When the New York Islanders added two notable forwards at this year’s trade deadline, the team looked quite a bit stronger up front.
While New York’s forward group still wasn’t going to be a strength after the acquisitions, it seemed to be in a much better place. Despite the additions of Palmieri and Zajac, however, New York has struggled to generate offense since the trade.
While the Islanders did put up six goals against the New York Rangers earlier in the week, that scoring outburst is more of an isolated incident than a trend. Over the last eight games since Palmieri and Zajac arrived, the Islanders have scored just 15 goals. But again, if we take out that 6-1 win over the Rangers, the Islanders have nine goals in the other seven games.
Both Palmieri and Zajac have a goal and an assist in their time with the Islanders. While Palmieri has found a spot with Michael Dal Colle and Brock Nelson, Travis Zajac has already been a healthy scratch.
In addition to Palmieri and Zajac not providing the offensive support the team would’ve been hoping for, too many other forwards have been underachieving for too long this season. Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson are both in the midst of a down year and have been inconsistent. Additionally, Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle are naturally going to see a drop in production without Anders Lee, especially when he's replaced with a 34-year-old bottom-six forward who has yet to score a goal this season.
Obviously, another key factor in the lack of goals has been the team’s power play, which ranks 26th in the league. In April, the Islanders have been operating at just 9.7 per cent on the man advantage, with just three goals on 31 opportunities.
The Islanders have had some trouble figuring things out after the deadline additions and I think we’re starting to pass the point of calling it an adjustment period. It’ll be a tight race in the East Division for playoff seeding and the Islanders need to find a solution to their scoring issues.
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How do you feel about Kyle Palmieri's performance with the Islanders so far?