Even Strength? More Like Even Weakness. Scoring Chances - Oct. 29 Islanders-Sharks

There hasn't been close to enough of this at even strength for the Islanders this season.

Teams go though scoring slumps throughout the season. Last year during the Islanders 14-game winless streak they managed to score only 13 even strength goals.Despite the struggles during the streak, in the other 68 games of the season the Isles managed to score 137 even strength goals. 

So to question the capabilities of the Islanders offense only nine games into the season may be a bit premature. But if you take away the 5-1 victory over the Lightning, the Islanders have scored a paltry six even strength goals in eight games this season. 

And while it is easy to blame the usual suspects for the offensive woes (or should I say, the third line), all of the lines have struggled to score at even strength in those eight games.The first line has only scored two even strength goals in that time. The second line has scored only three, and the third line has put up a big, fat zero goals at even strength.

The simplest solution could be switching up the lines. Maybe, with almost an eighth of the season in the books, it's time to start experimenting with different combinations. But if you listen to the Islanders themselves, it doesn't sound like they agree with that theory.

Coach Jack Capuano on the team's performance:

"I liked that team tonight. Top to bottom, I thought everybody brought energy and urgency to their game tonight and I was proud of the way that they played."

John Tavares' take:

"We did a lot of good things tonight. Our game has come a long way and if we play like that and understand that's the way we've got to play, with a little more desperation and the way we were moving our feet and we were creating opportunities...we're going to win a lot more hockey games"

and Michael Grabner on the subject:

"We're getting better every game and were sending solid five-man units on the ice today."

So are they correct in their assessment?  Here's a look at the scoring chance numbers from Saturday's game against the Sharks.

Team Period Time Note NYI Opponent
SJS 1 19:43 Pavelski Goal 3 16 29 39 47 1 8 12 19 22 88 4v5
NYI 1 15:55 Rolston Shot 3 11 21 39 40 51 1 3 17 28 44 5v4
SJS 1 14:46 Vlasic Shot 2 11 12 24 39 57 1 8 12 19 44 88 5v5
SJS 1 14:44 Vlasic Shot 2 11 12 24 39 57 1 8 12 19 44 88 5v5
NYI 1 10:26 Comeau Shot 2 11 12 24 39 57 1 5 17 26 28 60 5v5
NYI 1 9:40 Okposo Shot 3 21 39 40 47 51 1 8 12 19 22 44 5v5
NYI 1 9:37 MacDonald Shot 21 27 39 40 47 91 1 8 12 19 22 44 5v5
SJS 1 7:44 Murray Shot 2 11 12 24 39 57 1 3 17 22 26 28 5v5
NYI 1 3:05 Eaton Shot 4 21 27 39 51 57 1 3 9 22 29 39 5v5
NYI 2 19:23 Tavares Shot 2 15 24 26 39 91 1 9 29 39 44 88 5v5
NYI 2 16:47 Mouslon Shot 2 3 15 26 39 91 1 8 19 44 88 5v4
NYI 2 16:45 Tavares Goal 2 3 15 26 39 91 1 8 19 44 88 5v4
SJS 2 15:12 Vlasic Shot 2 3 21 39 40 51 1 5 8 12 19 44 5v5
NYI 2 14:01 Rolston Shot 2 3 11 12 39 57 1 3 17 26 28 60 5v5
SJS 2 13:08 Clowe Shot 2 15 24 26 39 91 1 9 29 39 44 88 5v5
NYI 2 12:40 Reasoner Shot 3 16 17 24 26 39 1 9 29 39 44 88 5v5
NYI 2 8:32 Grabner Goal 11 21 39 40 47 51 1 26 39 44 88 5v4
SJS 2 6:43 Clowe Shot 2 15 24 26 39 91 1 9 29 39 44 88 5v5
SJS 2 6:41 Couture Goal 2 15 24 26 39 91 1 9 29 39 44 88 5v5
NYI 2 6:03 Nielsen Shot 3 21 39 40 47 51 1 3 5 8 12 19 5v5
NYI 2 5:43 Jurcina Shot 4 16 21 27 29 39 1 5 17 26 28 60 5v5
SJS 2 3:59 Clowe Shot 2 12 15 24 26 39 1 3 9 22 29 39 5v5
NYI 2 1:03 Comeau Shot 4 12 17 27 39 57 1 3 10 60 64 69 5v5
NYI 3 19:32 Parenteau Shot 3 15 26 39 47 91 1 3 8 12 19 22 5v5
NYI 3 19:30 Moulson Shot 3 15 26 39 47 91 1 3 8 12 19 22 5v5
SJS 3 16:20 Marleau Shot 3 39 40 47 51 1 8 12 19 22 88 4v5
SJS 3 16:09 Thornton Shot 3 39 40 47 51 1 8 12 19 22 88 4v5
SJS 3 15:28 Clowe Shot 4 16 27 29 39 1 9 22 29 39 60 4v5
NYI 3 13:30 Tavares Shot 15 24 26 39 47 91 1 8 12 19 44 60 5v5
SJS 3 12:08 Thorton Shot 3 15 26 39 47 91 1 3 8 12 19 22 5v5
NYI 3 11:21 Grabner Shot 3 21 39 40 47 51 1 5 10 60 64 69 5v5
NYI 3 9:44 Staios Shot 2 11 12 24 39 57 1 3 8 12 19 22 5v5
SJS 3 8:41 Havlat Shot 3 15 26 39 47 91 1 3 9 22 29 39 5v5
NYI 3 8:24 Moulson Shot 3 15 26 39 47 91 1 3 9 22 29 39 5v5
SJS 4 3:53 Burns Goal 24 39 47 51 1 8 19 22 88 3v4

