Islands are ranked last in the NHL in goals scored

DETROIT – President and general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Barry Trotz have always insisted during their more than three seasons in charge of the Islanders – usually when asked about the potential need to acquire a scoring forward – that it It’s not about how many goals are scored, but about the goal difference.

Well, this 0-8-1 slump, exacerbated by a now easing COVID-19 outbreak, has been about a lack of goals. The Islanders (5-10-3) scored 34-8 in those nine games.

The Islanders will compete in Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena averaging 1.83 goals per game after scoring an NHL low of 33 in 18 games. That’s nine behind the second-worst scoring team, Arizona, and his 42 goals in 23 games (1.83 per game).

The Islanders’ goal difference is minus 21 and is therefore in fourth place in the competition. In comparison, the improving Red Wings (12-9-3) average 2.8 goals per game with a minus-8 goal difference.

The islanders in last place, who haven’t won since Nov. 6, saw their losing streak grow to nine – albeit with a much-needed point – in Thursday night’s 2-1 defeat to the Sharks at the UBS Arena. Which

stretch had also scheduled road games against the Rangers last Sunday and postponed the Flyers last Tuesday due to their COVID-19 outbreak.

Of the eight islanders who tested positive, only Casey Cizikas and defender Zdeno Chara remained in the COVID-19 protocol against the sharks.

The Islanders, who did not train on Friday, will face defender Nick Leddy for the first time since Lamoriello traded him to the Red Wings on July 16 for a salary cap. Thursday back to AHL Bridgeport. The loss of Leddy’s puck-moving ability is one of the major flaws in the Islanders’ game right now.

“We just have to worry about the process of playing better and better,” said Trotz. “We have to. During some of our matches here [at UBS Arena], we had a few games where we didn’t give up much. But we got nothing and we got no point.

“We have another level in our game and we will have to find it. I know the guys coming back from COVID, they want to get there.”

A potentially good sign on Thursday came when Mathew Barzal, who has five goals and four assists, scored his first point in six games. He raced up the right wing and fired a shot into the distant past for a 1-0 lead 1:04 into the first period.

Barzal centered Anders Lee and Josh Bailey, both of them back from COVID-19 protocol in their first games.

“Hopefully that puts him in the right direction,” said Trotz. “And hopefully we’ll get a few more guys going in the right direction.”

Notes & Quotes: The Islanders, UBS Arena and St. John’s University announced a five-year partnership Friday. The three groups will work together to develop a graduate business program that focuses on sports, entertainment and facilities management. The Islanders and UBS Arena will also offer internships for St. John’s students.

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