New York Islanders: Losing Kyle Okposo Surely Hurts, But Their Penalty Kill Has Been Brutal.
The tab is already growing.
The Islanders still maintain a one point advantage over the Pens for 1st place in the Metro Division, which technically still makes them #2 in the conference, but Long Island's 65 points now ranks them 4th behind Tampa, Montreal, and Detroit.
The Isles are 1-2 since losing Kyle Okposo. After defeating the Rangers, they lost a pair of big conference games by a combined 9-3 margin to the Bruins and Red Wings.
Chad Johnson started in net against Detroit. He only faced 19 shots, but only made 15 saves. It's hard to place much, if any blame on him, particularly when the penalty kill has been playing so poorly - as bad, in fact, as they've been all season.
The Isles entered the new year with a 75% PK.
- October - 22/33; 67%
- November - 31/38; 82%
- December - 28/37; 76%
Their penalty kill was just (19/29) 66% in January. They're only 50% (4/8) since Okposo went down.
Against the Bruins, you just have to credit Tuukka Rask. He faced 43 shots and made 41 saves. The Bruins got off 38 shots. But after the Isles tied the game in the 2nd period at two, Boston finished off the Isles with 3 unanswered goals - despite getting out-shot 14-6 by the Isles in the 3rd period.
Next up - games against the Panthers and Flyers, then a rematch against the Bruins.