Last night, the Islanders were eliminated from the playoffs after losing 2-1 to the Capitals in-game seven of their best of seven first round series. One staggering statistic from the series was the Islanders struggles on the power play. The Islanders failed to score one power play goal in the entire seven game series. This has brought the future of Doug Weight who is in charge of the Islanders power play into question.
A recent article from Sports Illustrated suggested that Doug Weight could be moving on from the Islanders assistant coaching position. It was very vague with details regarding that such as if Weight would remain with the team or if he would leave the team totally. It will be very interesting to see if Weight leaves what that would do for the rest of the coaching staff which in case you were unaware is quite large even though there are only the 2 assistants on the bench along with Jack Capuano.
One thing I found myself saying a lot when watching the Islanders power play is that they were to cute or tried to do too much. Instead of shooting on net and trying to get opportunities, they always looked for the perfect play and more often than not they turned it over. While it did work sometimes and resulted in a pretty play, that isn’t the way to operate an effective power play. With the Islanders having legit threats from the point now in Boychuk and Nick Leddy, not utilizing them more often didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Having a simpler strategy is something that they should definitely work on over the summer heading into next season in Brooklyn because their strategy this year came up small when it mattered the most.
Net Front Presence
This is also another element of their power play that was severely lacking at times. While Anders Lee became excellent at this as the season wore on, he was mostly alone in doing this. Brock Nelson was great at this early in the season, but it was almost like when Lee arrived he did it less and less and that coincided with his dip in production for the few months. Next season, it needs to be drilled into the team’s head to go not be afraid to go to the dirty areas to get rewarded. They saw the wonders it did for Lee so they should know if it could happen for him it could happen for them to.
Will Weight Remain?
Personally, I hope Weight is reassigned to a front office role and someone new brought in on the bench. From the start with Weight I thought it was silly to have him have a dual role in the front office and behind the bench. One big reason for that was that I thought it was unfair to the other coaches. That is because on each given day it was like they were coaching with their boss rather than their colleague. Plus, Weight has shown that he can be a great ambassador for the team so I think he would really excel in a front office role.