And with the amount of power Wahlstrom gets on his shot he might be able to power one or two of them through Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Tampa goalie has been incredible this series, but a number of pucks, when rifled on him, have slipped through. Ryan Pulock‘s goal in Game 3 is one of them.
What does Barry do?
As much as I’d like to see Wahlstrom out there, Barry Trotz isn’t going to put him in. Yes, Wahlstrom can help the power play, but at 5on5 Trotz might see him as a bit of a liability. Just to be clear, I’m not saying Wahlstrom is a liability, but we know how short the leash is for rookies under Trotz.
There’s also the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” narrative. The Islanders are tied at 2-2 in this series. The Isles don’t need to retool the roster, they need to focus up and continue playing the way they did in Game 4. Wahlstrom certainly sits again.