Where Is The Islanders Second Line?
There's John Tavares with 66 points, just one goal/point shy of tying his career high from last season; there's Matt Moulson with 58 points, continuing his increased season output this year so far by five points; and of course there is P.A. Parenteau with 61 points, having the best season of his NHL career being tied for fifth in the league for assists (46) with Evgeni Malkin. And after that? (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flickr)
Well there's Mark Streit with 36 points, likely to finish 10 points less than he did two years ago. Streit has had his most disappointing season in an Islanders uniform. He's a -23 and only has two power play goals this year. He had nine and ten in his previous two seasons, respectively.
There lies your biggest problem heading into the end of the season. The Islanders offense was expected to be one of the team's best factors going into 2012. To the contrary, they have the third worst offense in the NHL and have suffered a major drought when it's come to secondary scoring.
The bright side is that the Islanders finally have a bonafide first line center with two complimentary wingers that have put up (or will) 60-plus points this year. However, the team's second unit of Grabner-Nielsen-Okposo, which has changed throughout the year, stands with points ranging from 25-33 between the three of them. There lies the significant decrease in offense.
Fortunately, General Manager Garth Snow is aware of this glaring issue and plans to address it this summer. He told fellow Blog Boxer, Dee Karl in an interview found at Hockeybuzz that he wants to find a way to fix his scoring depth before 2013.
“The one strength coming into this season we thought we had was scoring, as it turns out we’re the third lowest scoring team in the league this season. So if we can find a way to help our secondary scoring, we’ll definitely take a look at that in the summer.”
He also adds that he would like to find a top-four defenseman. Hopefully Snow will stray away from veteran try-outs and free agency left-overs. As I've stated before, hopefully this summer will be different.
The Islanders have finally found a first line that can compete with the best of them. But in order for this team to get better, the depth will have to dig deeper.