The Islanders offense has come as of shock to me recently and I’m sure to many of other fans around the league, perhaps even Islander fans are scratching their heads at how explosive this offense has been. The only real change the Islanders made to their roster was calling up prospect Mattew Barzal and signing Jordan Eberle. Both of them have been good but not the main the reason this Islanders offense has been so thunderous from the start.
The reason this comes as of shock to me as well because the Islanders ranked 10th in the NHL last season for goals for, but in the beginning of the year struggled mightily to score goals and it resulted in a disappointing first half for the Islanders. Well from the start the Islanders offense has been consistent game in and game out and with their hot start, it has left them ranked number four for goals for(58). And it comes from two very surprising, but not so surprising players, as these two are expected to produce on a consistent basis.
Josh Bailey and Anders Lee, both of them have been off to career starts right now, it seems as if Lee is getting ready to topple his 34 goal mark and Bailey is looking to amount to more than 56 points this season. Bailey is off to a point per game start with 3 goals and 15 assists through 17 games. While Lee has also a point per game right now with 9 goals and 8 assists. Now both of these players have well exceeded their expectations for the season and it has paid dividends in the Islanders success.
Plus throw in John Tavares’s 13 goals and 6 assists on the year the Islanders, which with 13 goals on the year as of now, Tavares is on pace to beat his career high 38-goal mark. Along with Matthew Barzal’s 14-point tally right now, the Islanders have three guys within the top 30 for points right now and have six guys with 12 points or more. The Islanders have seen production from players they expect to produce numbers like this which is a reason for their success. But now with every good comes a bad, the Islanders power play and goaltending have not been amazing, to say the least.
Although the power play is performing at a 19.3 percent the Islanders have let in a few shorthanded goals and have been very streaky on the man advantage this season. But the biggest concern has to the be the goaltending, both Jaraslov Halak and Tomas Griess have goals against of 3.00 or higher, with save percentages of .905 or lower. Now, if the Islanders offense ever decides to take a night off or hit a wall their goaltending just seems to not be there.
Can the Islanders offense keep this up, if not which goaltending will take the ranks?