The New York Islanders are back on the ice after losing to the Edmonton Oilers late last night. They head south (kinda) to face the Calgary Flames.
While the Islanders played well last night they still left with a 3-1 loss. Barry Trotz didn't change his lineup after that 6-3 win in Vancouver, effectively doubling down on an "identity lineup". And again, the team played well. But what killed them on the night was their lack of finishing.
New York Islanders vs. Calgary Flames: Same lineup? Really?
Through 60 minutes, the Islanders held 3.56 xGF to the Oilers 3.27, in all situations (thank you NaturalStatTrick). They did enough to generate at least three goals, maybe four, but only got one out of it. A lone power-play goal from Anthony Beauvillier.
I know it's not shocking to hear that the Islanders are short on players that can finish, but that was truly their problem against the Oilers. And it sounds like Barry Trotz will run the same lineup out there against the Flames.
And, again, they played well yesterday, but is this the best idea? Should the Islanders not bring in a bit more finishing into the lineup for today's game?
Obviously, the only options the Islanders have are Kyle Palmieri and Kieffer Bellows to add to the lineup. Both are finishers. Palmieri is clearly struggling with a ridiculously low 1.6% shooting percentage, but we can't act like that will continue forever. The Islanders made a $20 million investment into Palmieri, keeping him off the ice isn't going to change that.
Getting him in there with the team clearly playing well could very well help him break that ridiculously low shooting percentage.
Kieffer Bellows isn't a bad option also, to be honest. If either step into the lineup it's clearly going to be Palmieri, but Bellows is rocking a 10.3% shooting percentage on the year. Not for nothing, but the Isles can't lift their nose at that kind of return.
We'll see what Barry Trotz does tonight, but he can't keep having scorers out of the lineup.