What's the Fall Out From Islanders Trade with Vancouver?

What's the Fall Out From Islanders Trade with Vancouver?

Say what you will about New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello, but he is giving it one last shot at getting his team into the NHL playoffs. On Monday, Lamoriello brokered a deal for the Islanders to acquire Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks. Horvat was Vancouver’s captain and, most importantly, scored 31 goals in 49 games. 

New York has endured a few issues scoring goals over the past several seasons. This season, its 148 goals rank 23 among the 32 teams in the NHL. Typically, teams are at least in the upper half regarding offense and making the postseason. 

Again, there is a lot of what the Islanders gave up to acquire Horvat. However, a team with solid defense and goaltending needed a swift kick. Horvat’s enthusiasm and play may be enough of a jump start.

How Close Are The New York Islanders to the Playoffs?

The good news is that New York stands two points out of a playoff spot. The bad part is New York has 30 games left in the regular season. This means several teams in the playoff bubble possess games in hand. Lane Lambert and his coaching staff have quite a challenge here. 

Can New York get back to around 10 games above .500? That may be close to the cutoff point. Then again, it depends on the surrounding landscape, too. Fortunately, the Islanders did win consecutive games heading into their extended break. That boosted their psyche, even if they only scored four goals in those two games. 

Yes, the Islanders became the Team Under “Kings” lately. They had connected on 14 of 16 Unders. That is a considerable rate in the NHL. This means New York scored two goals or fewer. Honestly, teams do not consistently win by scoring at that rate. 

Unfortunately, special teams point to even worse problems. The Islanders convert power plays at 15.54%. That ranks 31, with the Montreal Canadians are only worse. Again, teams in the upper half of special teams are more apt to make the playoffs. Horvat’s 11 power-play goals and seven helpers could provide a considerable boost. 

Can The Older Team Get The Jump Needed To Get In?

New York is or can be dangerous once it gets into the postseason. Some are worried that this is an outlier for Horvat (21.7%). Considering the past two-plus seasons and how his shooting percentage has steadily risen, even a slight regression is not terrible. 

Horvat’s shot rate has been just under three consistently. This all boils down to can the center pot his chances on Long Island. He goes to a team where New York’s average age is 29.1. That is one of the oldest in the NHL. Though Horvat turns 28 in two months, his play has shown the heart of someone a few years younger. 

Even on his Zoom call yesterday, there was a sense of a player in his early, or mid 20’s as opposed to a veteran. It is that kick and push the Islanders desperately need if they expect to make the playoffs. 

On DraftKings, the New York Islanders are +300 to make the postseason. That may be the best numbers seen currently. That figures to get shorter now. Is this even enough for New York? It will be interesting to see, but New York still may have to do more before the trade deadline. 

Simply, that +300 number makes it worth making a small wager instead of a larger one. Again, there is the risk, so keep that in mind.