Last night was one of the worst Islanders games I have watched in quite some time. I decided to rewatch the game to understand what went wrong. Besides the obvious turnovers, lack of shots, and lack of physicality, the Islanders defensive zone exit is absolutely brutal.
A few games ago, Butch Goring was pointing out that the Islanders forwards are too far up the ice when the defensemen break out with the puck. This is true, as every time the Islanders exit the zone, they are attempting lengthy passes with a low completion rate. It must have happened 50 times last night, and that's not an exaggeration.
If the Islanders had some momentum coming from the defensive zone, the defense would have to respect them and back up, which would allow the Isles to effectively enter the zone and play their game. The team still has the ability to grind and make plays in the offensive zone, but when you can't get in there half the time there aren't many options to score goals.
The Islanders Defensive Zone Exit Is Killing Their Offense
At this point, it really seems like this season is a lost cause, but they need to make some changes as getting shutout to an expansion team who hadn't shutout a team all season is downright embarrassing. It's time for the excuses to end, as the team is at full strength and now is used to their home at UBS Arena.
At the end of the day this all falls on Barry Trotz, and if he doesn't make necessary changes which are obvious, you have to look at him as a partial cause for this lackluster season in which many NHL insiders picked the Islanders to win the Stanley Cup. That seems so far from case will be for the Isles at the end of the season.