 

# Player EV PP SH
2 M. STREIT 18:32 4 8 2:55 2 0 0:52 0 0
3 T. HAMONIC 19:12 8 3 2:41 3 0 2:11 0 3
4 M. EATON 13:16 3 0 0:35 0 0 1:21 0 1
11 B. ROLSTON 11:40 3 3 1:43 2 0 0:00 0 0
12 J. BAILEY 13:14 4 4 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
15 P. PARENTEAU 14:11 5 6 2:48 2 0 0:00 0 0
16 M. REASONER 12:21 2 0 0:04 0 0 2:04 0 2
17 M. MARTIN 12:11 2 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
21 K. OKPOSO 13:05 6 1 2:25 2 0 0:00 0 0
24 S. STAIOS 18:50 5 7 0:00 0 0 1:36 0 1
26 M. MOULSON 12:44 6 6 2:48 2 0 0:00 0 0
27 M. JURCINA 12:47 4 0 0:06 0 0 0:58 0 1
29 J. PANDOLFO 11:02 1 0 0:00 0 0 1:51 0 2
39 R. DIPIETRO 51:05 16 10 5:13 4 0 4:45 0 5
40 M. GRABNER 11:43 4 1 2:25 2 0 2:16 0 2
47 A. MACDONALD 19:43 8 2 2:26 1 0 2:32 0 4
51 F. NIELSEN 12:56 4 1 2:32 2 0 2:41 0 3
57 B. COMEAU 15:18 5 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
91 J. TAVARES 12:35 6 5 2:37 2 0 0:00 0 0

 

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 4 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 9 5 6 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 5 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 20 15 16 10 4 0 0 0 0 5 0 0

 

The Islanders managed a respectable 16 scoring chances at even strength against the Sharks. The first line created four of those chances, the second and third line three each, and the fourth line created one scoring chance. The other five were created by mix and match lines created during shift changes.

With the top three lines all creating a handful of chances apiece at even strength, maybe the Islanders are right.  Maybe chemistry isn't the issue. Maybe its just an issue of execution needing to be better, or maybe the Isles could just be running into some good opposing goalie performances here in the early season. 

I believe it's a little bit of both, and if the Islanders aren't just saying the right things, I'd expect to see the forward lines stay the same for the immediate future.

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