The New York Islanders ended the road portion of their 2021-22 regular season. It was a solid 4-1 win over the playoff-bound Washington Capitals.
We've been hearing about road games all year long. Thanks to a franchise record 13-game road trip to open the season. So now that there are no road games left on the schedule how did the Islanders do?
Well, not great, but better than last year!
New York Islanders road game devolving since 2018
That's not much of a compliment, the New York Islanders road game has been steadily declining since 2018-19. But we'll get to that in a second. First, let's deal with this season. Through 41 road games the Isles held a 17-19-5 record for a 0.476Pts%.
They also allowed 126 goals against compared to the 110 they scored. A -16 goal differential, again, is not great.
That 13-game road trip to start the year saw the Isles go 5-6-2 for 0.461Pts%. That's slightly worse than the 0.476Pts% from the season, but consider that the last four games of the trip were the tip of the 1-game losing skid iceberg and about when the team's COVID issues began.
Now, to get back to how that road record compares to the other four years under Barry Trotz. Here's the record year over year ranked by points-percentage. What you'll see is that things have devolved since that stellar 2018-19 season:
1) 2018-19: 24-14-3 0.622Pts%
2) 2019-20: 15-14-4 0.515Pts%
3) 2021-22: 17-19-5 0.476Pts%
4) 2020-21: 11-13-4 0.464Pts%
I have to think the Islanders aging core isn't necessarily helping their road game. Chris Pronger had an interesting thread on Twitter about travel in the NHL. Specifically when he talks about the impacts of travel on a player's body. An impact that is only heightened by a player's age. For the oldest team in the NHL, that's clearly a problem.
As the team retools for next year, figuring out their road game needs to be on that list. Certainly not priority number one, but definitely up there.