Leddy and Mayfield continue to struggle

BY, Kevin Psomas

· Kevin Psomas

While no team will ever have a perfect lineup the Islanders have a major weak spot within theirs. It has been the play of Nick Leddy and Scott Mayfield together as a pair that has cost the Islanders a few games this season. After a roaring 3 goal comeback from down 3-0 the Islanders and Flyers seemed destined for overtime until Mayfield lost his man leading to a goal that cost New York the game and a point. Mayfield and Leddy were on the ice for both goals against with both caused by the defender losing their man and their positions in front of the net which is something the Islanders have been so good with thus far. Leddy and Mayfield are both incredibly talented players but together they have not found the same chemistry that Dobson and Greene and Pelech and Pulock share. Nick Leddy would certainly be in the running for team MVP this year if he could have found a way to stop watching the play in front of him and instead cover his man. Leddy currently leads the team in assists with 27 and has been an extremely consistent player as a whole this year on the offensive side of the puck but on the defensive side is where it starts to get ugly. Leddy’s plus minus is an even 0 meaning he has been on for just as many goals as against which on a team like the Islanders is slightly out of character considering their defensive structure and how well they play in their own end especially in the past 2 years preceding this year. The Islanders defensive zone play has begun to slip this year as they continue to fluster in the final month or two of the season. Scott Mayfield has also not played up to the elite level we have seen him play, Mayfield has been absolutely electric on the Islanders penalty kill which has really dug them out of deep holes but other than that there is still a ton to be desired from the 28 year old. Mayfield is a +1 in terms of plus minus so he is ever so slightly better in that category than Leddy but again he has found his troubles in terms of losing his man in front of his own goal allowing easy tap in goals for the opposing sides. The Islanders could easily have had over 70 points this year had it not been for the few games that the D pair has caused. The Islanders will certainly need more from Nick Leddy if they want to head on a deep playoff run. While the Leddy-Mayfield pair would be around average league wide the Islanders, a team built on defence need all 3 D-pairs to be above average if they want success. The Islanders have proved time and time again how dominant they can be especially in their own end, the Leddy and Mayfield pairing has often been the “weak point” in a strong Islanders defence not even necessarily because of the quantity of goals they allow but more because of the magnitude of goals they have been on for. If the Islanders get Leddy and Mayfield rolling for the playoffs they will be a tough team to beat. Leddy and Mayfield currently have a combined plus minus of +1 and if they can even play at a +5 in the playoffs it would be a huge boost. Their xGoals against while on the ice as a pair is 1.96 which is 2nd on the team behind P&P security. They have struggled at times but also have shown some positive upside in their own rights. Leddy has been exceptional on the offensive side returning to true 2015 Nick leddy form with the speed he possesses creating opportunities while Mayfield has proved his worth on the Islander penalty kill this year as he is one of their top killers. Overall Leddy and Mayfield are part of an extremely strong Islanders defensive core and I'm sure with the experience they hold Leddy and Mayfield could bump up their play.

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