Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 5, Atlanta 4

Crazy weekend--not much time. But a road win certainly deserves a mention. On to the trick:

1. The Isles end the 2nd longest road losing streak in their history with a 5-4 win in Atlanta. It's their first road win since November 24 (0-14-1). How long ago was that? 66 days. The Isles' previous road win was in Montreal, and raised their overall record to 9-10-2. They were one period from .500 two nights later, when the roof, and the season, fell in.

2. The Isles scored five goals for the first time since the home opener (5-2 win over St. Louis). It's the first time all season that they've scored 5 on the road (34 games, dating back to last February 28, also in Atlanta).

3. The Isles have a 2-game win streak for the first time since November 22-24 and a 3-game point streak for the first time since Nov 13-17.

and a few more...

4. It's the first time this season that the Isles have allowed 4 goals in a game, and won (0-20-3 prior to this game). The Isles had gone winless in their last 30 games (0-26-4) when they alllowed at least 4, dating back to their overtime win in Atlanta last February 28. They hadn't allowed 4 goals and won in regulation since last Valentine's Day (5-4 over Toronto).

5. The Isles scored 4 goals in the first period and allowed 4 goals in the third period. It's the first time since December 19, 2005 that the Isles have scored 4 goals and allowed four goals in a period in the same game. (They actually allowed 4 goals in both the first and second period of that 12/19 loss to Toronto, 9-6 -- a loss that was the beginning of the end for Steve Stirling.)

6. The Isles outshot Atlanta 20-8 in the first period.

7. Kyle Okposo had a pair of goals for the Isles, with Josh Bailey earning the primary assist on each goal. Both players are now in the Top 25 in rookie scoring (tied-14, tied-22 respectively). Okposo's 9 goals gets him into a share of 10th place, while Bailey is now in the top 12 in rookie assists. Okposo, who now has 4 goals in three games, led the Isles with 5 shots on goal. Trent Hunter and Doug Weight (both in their first game back from injuries) and TIm Jackman had the other Isles goals.

8. The Isles held a 4-0 lead going to the third, but Atlanta scored third times in the first 9 minutes of the third. Okposo's second goal turned out to be the winner, before Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the final minute with the extra attacker. The Isles have allowed 69 third period goals this season, most in the NHL.

9. Yann Danis held on in the third, making 33 saves for his second straight win.

10. Up next: The Isles begin a 4 game stretch against the Sunshine State teams, by hosting the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Isles completed 2008 with a New Year's Eve win over the Cats; their first after 6 straight losses to Florida.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Islanders win! NJIT too!

The Isles weren't the only local team to break a long losing streak last night.  The New Jersey Institute of Technology men's basketball team broke a 51-game losing streak last night (longest in NCAA Division I history) by defeating Bryant University (Rhode Island) 61-51.

It was their first win since President's Day, 2007, when they defeated Longwood 78-74.  The Isles won that day too, defeating the Penguins 6-5 in a thrilling game at the Coliseum -- Mike Sillinger was the hero.

Ironically, it was the 800th win in school history for NJIT (800-701 at various levels of play); they have a shot now at a winning streak.  They play Longwood on Saturday.

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

Re: Bill Mikkelson

--- In IslanderFans@yahoogroups.com, "reorgman" <reorgman@...> wrote:
>
> In between periods - Rich Barrabi interviewed BILL MIKKELSON - the
> original person to wear # 5 for the Islanders !   ( played 1972-73
> for NYI)  His son Brendan is on the Ducks.
>
> I remember Bill when I was back in Junior High, he was one of our
> starting defenseman that year.  I think Bill went to Washington to
> play for the Caps - in their first year !!!   Even worse than us.

Had a chance to meet Bill during the 2nd intermission.  He was looking at his team picture on the press box wall--there is a picture of the 72/73 squad.  He was -54 that season, which is an Islander record (Arnie Brown also played on that team, and was -57, but only -47 as an Isle).
 
He played only in the AHL in 73-74 (thank you Denis Potvin and Dave Lewis), but he did join the Caps for the 74/75 season. 
 
Playing for 2 expansion teams certainly didn't help his +/-.  He finished his 147 game career at -147.  His -82 in 59 games in 74/75 is an NHL record that still stands today.
 
