Jack Capuano has been looking for more offense from his defensemen this week, even after the Islanders piled up three straight wins at home last week.
He got his wish, even if it was from an unlikely source. Thomas Hickey jumped into action to score a breakaway goal in the third period on Tuesday, turning a 1-0 nail-biter into a 2-0 Islanders lead on the way to a 4-0 win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
Hickey's eighth career goal in career game No. 204 proved huge and it was just the third goal from an Islanders defenseman among the 21 the Isles have scored in their first six games.
One defenseman the Islanders thought would be leading the charge offensively is Nick Leddy. His 37 points a season ago led all Isles defensemen. He is still without a point through six games and Leddy has just four shots on goal.
"It's not a concern," Leddy said. "You have to be smart about when to jump in the play and try to generate offense. We're winning games, so the personal stats don't really matter that much. It's more about picking your spots and trying to get pucks on net."
Leddy's outstanding skating skills were what made him a force last season, when he led a few rushes up the ice early in the year to show Capuano and the rest of the team that their newly acquired defenseman was going to be effective at both ends of the ice.
Perhaps it's getting adjusted to the new ice surface in Brooklyn, where speed has not exactly been rewarded by a slushier surface. Perhaps Leddy is focusing more on the transition game to get his forwards moving. Perhaps it's just a slow start for Leddy, who didn't have much time to overthink his situation when he was dealt from the Blackhawks to the Islanders five days before the 2014-15 season began.
Whatever the reason, Leddy knows he's needed on the scoresheet but doesn't want to start forcing matters.
"I know you can't score if you don't shoot," he said. "I feel comfortable where my game is and the team is playing well. The offense will take care of itself."