The NY Islanders returned to Long Island yesterday after their three-game road trip throughout Western Canada and Seattle. Snapping their seven-game losing streak on Saturday night after defeating the Calgary Flames in the shootout, the Isles squandered another two-goal lead to get to the extra frame. It was a frustrating road trip, but the Isles will look to build on their victory from the weekend and hope to get hot heading into the holidays. Here are three takeaways from the Islanders' road trip
The penalty kill is crushing the Islanders
A massive strength in recent years, the Islanders' penalty kill has been their biggest disappointment this season. Sitting middle of the pack and seemingly improving each game before heading West, the Isles allowed goals on 50% of power play opportunities to the opposition during the road trip, successfully killing on 8/16 occasions. The Isles must turn this around if there's any hope of playing themselves into the postseason.
The power play saved the road trip
When's the last time you can say the power play has been a strength for the Isles? Well, it's been red hot of late, and that is the only reason this trip wasn't a complete disaster. The Isles found the back of the net on 5/13 chances, scoring on the man advantage in their last three. Just as the penalty kill won't be this bad forever, the power play numbers are bound to come back to earth at some point. They'll need to find some middle road and not rely on all their goals coming at even strength.
The Isles are only three points out of playoff position
Is it too early to be looking at the standings? Of course it is, but the Isles salvaged four out of eight points to keep their heads barely above water. With the fan base calling for a coaching change and special teams seemingly making or breaking the Isles to this point, they'll need to find consistency if they want to keep the postseason in striking distance before it's too late.