NY Islanders: New Season Same Power Play

New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It's not the first time it's been said, but the NY Islanders' power play has failed them time and time again, allowing games to slip away in the early part of this season.

Coming off a season where they capitalized on just 15.8% of power play opportunities, the Isles finished 30th in the league in power play percentage, just .2 percentage points away from being in the league's cellar.

With the addition of Bo Horvat last season, there were hopes he'd bring a new presence to the specialty unit, resulting in a much-needed improvement. Even with Horvat in the lineup, it has been the same stagnant results as in the past.

With 16 opportunites on the man advantage through five games this season, the Isles have capitalized just twice - once by Mat Barzal scoring the lone goal in the 1-0 shutout of the Arizona Coyotes, and the other by Kyle Palmieri last night against the Colorado Avalanche. Outside of those two and Noah Dobson, there have been zero points contributed by any other member of the team. The three each have two power play points on the season, as the rest of the team has yet to get on the board.

Lane Lambert has made his adjustments at practice, with his most recent move seeing Horvat and Barzal switch sides on the top unit.

"It offers a different option for them coming on their strong sides," said Lane Lambert following today's practice. "You never know in games when you get into that situation, whether it be off an entry or whatever it might be. It's good to have options available."

Aside from capitalizing just twice on their 16 opportunities this season, last night, Barzal made things more complicated for his team while on a four-minute power play in the game's waning moments, trailing by one. After two penalties were taken on the same shift by Tomas Tatar, Barzal was called for boarding just a minute into the man advantage, sending Andrew Cogliano face-first into the boards. With just one minute remaining after Barzal was released, the Isles again struggled to garner any high-danger opportunities.

Tied for the second-fewest power play opportunities in the league so far, the Isles have to take advantage of the golden moments presented in front of them as they come. Seeing the lamp light while on the man advantage has become a rarity and a fragment of why this team has struggled mightily over the last three games.