Islanders Offense Impressive In the Early Going
By Patrick Hoffman
Before I get into the meat of this blog, I wanted to start out by telling you that I am a New York Rangers fan
I have loved the team ever since I was born and will continue to do so until the day I die. With that said, however, I consider myself as someone who follows the league as a whole and for me at least, that comes first.
As such, I think it would only be right of me to talk about the New York Islanders' impressive start to this season. Going into the year, many people were curious as to how head coach Doug Weight would do starting the year off as the full-time head coach.
As of this writing (Thursday, November 30, 2017), the team is 15-7-2 with 32 points, which is good for second in the Metropolitan Division behind the ever consistent Columbus Blue Jackets. The main reason why the Islanders are off to a good start is because of their offense.
Going into Friday night's game against the Ottawa Senators on Friday, December 1, 2017, the team is third in the league in goals scored with 88. The club is first in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.67.
The club's offense begins with the play of their captain, John Tavares. Tavares, 27, is tied for the team lead in points with 28 (16 goals and 12 assists) in 24 games.
He is leading his club at both ends of the ice and is showing that while he may not be the most talkative guy, he knows how to lead by example. The team's offense goes as their captain goes.
The team has also gotten excellent play out of rookie Mathew Barzal. The 20-year-old speedster has 24 points (6 goals and 18 assists for 24 points) and is showing his coach that he can be trusted in key situations.
Another player that has stood out for the Islanders this season is Josh Bailey. Bailey, like Tavares, has 28 points (5 goals and 23 assists). He is often underappreciated because of Tavares, but this season at least, he is finally getting the accolades that he deserves.
Besides the trio mentioned above, the team has also had players such as Anders Lee (13 goals and 12 assists for 15 points), defenseman Nick Leddy (6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points), and newcomer Jordan Eberle (10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points). It is because of these guys that the team has a balanced attack.
It is still somewhat early in the season, but there is no doubt that this Islanders' offense is flowing right now. If they are able to keep it up and get balanced scoring up and down the lineup for the rest of the season, they may just find themselves back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs come April.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.