Mikkelson did experience winning in the AHL; he wears a Calder Cup ring to prove it.  He won a championship with Springfield in 1970-71; a championship he acknowleged was won on the back of someone who would later have 4 other championships -- Butch Goring (Goring had 25 points in 12 games in those playoffs).  Jean Potvin was also on that team, Billy Smith played every playoff game in goal.
 
Mikkelson, btw, wore #6 as an Islander. Three Islanders, including Bobby Nystrom, wore #5 that first season.
 
His son, Brendan, is a rookie with the Ducks.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 2, Ducks 1

Happy New Year! The Isles have their first 2009 victory..finally. On to the trick:

1. The win breaks an 8-game losing streak (0-7-1) and 4-game home losing streak(0-3-1). It's the third time that the Isles have had to wait until January 21 to get their first win of the calendar year. It also happened in 1995 (with a really big asterisk -- this was the season opener) and in 1999.

2. It's the first NHL win for Yann Danis since 2005, 4th of his career, and first as an Islander. He joins such luminaries as Danny Lorenz, George Maneluk, Tom Draper and "King" Richard Brodeur with one victory as an Islander. He finished with a career-high 39 saves.

3. Kyle Okposo scored for the second straight game; his last three goals have been the Islanders' first goal of the game.

...and a few more.

4. Kurtis McLean had the winning goal, chasing JS Gigiuere at the 14:25 mark of the first period. It was his first NHL goal (tying Josh Bailey, among others, on the all-time list), and came in just his 2nd NHL game.

5. Franz Nielsen has assisted on all three Islander goals in the last two games.

6. The Isles had exactly 1 shot in the final 31:02. It came shorthanded by Nate Thompson, from his own zone. The Isles went 26:31 of that stretch without a single shot.

7. Bobby Ryan had the Ducks' goal -- his 15th of the season and 7th on the power play. Both totals lead all rookies.

8. The Isles had 28 blocks -- by 16 different players. Bruno Gervais had a club-high 6. Gervais, who played nearly 26 minutes, also had five hits--sharing the vlub high with Brendan Witt.

9. The Isles scored more goals than they had in the previous game for the first time in the last 10 games (ending a record-tying streak). They have scored 2 goals or fewer, though, in 7 straight games (far shy of the club record of 12).

10. Up next: the All-Star Break. The Isles have 7 days off before resuming play in Atlanta next Thursday, 1/29. The Isles will look to avoid tying the club record 15-game road losing streak as they look for their first road win since Thanksgiving. The Thrasher lead the series 3-games to 0; Atlanta has never swept a season series from the Islanders.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.

It was 27 years ago today...

In addition to being Doug Weight's 38th birthday, tonight's game will be played on the 27th anniversary of the start of the Isles then-record 15-game winning streak.

On January 21, 1982, the Isles defeated the Penguins 6-1 to begin the streak. Bryan Trottier scored the winning goal, on a4-on-4 late in the 2nd period. It was his 250th NHL goal, and came in Denis Potvin's 600th NHL game.

My scoresheet from that night carries a couple of other notes:

Bobby Bourne had a pair of goals while Brent Sutter, Clark Gillies and Billy Carroll also scored for the Isles. RickMacLeish had the Penguin goal.

Gillies, Trottier and Bossy all had points in 15 of the last 16.

On a personal note, the scorebook also carries the notation: "My first game!" While it wasn't the first Isles game I attended--that had come nearly ten years earlier, it was the first game I attended without a ticket. It was the night I debuted as the statistician on Islander telecasts, a role that I continue to hold today.

The Islanders are 5-1-1 all-time at home on this date, winning most recently in 1995 -- opening day of the lock-out shortened season. Ziggy Palffy had both goals in a 2-1 victory over Florida. The Isles lost to Carolina in OT on this date last year.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obscure club record tied

By scoring only once Monday, it marked the 9th straight game that the Isles did not score more goals than in the previous game.


New York 4
Florida 4
Phoenix 4
San Jose 3
Edmonton 2
Calgary 2
New York 1
Boston 1
New Jersey 1
Washington 1


That's happened only once before in Isles history: 11/21 - 12/10/ 72


California 4
Philadelphia 3
Pittsburgh 2
Buffalo 2
Buffalo 2
Detroit 1
Boston 1
Los Angeles 1
New York 1
New York 1


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and will celebrate his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.

