Offense is a key issue for the New York Islanders in the 2022-23 season as they are just one of three metropolitan teams to average fewer than three goals per game this season.
But as we saw in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, and what we’ve seen over the past year and a half, is that the Islanders no longer have the shutdown defense that led to their recent post- season has led.
According to Sportsnet Elliot FriedmanOn Tuesday’s episode of “The Jeff Marek Show,” the Islanders poked at Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, whom they previously checked out.
“Someone told me they heard that the islanders were looking around Chychrun,” Friedman said.
Chychrum is a player who would not only help defensively, but also a player who assists transition play – hence more offense.
In 31 games, Chychrun has five goals and 19 assists in 22:54 TOI. The 24-year-old is a plus-5 on a team that ranks 29th in the NHL and allows 3.57 goals per game.
Chychrun has two years left on his contract valued at $4.6 million annually, including a modified 10-team no-movement clause.
He’s a left-hander who can play on either side.
But Friedman doesn’t think it makes sense for the Islanders to give up what Arizona is looking for, as the Islanders need a scorer and all resources should be devoted to that.
The asking price for Chychrun, according to Friedman on his 32 Thoughts podcast, is two first-round picks plus one package, whether it’s two first-round picks or the type of prospect that essentially equals one first-round pick .”
“If you’re worried about missing the playoffs, you need to add young talent. As if I don’t know [move] makes sense to me,” Friedman said. “I think the question is going to be, okay, you’ve had a great run with this group. It’s probably the end. So where are you tuning in now?”
“And I think all of their resources should be focused on finding a goalscorer.”
Friedman and Marek have sacked Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine as a possible candidate, but have heard nothing connecting the two sides.
Jeff Mark said the Islanders contacted the St. Louis Blues about Vladimir Tarasenko as he could be an option.
The two also made a good point by using Monday night’s competition as an example. Due to the lack of finishers, the islanders have to work so much harder, which is why playing a “full 60” was so difficult.
“The islanders need so much energy to score a goal,” said Marek. “When they score, they look exhausted. If a team then scores immediately, they only look defeated afterwards. When you have to fight for every single goal, the games are tough, man.”
“You need someone on the side to snap a few.”
Marek ended the Islanders segment with the following about NHL scorers:
“That’s generally design and development and teams are sticking with those players[…] I think that has to be job number one.”
The NHL trade deadline is March 3, and the Islanders are two points away from the second wildcard spot in the east. They’ve averaged just two goals per game since January 1 and have gone 2-7-3 since then.
Based on Friedman and Marek, along with what we’ve seen from the Islanders this season, it’s evident that there’s certainly more than one area that needs improvement if they’re to compete but in an offensive league with Iyla Sorokin as your goalkeeper must have a goalscorer priority.
The question becomes, does New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello have the parts or the conviction to pull one from another team?
Islanders continue to prove they don’t have enough finishers to compete
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