With the Penguins scoring two power-play goals in Thursday night's 4-3 overtime loss, Isles head coach Doug Weight devoted a full hour at practice Friday to fix his team's penalty kill.
The Islanders definitely need help in that area as they currently sit 30th in the league with a 73.3 percent efficency on penalty kill opportunities. Thursday night marked the fourth straight game the team has allowed two power-play goals as well.
After a 45-minute video session, the Isles took the ice to practice their penalty kill for a full hour, which Weight thought was necessary to figure out what is going wrong.
"We talked about everything for the last 24 hours. I'm not going to repeat it, because I'm tired," Weight told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "It's life, it's confidence. You need some freshness, you need to focus on it, not ignore it."
The Islanders have been without two key players in Nikolay Kulemin and Casey Cizikas on their power-play lines. Cizikas finally returned last night, but Kulemin is out for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury. When everyone was healthy, the Isles were doing just fine in the penalty kill department allowing only nine goals on 50 attempts. However, since Kulemin was lost, they have allowed 15 goals on their past 40 attempts.
That is definitely not going to cut it, and Cal Clutterbuck knows it is up to the current personnel to figure out a fix.
"There's different personnel and a lot of our penalty kill success is predicated on playing with a certain guy and really getting used to his movements," Clutterbuck said. "Casey's been hurt, I got sick, Kulie's hurt - that leads to some sort of breakdowns. And you add bad luck to that, you get what we've got right now. It's up to us to find the chemistry and today was more an exercise in repetition to find that comfort zone we need."
Weight had his normal forward pairs in Cizikas-Clutterbuck, John Tavares-Andrew Ladd, and Josh Bailey-Anthony Beauvillier working together during the one-hour session.
"You can only use so many guys," Weight noted. "I think we have good personnel. We just went over some things, had a skate and that's it."