One of the hallmarks of the Barry Trotz era has been "success". Every year since Barry has been behind the bench (and Lou Lamoriello up top as the GM), the New York Islanders have seen success. But one of the few areas where the Islanders have struggled is not only scoring goals but specifically, scoring goals on the power play.
From 2018-19 through the 2020-21 season, the Islanders power play is ranked 23rd in the NHL with a 17.5% efficiency. If you pull just the raw goal totals (122 power-play goals) from that period (18-19 to 20-21) their rank falls a few spots to 27th in the NHL.
This year, that's changing.
New York Islanders power play is actually good for once
With much of the NHL season in the books, the Islanders sit right in the top half of the league for power-play efficiency with a 20.9% efficiency. It has them 16th out of the 32 NHL teams. It's barely top half, but we'll take it.
For years Islanders fans have been begging for a competent power play. Not a league-leading one. We all know that this team isn't going to compete with Edmonton or Tampa or Colorado for the top power play in the league, we'd happily settle for average. And we're getting that this year.
Leading the way is Noah Dobson. The young defenseman's development into not only a top-four defender but a no.1 power-play quarterback has pushed the Isles man advantage in the right direction. Dobson can walk the line, distribute accurately, up the pace of puck movement, and direct those pucks on the net when the opportunity arises. Qualities the Islanders just didn't have before he stepped up.
With Dobson at the point, the unit of Nelson, Lee, Barzal, and Pageau has been quite brilliant of late. The quintet has combined for 24 points since the start of March and helped the Islanders convert on 34.4% of their power play opportunities on the month. That's the fifth-best conversion rate in the NHL. Only Colorado, Florida, Washington, and Calgary are better in March.
Once again, the Islanders power play is finally good. Unfortunately, it comes in a year where they won't make the playoffs.