Here are three takeaways observed through the first six games of the 2021-22 New York Islanders regular season.
The New York Islanders get a much-deserved break early in this 2021-22 season. I know they barely played, but we have to remember that they’re on a marathon-level road trip to start the year. Getting a week(ish) to go home, see their families, and rest is, as we say in French: “Bon pour le moral” (Good for the spirit).
So as the Isles rest, and recharge for the second leg of their 13-game road trip, let’s take a look at a few takeaways from these first few games.
Getting Better, But Not There Yet
The start of the season was….well, awful. There’s no other way to describe how the start of the season went for the New York Islanders other than “awful”. Two losses and eleven goals against in the process was already very un-Islanders, then you factor how they looked in those losses.
The defense seemed to have no idea how to play the system that Barry Trotz has been employing since he arrived in 2018-19. And while that could be an excuse for Chara, the other five guys on the blue line can’t use that same excuse. Most of them have been with Barry since he arrived. They should know what the coach wants from his defensemen.
But since that awful start, the Islanders have begun to right the ship so to speak. In the following four games after the Florida loss, the Islanders have gone 3-0-1 and allowed a total of four goals-against.
On that alone, it seems like the Isles have taken a step in the right direction. But they still have work to do. Since 2018-19, the Islanders have been one of the better teams when it comes to shot suppression with the tenth lowest shots-against per game (30.3). In 2021-22 they have the third-highest shots-against per game (35.0).
Again, they have work to do but it’s going in the right direction.