The Illusion of the New York Islanders
Updated: Sep 11
I may have made a slight miscalculation when I picked the Islanders to win this series. Let me walk through the assumptions to see what I missed.
The Islanders are a gritty team that has great chemistry - True
The Islanders have excellent coaching - True
The Islanders, in a weird turn of events, have decided to stop saving shots - I honestly did not see this coming
Its a bold strategy, yes, but could it have been predicted? Looking at their opponent's shot mapping in prior series it appears that the Islanders are attempting to play defense here:
Shots against the Islanders since the return:
Scrolling through the dates you can see that for the most part, their opponents' shots are being taken from the outside and few goals are allowed.
But then something interesting happened, and here is my guess as to what:
In the moments before Game 1 of the Tampa series, Barry Trotz looked around the locker room and said, "Hey guys, we have done a great job so far. This Tampa team is really tough and they are going to come out expecting us to block and save their. So lets turn it around on them, lets stop blocking and saving shots."
That speech I just made up lead to this disaster below:
Shots taken by Tampa Bay in the Islanders Series:
THAT'S ONLY IN 2 FUCKING GAMES. THAT'S THE HOCKEY EQUIVALENT TO THE OPENING SCENE IN SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
To summarize this disaster:
So to put that into words, the Islanders are: shooting less, saving less, scoring less, blocking less, committing more penalties, and giving the puck away more. Solid job everyone. At least the hits are up but they should be when you never have the puck in your possession.
This series is over. Tampa will win in 5 after a sympathy Game 4 win to the Islanders.
Data provided by www.NHL.com