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Friday, April 20, 2007

Longest NHL suspensions

Unless I've missed someone, Hill is the first player to be suspended under the new CBA and has received one of the longest NHL suspensions of all time:

(from about.proicehockey.com)

The Rest Of The Season (minimum 25 games)

Chris Simon of the New York Islanders, for a slash to the face
of the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg in March 2007. Simon misses 15 regular
season games plus all of the Islanders' playoff games. The suspension
carries over to 2007-08 if necessary to meet the 25-game minimum.
The Rest Of The Season (23 games)

Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins, for knocking out
Vancouver's Donald Brashear by swinging a stick at his head in March,
2000. McSorley misses 23 regular season games.
The Rest Of The Season (20 games)

Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks, for serious injuries
sustained by Colorado's Steve Moore when Bertuzzi jumped him from
behind in March, 2004.
23 Games

Gordie Dwyer of the Tampa Bay Lightning, for abusing
officials and leaving the penalty box to fight in a pre-season game
against the Washington Capitals in September, 2000.


21 games

Dale Hunter of the Washington Capitals, for a hit on Pierre
Turgeon of the New York Islanders while Turgeon celebrates a goal in
the 1993 playoffs.


20 games

Tom Lysiak of the Chicago Blackhawks, for intentionally tripping a linesman in October, 1983.


20 games

Brad May of the Phoenix Coyotes, for a slash to the head of Columbus' Steve Heinze in November, 2000.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 2,920 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President-Elect of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY.You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games.For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org

Time to stave (apologies if you have already received this)

Updating a piece that I wrote for nyi.com a few years back....

According to Webster, "stave off" has been around for nearly four centuries. Funny, I didn't realize that there were playoffs then.

It seems like the only time I ever hear the word stave is when a sports team is one game away from elimination-- the situation the Isles find themselves in Friday evening at HSBC.

The Islanders have successfully staved off elimination 25 times in 41 tries. Of course the other sixteen times they've ended up on the wrong side of a handshake.

Four times in their history, the "Never-Say-Dielanders" have managed to stave off elimination at least three times in a single playoff year.

In 1975, the Isles beat the Rangers in the decisive Game 3, and then found themselves down 3-0 to both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Isles won eight of the nine elimination games they played, setting an NHL-record for avoiding elimination.

In 1985, their first playoff after losing the Cup, the Isles lost three of their first four playoff games, and looked like they were headed to an early spring, before rallying to beat the Caps three times, to stave off elimination each time. The Isles trailed the Flyers 3-0 in the second round and won game four before losing the series in five. Four successful staves.

Two years later the Caps and Flyers again became Islander victims. The Isles trailed both series 3-1; yet beat the Capitals on Easter morning, before losing to Philadelphia in seven. Five more successful staves.
Finally in 1993, the Isles trailed Pittsburgh 3-2 before winning in 7 on David Volek's overtime goal. After Montreal used eight guys on the ice to score in OT in Game 3 of the Conference Finals to grab a 3-0 lead in the series, the Isles staved off elimination with a home-ice win in game four, only to fall to the eventual champs in Game five. Three more staves.

Five other seasons featured one successful stave. In 1976 and 1977, the Isles forced the eventual champion Canadiens an extra game each year with their backs against the wall. In 1982 and 1984, with their dynasty on the line, the Isles used overtime goals to beat Pittsburgh and the Rangers to stave off elimination and increase the legacy that guides this franchise today. Finally, in 2002, the Isles overcame the loss of Michael Peca and Kenny Jonsson in game 5 in Toronto to win an emotional game six at home.

In potential season-ending playoff games, the Isles are 15-4 at home and 10-12 on the road.

The Isles were eliminated at home in 1977 by Montreal, in 1978 by Toronto, in 1986 by Washington and in 1994 by the Rangers.

The Isles have been eliminated in the playoffs only sixteen times. In 7 of those seasons, the team that beat the Isles won the Stanley Cup [75-76-77-84-93-94-04] and in three other years, the team that beat the Isles lost in the Finals [79-85-87].

If the Islanders were to lose tonight, it would mark the fourth time that they've been eliminated by losing the final 3 games after splitting the opening pair. It happened in 2003 to Ottawa and 2004 to Tampa Bay but it also happened in 1984, when the Dynasty ended with three straight losses to Edmonton. Of course, the Edmonton series deserves an asterisk -- games 3-5 of that series were all played in Alberta.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Whowins?

The good folks at whowins.com (full disclosure--they've mentioned me on their site in the past) have some interesting numbers on this series, based on all of the previous best-of-7 series that have been played.

Limiting them to the NHL, they look like this:

[all credit due to whowins.com]

<<The team tied 1-game-all with Games 1-2 at home (Buffalo) has the following best-of-7 playoff series and games record through the 2006 MLB Finals:
series record, NHL only, all rounds: 121-101 (.545)
series record, NHL only, Prelim round: 39-38 (.506)
Game 3 record, NHL only, all rounds: 107-115 (.482)
Game 3 record, NHL only, Prelim round: 39-38 (.506)

The team that wins Game 1 but loses Game 2 irrespective of site (Buffalo) has the following best-of-7 playoff series and games record through the 2006 MLB Finals:
series record, NHL only, all rounds: 105-122 (.463)
series record, NHL only, Prelim round: 31-46 (.403)

Game 3 record, NHL only, all rounds: 107-120 (.471)
Game 3 record, NHL only, Prelim round: 35-42 (.455)

The team that wins Game 1 but loses Game 2 with Games 1-2 at home (Buffalo) has the following best-of-7 playoff series and games record through the 2006 MLB Finals:
series record, NHL only, all rounds: 54-54 (.500)
series record, NHL only, Prelim round: 13-20 (.394)

Game 3 record, NHL only, all rounds: 49-59 (.454)
Game 3 record, NHL only, Prelim round: 15-18 (.455)
>>

Two numbers really jump out from an Islander perspective:
Teams that win game two after losing game one have won an NHL preliminary round series nearly 60% of the time.
Teams that win game two after losing game one on the road have won an NHL preliminary series over 60% of the time.