Stat Trick: Washington 2, Isles 1 (OT)

No, loyal readers, you didn't miss a Stat Trick after Saturday's game -- I was away so there wasn't one. Today's trick really should be titled, Ovechkin 2, Isles 1. On to the trick...

1. The great Ovechkin reached 30 goals for the 4th straight season, then added #31 for the winner in overtime. Both goals were on the powerplay. Ovechkin now has five goals vs. the Isles this season, including three on the powerplay.

When Ovechkin scores, the Caps are almost unbeatable:

29-1-1 in the last 31 games when he has scored a goal
(19-1-1 this season).
His six game-winning goals this season lead the
team.
Washington is 18-0-1 in his last 19 multiple-goal games.
and hasn't lost a game in which Ovechkin scored a power-play
goal in more than a year, (Dec. 17, 2007, at Detroit).

He tied and passed Dave Christian for 5th in all-time goals by a Capital (194).

2. Kyle Okposo scored the Islanders' only goal, on a 5-on-3 powerplay. He now has 6 goals and 8 assists on the season.

3. Jose Theodore was the winning goal -- recording his 200th career win in the building he once scored an empty-net goal. He beat Yann Danis, who he once shared the pipes for the Canadiens. It was the 30th win of the season for the Caps -- their 30-14-3 record gives them 63 points in 47 games -- it's the fastest they've ever reached 30 wins.

...and a few more.

4. Danis, after opening his career 3-0-0, is now 3-7-1, recording his first non-loss as an Islander today. Danis finished with 36 saves.

5. Ex-Isle Viktor Kozlov led all players with 9 shots on goal. Ovechkin had 8 (giving him 299, 101 more than any other player in the NHL) and Brooks Laich had 7.

6. The OT point ends a 7 game pointless streak, but extends the losing streak to 8 (that's why they call them loser points!) The Isles are 2-17-3 in their last 22 games-- the 7 points in 22 games is the fewest in a 22 game stretch since 1988 -- they had a 3-20-1 streak that season, but they also lost 2 OT games and didn't receive any points for them. (This is actually positive news compared to the 2-17-2 streak in 21 games entering the game -- the 6 points in 21 games was the fewest in a 21 game stretch since 1972-73. Thanks, Matt!)

7. The Isles have scored once in each of the 4 games on this homestand. It's the first time since March/April 2006 that they have scored 1 goal or less in 4 straight. It's also the first time in club history that they played four straight games at home, and failed to scored two goals in any of them.

8. The Isles now have as many points (29) as regulation losses. The 29 points are the third fewest through 46 games in Islander history: 27 in 1999-00 and 14 in 1972-73.

9. The Isles end the Bush administration having earned 570 points in 574 games (better than you probably thought!).

10. Up next: the Ducks end the homestand, and the first-half of the season with a rare Wednesday game at the Coliseum. It's only the 53rd Wednesday home game in Isles history -- that's rare! The Ducks blanked the Isles at the Coliseum 3-0 last season. The Isles are 5-1-1 on January 21 at home, including a 1982 win that launched the 15-game winning streak.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and will celebrate his 27th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2009.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fw: Sad but true

I mentioned after Tuesday's game that in a league where nearly everyone has as many points as games played (23/30 at the time), the Isles were in danger of having as many losses as points.

They're no longer in danger -- they hit that "milestone" with last night's defeat to Boston, giving them both 28 losses and (12-28-4 for) 28 points.

Obviously this can happen frequently early in an NHL season, but it hasn't happened in the second half of an Islander season since 1999-2000.  That season, the Isles were 13-33-6-1 for 33 points after a 4-3 loss to Carolina on February 8th.  (It had happened several times earlier that season as well)

It also happened for one game in 1998-99 (13-29-3 for 29 points), three times late in the 1995-96 season,and over a stretch of 4 games in early 1989.

In those seasons, the lowest that the Isles were was 11-28-2 for 24 points after a loss to Pittsburgh on January 10, 1989. At that point, they had four more losses than games played.  (Of course in those days, there were only two points available per game)

Those are the only times the Isles have had as many losses as points in the second half of the season since the very first season.  The Isles finished '72-73 with 60 losses and only 30 points.  At one point that season, they were 9-58-5 for 23 points, with the -35 differential being the worst in club history.  


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Fw: Stat Trick: Boston 2, Isles 1

It's beginning to look a lot like.... December.  6 losses in a row to begin the new year.  On to the trick...

