The Isles are a frustrating team this year - possibly more so than last. There are the glimpses of the future that offer intrigue and hope. Then there are 7 game losing streaks where you get outscored 9 to 27.
Anyhow, one thing that is seriously troublesome is the performance of the Isles in the 3rd period. The Isles have only scored 31 times - the worst in the league by a significant amount (Calgary is the next worst with 40 goals). Further, the Isles have allowed 66 goals, meaning they have a goal differential of -35 -- the worst goal differential for any period of any team in the league.
However, rather than leave it at this, I decided to look at the games where the Isles score and are scored on in more detail. The results are interesting...
Now, the Isles were scored on in the 3rd period in 37 games. Their record in these games: 8-25-4. This would result in a 44 point season. Breaking down the 8 wins, things get even worse:
- Game 46 v Phoenix: 5-4 SOW
- Game 44 v Colorado: 3-2 W.
- Game 43 v Atlanta: 6-5 SOW.
- Game 41 v Columbus: 2-1 SOW.
- Game 34 v NYR: 2-1 W.
- Game 24 v Toronto: 4-3 OTL.
- Game 17 v Atlanta: 6-3 W
- Game 6 v Carolina: 4-3 SOW.
Five of the games above were decided in the shootout or overtime. Of the remaining three games, the Isles also scored in the 3rd period in two of them - against Colorado and Atlanta.
The Isles scored in the third period in 23 games. Their record in such games is the far more respectable 9-8-5. Of the eight losses - only Game 18 versus Washington saw the opponent held scoreless in the third period. This would catapult their record to 9-1-5.
Clearly, there is no single cure to the Isles inconsistency (and current losing streak) - but outscoring the opponent in the final period would be one step towards this team becoming a serious contender.