Five on Five Scoring Has To Be Consistent For Playoff Spot

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/23/2011 10:20:00 PM |

No site anywhere quotes the injuries this team has sustained three of the last four years as often as NYIFC has.

It's done to drive home the fair point no team would be able to remain competitive under such circumstances.

Having written this NYIFC did not give the club a pass last season when the season fell apart because of injuries, it was only a part of the story.

Things fell apart after a 4-1-2 illusion of a start, which had Scott Gordon concerned at the signs his roster could not produce at five on five.

He was absolutely correct.

NYIFC had at least two entries on the five on five struggles 11/6/2010 Not Rocket Science No Even Strength Scoring & 11/7/2010 Even Strength Goals Minus Ten from 2009-10.

No doubt there were others.

We discussed the healthy forwards not producing at five on five in detail, made comparisons to previous seasons.

That was then, this is August 2011, but some of the same players who did not produce at five on five early when a goal was needed most have to step up this year.

It cannot all come from Matt Moulson at five on five because that only means a long losing streak (without Roloson's save percentage) this year keeping it close.

Frans Nielsen cannot score his first even strength goal, December 5th, then his second on February 24th, which were both terrible bad angle goals allowed by Sergei Bobrovsky.

Same holds for Blake Comeau, who cannot be just a good second half scorer for a third season in a row.

Michael Grabner had only nine goals on 1/15/2011.
PA Parenteau, two even strength goals by 1/15/2011.

Bottom line, for this team to qualify for the 2011 playoffs it has to produce goals at five on five consistently over eighty two games, avoiding a run of regulation losses.

Injuries excuse a lot, however last year fell off the map with many regulars still healthy, the collective group could not get one of those thirty plus one goal/open net losses to overtime.

That happened because so many players struggled at five on five beyond the loss of Streit, Okposo, which includes Andrew MacDonald from late Oct/December.

This number has to change in 2011-12, the injuries do not excuse what happened during the losing streak in 2010, the goals against were exactly the same with/without Mark Streit the last two years.

The second half hid some horrible early five on five numbers overall, it did not hide the overall result.