1.  With DiPietro and MacDonald hurt, and Dubielewicz not here, Yann Danis got the start and generally played well.  Danis finished with 25 saves.  The two he didn't get were enough to beat him: Marc Savard scored early in the second and Mark St. Pierre netted the winner early in the third.

2.  Bill Guerin scored the Islanders' only goal -- a 6th attacker tally.  The Isles have scored six 6th attacker goals in their last 10 games, but have netted only one point from them- a loser point in Buffalo.

3. Each team went 0-3 on the pp.  The Isles' pp has gone right into the dumper since the injury to Doug Weight.  They're 1-16 in 2009, with Comeau's goal in Edmonton the only tally.  One area that's gone well is the penalty kill: 28-30 over the last 7 games.

...a few more

4.  The Isles fall to 85-100-35 all-time in the game they play after they play the Rangers.  Really.

5.  The Isles fall to 0--2 on the season to Boston. They've lost four straight overall to Boston (and two straight at home) -- both last done in 2000-01.

6. It's the first time in nearly 10 years (March 1999) that the Isles have lost consecutive 2-1 games.  It's only the third time that the Isles have lost consecutive 2-1 games, both at home.  The other two times both happened in the 1998-99season.

7.  Fewest points thru 44 games (Isles history):
1972-73  12
1999-00  27
1988-89  28
2008-09  28  <=== 
1998-99  29
2000-01  30

8.  Attendance was announced as 15,548.  Watching on TV, it didn't seem like 1/2 that amount was actually in the building.

9.  Frans Nielsen was the only Isle without a shot; Hutner had 6 and Comeau had 5.  The Isles out-hit Boston 35-17 with Witt, Tambellini, and Hunter each having 5.  Witt was on for the empty-netter.  He's been a minus player in all 6 games in 09 (-12 in that stretch)

10.  Looking ahead:  The Devils finally make it to Long Island on Saturday for the first time this season.  The Devils have beaten the Isles twice in New Jersey.  I wonder if we'll see 2004 Hobey Baker fianlist Zach Parise face 2004 Hobey Baker finalist Yann Danis.  The winner: Junior Lessard, acquired by the Isles earlier this week.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick.  Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Follow-up trivia question

You know from my previous post that Peter Mannino has the worst save percentage of all-time (.625) -- includes only players whose entire NHL career came after save percentage became an official stat.

The question: Of goalies who have appeared in at least 10 games, who has the worst save percentage of all-time?  (answer below my signature)

 


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.


The answer:  Scott Gordon, who in his NHL career allowed 101 goals on 592 shots ...  for a save percentage of .829

Mannino recalled

Botta reporting that Peter Mannino will be the back-up tonight.

Let's hope that's all he is -- he was overwhelmed by the Bruins on Black Friday.


By his own admission, Mannino hasn't been playing well with Bridgeport since then, either.

<<Mannino, Sound Tigers fall to Wolf Pack
By Michael Fornabaio
Updated: 01/15/2009 12:27:22 AM EST

Staff writer
HARTFORD -- When goalie Peter Mannino started his season 6-1-2 for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, no one expected a .500 record anywhere in his future.
After a 4-2 loss Wednesday to the Hartford Wolf Pack at XL Center, that's where Mannino's rookie season has landed. He made 26 saves, a couple of them excellent, but he allowed four goals to drop his eighth decision in the past 11.
"It's not what I'm here to do," Mannino said. "As a team, you're supposed to win games. It's just not happening right now. It's definitely something that needs changing. If you're at .500, you're not winning games, consistently at least."
Jordan Owens rifled home the game-winner on a one-timer from the left circle 2:48 into the third period. Tommy Pyatt added insurance with 5:38 to go, beating Mannino short-side from the right wing.
"I didn't make the important saves," Mannino said. "It's disappointing to let the team down. I didn't make the big saves. I put it on my back. We kept shooting. We did everything we needed to do." >>


Mannino on the other hand would probably like to get into a game -- and try to change his spot in NHL history:

(From my 12/1/08 post)

<<Peter Mannino made his NHL debut for the Islanders on Friday, mopping up for Joey MacDonald.  Hopefully, he'll get some additional NHL opportunities.  If he doesn't, he'll have some of the worst career numbers for a goalie in NHL history.

