After an underwhelming 1-3 start to the season, the New York Islanders winning streak is at nine games and the team is 10-3. Despite being plagued with injuries, the Islanders have been finding success. Here are three main reasons why.
The Islanders so far this season have picked off right where they left off last season in terms of the team’s defensive play. The team is below the league average in shots against.
The Islanders new defensive system is no joke. Under Barry Trotz, the team has flourished defensively and is only continuing that trend so far into the 2019-20 season.
The goaltenders have a big responsibility on the defensive end. Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov are both thriving, making fans miss Robin Lehner a bit less.
Because of their strong performances, the Islanders have been able to string wins together.
Because the Islanders are dealing with the injury bug, a lot of young players are finally getting an opportunity to crack the roster. Forwards Cole Bardreau and Oliver Wahlstrom, and defenseman Noah Dobson have all played in their first NHL games this season.
The youth has been a vibrant force in the team’s success. Although these young players’ presence may not be showing in the statistics column, they have, at times, been the best skaters on the ice for the Islanders.
And it is only a matter of time before their success starts matching their numbers. Noah Dobson is already playing solid when he gets opportunities, and as he continues to mature, he will begin to be an offensive threat for the team. Additionally, Wahlstrom and Bardreau have quietly been grinding for the Islanders.
Once they get going, the sky is the limit for them. The Islanders winning streak has been caused by rookies, combined with the veterans on the team, creating a perfect harmony of talent.
The Islanders powerplay has had a long history of agony, pain and disappointment. However, so far this season, it has been pretty good. The Islanders powerplay percentage is currently above the league average. Although it is extremely early in the season, one can only hope that it only continues through the rest of the season.
So far, the Islanders have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL, if not the best team. A lot of NHL teams have gone of winning streaks, but sometimes after a team can struggle. How will the Islanders play coming off a loss? It is imperative that they bounce back when the eventually lose.
If the Islanders defense continues to thrive, the youngsters continue to grind and eventually heat up and the power-play stays hot, the Islanders could be a legitimate contender this season.