Brock Nelson had a hot start to the 2014-2015 season, but since January, Nelson has been cold as ice. He hasn’t scored a goal since January 4. It’s been over a month and 13 Islanders games in between.
In that span, the Knicks snapped a 16-game losing streak and the Patriots won the Super Bowl. Although Nelson has been struggling lately, he has put together a solid second season in the NHL. Not to mention, 9 of his 15 goals have come off the power-play and he is still tied for 6th in the NHL with Power-Play Goals despite his recent downfall. Nelson has 32 points on 15 goals and 17 assists this season.
Jack Capuano has no issues with Nelson’s play away from the puck, nor does the coach want to engage in much criticism of Nelson or his other young players. Anders Lee and Ryan Strome have also had low moments this season. “I don’t want to put any pressure on those guys,” Capuano said. “We haven’t done that all year and they’ve been contributing a lot for us. For Brock in particular, he had pucks going in off every part of him at the start of the season. That wasn’t sustainable.”
Offense hasn’t been a big concern for Capuano and his team, which has responded quite well to short losing streaks this season. The Islanders went 6-1-0 after losing two straight early in January and 7-1-1 after losing three straight in December. But with Kyle Okposo out until late March, they need Nelson at both ends of the ice.
“Maybe he needs to shoot a little more now to break out of this,” Capuano said. “Look, Johnny [Tavares] struggled statistically for him at the start of the season and we kept saying he was going to break out. And he has. Brock is there, around the net, getting his chances. They’re going to go in again for him soon.”
He is capable of scoring goals and everyone knows that. It’s just a matter of time of when we will see the Brock Nelson from October that surprised a lot of hockey fans and teams. Will the 23-year-old have another magical month, but this time at the end of the season? When will he break this scoring drought?
Here is a throwback video of Brock Nelson’s first NHL goal: