Offense is a vital part of winning hockey games. And right now, the New York Islanders have struggled to provide much of any, with just five goals over their last four games. The Islanders have 95 shots over that span, and have outshot their opponents in two of the four games.
- 0 high-danger shots on 22 shots vs. Edmonton Oilers (4-2 loss)
- 5 high-danger shots on 25 shots vs. Calgary Flames (4-1 loss)
- 12 high-danger shots on 28 shots vs. Dallas Stars (2-1 shootout loss)
- 3 high-danger shots on 20 shots vs. Minnesota Wild (3-1 loss)
Since Jan. 1 (1-4-1 record), the Islanders have 23.8 shots on goal per game, which is the lowest in the NHL over that span.
Following Saturday’s morning skate, Islanders head coach Lane Lambert was asked about the offensive woes and if it was as simple as just getting shots on net.
“In order to create more offense, I think the biggest thing is we want to play a North game. We want to get in. We want to establish our forecheck. We can say all that, and we [can] do that,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “When we get our Grade-A opportunities, we have to hit the net. It’s that simple. I would say we probably missed on 40 percent of our chances in the last little while.”
They have missed the net 44 times over their last four games, with 22 attempts blocked. So that’s 44 attempts missed on 161 total attempts.
“Part of that is because we’re squeezing our sticks. You’re trying. The guys know that there’s been some goalscoring droughts or whatever. And they’re trying to be too fine, but we just have to get back to getting pucks on that and getting traffic.”
“If you’re missing the net, you can’t score. My dad told me that when I was five years old.”
The Islanders All-Star Brock Nelson has not scored in 11 games. Anthony Beauvillier has not scored in eight games, with just two over his last 12, while Josh Bailey has not scored in seven games, with just two in his previous 12.
And the list goes on and on.
The backend’s offensive prowess had masked the forward group’s struggles, but Noah Dobson, who leads the backend with 10 goals, has none over his last 12 games.
Despite the goal issues, the Islanders have had phenomenal performances by Ilya Sorokin–wasted performances, like we saw Thursday night against the Wild.
Ilya Sorokin and the Islanders face a Montreal Canadiens team that has been outscored 15-9 over their last four games (2-2) and have allowed the fifth-most shots against per game in the NHL this season (33.7).
If there was ever a day for a few players to get off the schneid, Saturday night is the night against Samuel Montembeault, who owns a 3.39 GAA with a .902 SV%.