It's beginning to feel like an automatic goal for the opposition each time the NY Islanders find themselves on a penalty kill. And honestly, it's not too far from the truth.
The NHL's ninth-best penalty kill from last season at 82.% is currently in the bottom two in the league, succeeding just 67.9% of the time, ahead of only the Minnesota Wild.
The Isles struggled earlier in the season, giving up four power play goals to the NJ Devils in one game, but seemed to find their rhythm in the aftermath. During their current seven game losing streak, the Isles have been putrid while a man-down. They've given up a power play goal in six of seven games, allowing 12 in total, including multiple over each of the last three games.
The pitiful stats however, don't stop there. Over these seven games, the Isles have been short-handed 24 times, allowing 12 goals! In their last five, the Isles have killed just seven in 17 attempts!
"This team and these penalty killers have been typically in the top-10 in the league the last number of years," said Lane Lambert. " And for whatever reason, right now, any mistake we make ends up in the back of our net. It really is that way."
While the team as a whole is to blame, some of the Islanders' top defensive players have been at the forefront of their failures. As per Natural Stat Trick, Ryan Pulock was on the ice for 12 power play goals against last season in 136:30. This season, he's matched that number in just 42:30. Bo Horvat already eclipsed his total from last season, as he's already been on for five goals against in 14:42, compared to three goals in 30:40 last season.
The opposite of last season, the Isles' power play seems to be clicking, but not nearly at the same rate the PK is failing. Untimely penalties have crushed the Isles this season, and the best way to prevent giving up power play goals is by staying out of the box. But penalties are inevitable, and they must find a way to end this rancid run.