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New York Islanders

Rob Simpson: Isles in Command for the Simplest of Reasons



New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals Game 2

TORONTO — Like a savant, an augur, a voyant of clair, NYI Hockey Now’s Christian Arnold wrote in his pregame Friday about the New York Islanders having to play 5-on-5 hockey in Game-2 to be successful. Bingo!

Stay out of the box. How many times have you heard that advice or admonishment when a team has spent too much time there. For all of their impressive defensive improvements these past couple of seasons under coach Barry Trotz, the penalty kill hasn’t been the difference-maker for the Isles. In 2019-20 it was middle of the pack.

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Special teams is not an area the Isles will likely win. Thus the emphasis on even strength hockey. The Cap’s went 0-for-2 on the power play in Game 2, the second number of that statistic just as important as the first. Keep the penalty kill off the ice.

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