Islanders know they need better scoring chances against Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. — As much as Frederik Andersen’s 33 saves in Game 1 against the Islanders is a great story after the netminder returned from a blood clot issue in March, Andersen’s There’s at least some idea that they stole a -1 win. misleading.

Yes, the Islanders had an advantage in shooting numbers – a rarity against a team like Carolina – but they didn’t exactly live in the offensive zone or create consistent traffic around Andersen’s net. I hadn’t earned it.

Kyle McClain, 32, of the Islanders scored against Frederik Andersen of the Hurricanes in Game 1. NHLI (via Getty Images)

They finished Game 1 with just eight dangerous chances, according to Natural Stat Trick, and just 11 even-strength shots from below, as tracked by HockeyViz. did.

Just five, including Kyle MacLean’s goal, were in the low slot or around the crease.

That’s what the Islanders focused on Sunday.

“We’re going to talk about him today,” coach Patrick Roy said of Andersen. “Maybe we should have talked about him earlier, but today we’re going to talk about him and see what we can do. [have a] Conversations with men. You need traffic before the net.

“If we do a good job up front, for example the goal we scored was a great move at the edge of the net, it was deflected and we picked up the rebound, which is tough for any goalkeeper. , that’s the type of goal we might need to accomplish in that series. This team played well defensively, so it might not be a tic-tac-toe type of goal. It might be something like, “I need to get it, jam it, and try to earn it.” ”

It’s unclear whether Andersen will find the back of the net again in Game 2, as Hurricanes manager Rod Brind’Amour declined to name him a starter.

The Dane has been in excellent form since returning to action, but is yet to start consecutive games.

Instead, the Canes split the net 50-50 between Andersen and Pyotr Kochetkov, and his .911 save percentage looks a little weaker than Andersen’s regular-season save percentage of .932.

Regardless of who you meet on Monday night, the general principles apply to Islanders as well.

They need to play in their own zone and neutral zone, as well as find ways to create more sustained pressure and high-danger looks.

“I think it’s speed, motion, clinging to the puck. We have to be smart with puck placement,” Brock Nelson said. “I think they put a lot of pressure through the neutral zone and the O-zone and disrupt the flow of possession a little bit trying to get into the O-zone. Once they get in there, similar things happen. Good outs and everyone. We need good support from D, forward, good movement. Everyone will be a little part of it.”

Kyle MacLean (left) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the only goal in the Islanders' loss.
Kyle MacLean (left) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the only goal in the Islanders’ loss. AP

Carolina’s high-pressure defense forced the Islanders to spend much of Game 1 trying to avoid the rush and settle for a one-shot game.

The Islanders’ penalty kill was also hampered, and they didn’t start creating opportunities until it was too late for their second and final chance of the night.

“On the last power play there, we definitely grabbed a little bit of momentum and made some good plays,” Mathieu Barzal said. “So, we’re definitely going to have to look at the video today or make some adjustments. That’s the beauty of a playoff series, it’s a chess match right now. We’re going to find a way to make it work on the power play. We have to give it momentum.”

It starts with clinging to the puck and getting more traffic in the crease.

“I think that’s probably going to be a focus, definitely, to create turnovers and be able to attack a little bit more,” Nelson said. “You want to create a little more pressure and zone time and then get that guy in front of the net and create opportunities through point shots and cycles. So I think that guy in front of the net will be the focus.”