New York Islanders: How to Fix the Power Play

New York Islanders, Devon Toews

The New York Islanders are currently 5/30 on the power play during the playoffs. This makes them 7th in power-play playoff rankings. Now, this isn’t a terrible ranking, but only converting on 16.7% of your 5v4 opportunities is not going to win you a cup. The Islanders have to clean up three problems to fix their power play for the playoffs, and hopefully for many years to come.

Zone Entries

The way the Islanders enter the zone on power plays is flat out annoying. It always starts with a drop pass from Devon Toews to Mat Barzal; Barzal then makes two moves and loses possession. The Islanders need to cut out the drop pass first of all. The number of times the penalty killers have intercepted the drop pass is countless. Also, why wouldn’t the Isles just chip and chase? It’s a 5v4, and you have the fastest player in the league. Also, you have Anders Lee, who is a huge body. There’s no reason to not chip and chase. If anything, it’ll lead to more offensive zone time and more penalty killers out of position.

Faceoffs

If you win the faceoff that’s in the offensive zone when you’re up a man, chances are you’ll have a good opportunity to score. The Islanders almost never win the offensive zone faceoff. How are you going to lose a faceoff to Lars Eller? I don’t know why Trotz won’t let JG Pageau take the faceoff; it makes no sense, he’s the best faceoff guy on the team. Also, why is Anders Lee taking faceoffs? I understand you don’t want Barzal to take faceoffs from his non-dominant side, but you have more than one center on the ice during the PP.



Personnel

Here is something I’ve never understood, why does the first PP line have five left-handed players? That means everyone is catching passes on their backhand and not facing towards the net. In what world does having five left-handed players on the ice benefit this team? Trotz needs to put someone like Eberle and Pulock on the first line PP so that shots will actually go on the net. The first line PP doesn’t even get one-timers, they have to switch back to forehand before they even shoot. Something needs to change in the personnel department.

Conclusion

The Islanders could be one of the most dangerous teams in the league if they fixed their power play problems. Can’t make a deep run if you can’t take advantage of mistakes.