According to NHL.com, 637 people have played goal in the NHL.  (Note that stats for some early years of the NHL are incomplete.) 
Only three have higher career GAA's than Mannino's 13.81:
Greg Redquest      13.85  Penguins 1977-78
James Stewart Jr   15.00  Boston 1979-80
Martin Houle          27.27  Flyers 2006-07  (It's actually listed as 30.00 on his bio of NHL.com.  The difference is whether you reflect                                                                      the seconds he played or just the minutes.)

You could argue that Mammino and Redquest are actually tied.  Mannino is credited with 13:02 of ice-time, while Redquest was credited with 13 minutes.  Both players allowed three goals.

Save percentage became an official stat about 20 years.  The career totals are shown on NHL.com only for players whose entire career happeend while save percentage was an official stat.  Of all those players, Mannino has the worst save percentage of all-time:  .625  (stopping 5 of 8 shots)
>>

Since the time I wrote this two other players have played their first NHL game, Mannino is now 636th of 639th in goals against, and remains dead last in save percentage.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Michael Ryder

(Thanks Elias.)

If the Isles are going to earn their first win of 2009, they're likely going to need to stop Michael Ryder on Thursday. The Bruin has 14 goals this season, and all have come in Boston wins. He's the only player to have scored at least 10 goals this season, with all goals coming in games his team has won.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Islanders Jeopardy

The answer is 270 to 10.

(buzz)  What is the differential in man-games lost to injury this season for the Isles to man-games lost to inury this season for the Rangers?


The answer is 15 to 3

(Buzz) What is the number of Rangers who have appeared in at least 40 games to the numbers of Islanders who have done so?

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Yann Danis trivia

Yann Danis recorded a shutout in his first NHL game, October 12, 2005 vs Atlanta.  Who was the losing goalie?

Mike Dunham. 

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Voices

NHL Network is showing a series about broadcasters, spotlighting one from each team.  They filmed the edition about Howie tonight; it is scheduled to premiere on February 12.

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Stat Trick: Rangers 2, Isles 1

In a league where nearly everybody has as many points as games played (23 of 30 team are at/above NHL .500), could the Isles finish the season with more regulation losses than points?  They're getting there...  On to the trick.

1.  The Isles are now 0-5 in 2009, and are 2-15-2 in their last 19 games.  They are 12-27-4 overall (27 losses, 28 points).

2.  The Rangers have now won 4 straight on Long Island.

3.  The Isles lost Joey MacDonald in the first period with an apparent groin injury. Yann Danis replaced him while  Mike Dunham was the emergency back-up but was never seen on the ice.

and a few more...

4.  The Isles got a Chris Campoli goal with 70 seconds left in the first period for their only tally.  That gave them a 1-0 lead after one, allowing them to extend awful records when scoring first (8-10-1; only team in NHL with losing record when scoring first) and leading after one period (2-7-1; also only team in NHL with losing record when leading after 20 minutes).

5.  Chris Drury and Nigel Dawes scored 1:56 apart in the second period for the Rangers.

6.  Shots came in spurts; the Isles had 18 of the final 19 in the first period, and then allowed 10 of the first 11 shots in the second period.

7. The game took only 2:10 to play; there were only 40 face-offs in the entire game (including 3 to start the periods, 3 after the goals and 5 after the penalties).

8. Brendan Witt had 5 shots on goals and also blocked six shots.  He was, however, on ice for the only Ranger even-strength goal, and thus was -1 on the night.

9. Ryan Callahan had an assist on the winning goal and also had five shots on goal for the Rangers.

10.  Looking ahead:  The Bruins visit the Coliseum on Thursday. Boston smoked the Isles 7-2 in Boston the day after Thanksgiving and have an 11 point lead in the Eastern Conference.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Stat Trick: Calgary 5, Isles 2

Well, the west coast trip went well...if you're hoping for the most ping pong balls.  On to the trick...

1. The Isles have now lost 14 straight on the road (0-13-1) --longest since 1972-73, and 2nd longest streak in club history.  Coincidentally, the 15 game losing streak for the original Isles followed a miracle win in Boston; the current streak followed the miracle win in Montreal.

2.  It's the Isles' first loss in Calgary this century (11/23/99); they had played only twice in the interim--both Isles victories.

