On Wednesday morning, ahead of the New York Islanders’ contest against the Ottawa Senators, general manager Lou Lamoriello spoke to reporters, taking most of the blame for the lack of success. He stood pat at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, made one trade in the summer for a defenseman, and the team has struggled to play consistent hockey for a second-straight year.
The Islanders needed to upgrade the forward group if they had any chance of winning a Stanley Cup. But their forward group has enough weapons to perform at a much higher rate than we have seen.
The Islanders have scored more than two goals in 12 games this month, with just a 2-7-3 record, averaging 2.00 goals per game. They have dropped their last five games, with just 10 total goals.
“Your goal scorers have to score. And during this drought, our goal scores were not scoring,” Lamoriello said. “That’s the key.”
The last time we spoke to Lamoriello was on Dec. 19 back in Colorado, as the Islanders’ struggles were starting, but the offense was averaging north of 3.33 goals per game. Lamoriello stated that he liked what he saw from the offense and understood that they had to sacrifice a bit of defense to get more offense.
A little over a month later, the Islanders’ offense is struggling, averaging just 2.92 goals per game.
“When we spoke last time, our goal scores were scoring at that time,” Lamoriello said. “So there’s no apologies. There’s no excuses for them. These things happen. Unfortunately, all of them got into a little bit of a drought at the same time.”
New York Islanders All-Star Brock Nelson leads the team with 17 goals and was consistent to start the season but went on a stretch of 14 games without a goal. He’s scored two over his last three games, with three points, but the Islanders cannot afford for their best scorer to be MIA.
Lou Lamoriello was asked about what he thought of Nelson’s season, given his All-Star status:
Certainly, Brock got off to a great start, and then recently, he… we’re glad to see him get a goal the other night,” Lamoriello said. “He’s one of our players who has to score.”
“He’s part of that scoring group that has the ability to do that. And as I said, unfortunately, we weren’t getting scoring from our scores at that point.”
The Islanders need to see Mathew Barzal score at a much higher rate, a player who Lamoriell gave an eight-year extension at the start of the season for 73.2 million (9.15M AAV). He has no goals in his last eight games.
Before captain Anders Lee potted two in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, he had no goals in six games. Anthony Beauvillier has just one goal in his last 14 games, riding a five-game scoreless streak.
Zach Parise has been an incredible asset for the Islanders with 13 goals this season, but at 38 years old, he should not be third in scoring.
Noah Dobson, who has been the offensive leader on the backend with 12 goals, has not scored in 17 games. He’s currently banged up, missing Monday night’s 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He did take part in morning skate in Ottawa, and we will see if he gets back into the lineup.
Because of all those players slumping, the Islanders’ offense has given the team little to no chance of winning games and collecting points.
Even if Lou Lamoriello brought in someone at the NHL deadline, that one player will not carry the offensive workload of four players. And if the Islanders want to allow Lamoriello to be buyers and not sellers, they need to start producing now and helping the team collect the necessary points.