Here's to history repeating itself!



Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 2,920 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President-Elect of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY.You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games.For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org

A few trivial notes as the Coliseum opens for playoff hockey for the first time in 3 years and 2 days

The Islanders carry a long playoff home scoreless streak into Monday's game. They've gone 157:12 since Adrian Aucoin scored the Islanders' only goal in a 3-1 defeat to Ottawa (Game 4, 2003). It's their only goal in the last 243:19 of Coliseum playoff hockey.

The Isles have lost their last six Monday playoff games after going 9-3 in their first dozen Monday's. Their last Monday win came seventeen years ago last Monday (4-9-90) as Brent Sutter's goal early in the second overtime ended the first multiple overtime game in Coliseum history.

This is the third straight Islander playoff series that is tied 1-1. (The Isles lost game 3, and the series, to Ottawa and Tampa Bay in 2003 and 2004).

The Isles won game three (and the series) in 1976, 1977, and 1980 against Buffalo. The Isles have won seven of eight home playoff games against Buffalo, losing only game 4 in 1980.

A reminder: Local TV is on FSN-NY Monday and Wednesday. Out-of-town fans will find the games on Versus (Center Ice is blacked out).



Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 2,920 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President-Elect of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY.You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games.For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Isle-versary

On this date:

1984: Don Maloney ties it in the final half-minute, but all it does is prolong the Rangers' agony as Ken Morrow scores 8:56 into overtime to give the Isles a series-clinching victory. It's their seventeenth consecutive playoff series triumph. This game is unquestionably on my short list of greatest games I ever saw.

2004: Rick DiPietro records his only career playoff win (so far!) and it's a shutout as the Isles blank Tampa 3-0. Jason Blake scores twice in the 133rd (and most recent) victory in Islander playoff history.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

So how have the Islanders done on Easter Sunday?

We all know about the Easter Epic, which actually ended in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday.

 

But how have the Isles done on Easter Sunday historically?

 

Not well... except, ironically, in New Jersey.  Not counting the LaFontaine martathon, the Isles are 3-6-1 on Easter Sunday, with nine of the ten coming on the road.  The only time the Isles played at home on Easter Sunday was in 1978, to make up a game that was snowed out in the "Blizzard of 78".

 

The Isles are however, 2-0 on Easter Sunday at the Swamp, including a season-ending win there in 1991.

 

The Islanders were scheduled to play a game 7 in Ottawa on Easter 2003, but the Sens ended that series in 5.

 

 

Easter Sunday

 

      22 April 1973 season over

      14 April 1974 season over

      30 March 1975 T @ Atl 2-2

      18 April 1976 idle

      10 April 1977 idle

      26 March 1978 W Min 6-3 [make-up for snow-out]

      15 April 1979 idle

       6 April 1980 idle

      19 April 1981 L @Edm 5-2 PLAYOFFS

      11 April 1982 L @Pit 5-2 PLAYOFFS

       3 April 1983 L @Phil 4-2 

      22 April 1984 idle

       7 April 1985 idle

      30 March 1986 idle

      19 April 1987 early morning LaFontaine

       3 April 1988 L @ Boston 3-2

      26 March 1989 L @ Washington 3-2

      15 April 1990 season over

      31 March 1991 W @ NJ 3-2

      19 April 1992 season over

      11 April 1993 W @ NJ 5-4

       3 April 1994 idle

      16 April 1995 L @ NYR 3-2 [lockout season]

       7 April 1996 idle

      30 March 1997 idle

      12 April 1998 idle

       4 April 1999 idle

      23 April 2000 season over

      15 April 2001 season over    

      31 March 2002 idle

      20 April 2003 season over    

      11 April 2004 idle    

      27 March 2005 no season    

      16 April 2006 idle

       8 April 2007 Game 82 @ NJ    


 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 2,920 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President-Elect of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY.You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games.For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Permutations and Combinations

There are five games remaining in the NHL season that will decide the Isles' fate.  These are the three remaining Islander games and Montreal's games with the Rangers and Toronto.
 
Each of these five games has four possible outcomes:
 
Home team win in regulation
Home team win in overtime/shootout
Road team win in overtime/shootout
Road team win in regulation
 
Thus, there are 1,024 possible combinations of results  (4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4).
 
How many of those get the Islanders in the playoffs?  24.
 
In 16 of those scenarios, Montreal ends with 91 points (Toronto ends with 92 points in eight of these, losing the tie-break to the Isles, and with 91 in the other 8)
 
In the other 8 scenarios that get the Isles in, Montreal ends with 90 points (Toronto has 92 in four of these, losing the tie-break to the Isles and 91 in the other 4)
 
So it's 24 chances of 1024 -- or about 1 in 43.  Not good, but not impossible either.
 
 
In 1990, with 5 games remaining the affected the Isles in that season, there were 243 combinations of results (only three possibilities for points then), only 2 of which would get the Isles into the playoffs.  That 241-2 shot actually came in... when Uwe Krupp's OT goal knocked the Isles into the playoffs and sent Jaromir Jagr to the Penguins in the entry draft (leaving the Isles with Scott Scissons).
 
Since nothing will change on Wednesday, the Isles will get to Thursday still alive...and with a better shot mathematically than they had in 1990. 

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 2,920 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President-Elect of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY.You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games.For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org