Patrick Roy Shuffles the NY Islanders Power Play Ahead of Tonight's Game

New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Islanders v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

The feeling surrounding this NY Islanders team is perhaps the most positive it's been all season. Despite falling to the NY Rangers in overtime on Saturday, the Islanders picked up a crucial point and can now clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win against the NJ Devils.

The Isles' play in the defensive zone has been phenomenal of late, and Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin are giving them the best goaltending they've seen all season. The one glaring hole during the team's winning streak has been special teams.

The Isles boast the NHL's worst penalty-kill percentage, successfully killing off the man advantage 71.8% of the time. Over their 7-game point streak, the Isles are 8/11 on the penalty kill - a 72.7% success rate - slightly better than their season average. The one saving grace for the Isles has been how few penalties they've taken of late, averaging just over one per game over the last seven.

The Islanders' power play was a pleasant surprise early in the season, sitting in the top 10 percentage-wise for much of it. But recently, the Isles have struggled to generate anything on the man advantage, falling to 21st in the league, clicking a 19.4% rate.

With Noah Dobson out of the lineup, the Islanders don't have much of a quarterback at this point. Sebastian Aho has filled in for Dobson the last two games but with no success at all. Yesterday at practice, Patrick Roy shuffled the power play units, returning to what was successful earlier in the season. The group of Mat Barzal, Bo Horvat, Brock Nelson, and Kyle Palmieri are back together, with Mike Reilly replacing Dobson.

Reilly has been a pleasant surprise on the offensive end of the ice for the Islanders since being claimed off waivers from the Florida Panthers. Reilly has spent time on the Isles second unit this season, and is second among Islanders defensemen in shots on goal this year with 117, despite playing in only 57 games.

The hope is that Dobson can be back as soon as possible, but if he is to miss a few more games, the hope is Reilly can fill his shoes for the time being.