3.  After Calgary had grabbed a 2-0 lead, Trevor Smith and Jeff Tambellini scored to tie the game in the 2nd period.  It was the first NHL goal for Smith, and the 2nd of the season for Tambellini.  One looking for positive would note that all 4 goals that the Isles scored in Alberta were scored by young players: Comeau and Okposo had the goals in Edmonton.

...and a few more

4.  A red-hot Daymond Langkow led the Flames attack with a goal and 2 assists.  Eric Nystrom played his first game against the Isles and had 4 shots on goal in 8:38 of ice-time.

5.  Brendan Witt's awful road trip concluded with another -3 game.  Radek Martinek returned after missing seventeen games (2-13-2) and was also minus 3.   Witt was a ghastly -10 on the trip (the Isles allowed 17 non-pp goals on the trip) and is -25 on the season (only Rod Brind'Amour @ -26 is worse).  Witt, btw, was +6 over his first two seasons with the Isles.

6.  Tim Jackman on the other hand has been showing that there may be a role, at least short term, for him on this squad.  He was +1 with an assist, 3 shots and 3 blocked shots.

7. Kyle Okposo wasn't named to the young stars game on Friday, but led all Isles forwards with 21:30 of ice-time on Thursday.  Steven Stamkos was named to the game, and was a healthy scratch on Friday.  Hmmm.

8.  The Isles fall to 5-17-2 on the road.  The 12 points in 24 games in the fewest since the 1995 lockout season, when they also had 12 in the 24 game schedule and finished with an identical record.  They haven't had fewer points in the first 24 on the road since 1989-90, when they opened 4-18-2 on the road.

9.  The Isles have only two wins in their last 18-- equaling a similar stretch in 1996. 

10.  Up next: after playing 12 of 16 on the road, you knew that the Isles had to be due for some home games -- and they are.  They'll begin a 5-game homestand on Tuesday against the Rangers.  The Broadway Blues lead the season series 2-games to-1 and have won three straight games on Long Island.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Battle of the Dynasty Kids

It will likely be the Battle of the Dynasty Kids on Thursday as Eric Nystrom faces the Islanders for the first time in his career.

Nystrom has now played the equivalent of nearly a full-season as he's logged 5 goals and 10 assists in his first 80 NHL games.

Jeff Tambellini has played 110 NHL games and he has 5 goals and 17 assists. All but four of Tambellini's NHL games have been as an Islander, so his next game will be #107, tying his father Steve, a 1980 Cup winner, on the Isles all-time list. Steve had 24 goals and 25 assists as an Islander. (Steve was an extra on that Cup team -- his only NHL playoff experience came in 1984 for Calgary, where he played in 2 post-season games the month Jeff was born. The elder Tambellini was traded at the 1981 trade deadline along with Chico Resch in a deal for Mike McEwen)

BTW -- about Jeff's birthdate, April 13, 1984. Jeff was born in Calgary. That night, the Flames rallied from a 3-goal deficit to win in Edmonton 6-5 on an overtime goal by Carey Wilson. Earlier in the evening, on Long Island, the Islanders also won in overtime, defeating Washington 5-4 on a goal by Anders Kallur. Somewhat coincidentally, the Islanders blew a 3-0 lead in that game.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Stat Trick: Edmonton 3, Isles 2

Oops...just noticed I hadn't sent this!

Another blown lead...another road defeat. 13 in a row (0-12-1) on the
loser side of the ledger since a miracle win in Montreal just before
Thanksgiving. On to the trick.

1.
The Isles have now lost 13 straight on the road (0-12-1) --longest
since 1972-73, and equalling the 2nd longest streak in club history. That season the Isles lost 28 of 29, with a 9-7 win in
Boston on January 18 1973 separating a 13 game road losing streak and a 15 game road losing streak.

2. Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau had the goals for the Isles; Comeau's goal came with less than 3 seconds to play in the first period and gave the Isles a 2-0 first intermission advantage.

3. Andrew Cogliano and Jason Strudwick had the middle period equalizers for Edmonton. Lyle Brodziak scored the winner with 10:02 to play.

...and a few more

4. The Isles fall to 5-16-2
on the road. The 12 points in 23 games in the fewest since the 1995
lockout season, when they also had 12 in the first 23 games and then lost the final road game of the season. They haven't had fewer points in the first 23 on the road since 1989-90, when they opened 4-17-2 on the road.

5. The Isles outshot Edmonton 27-26, but the Oilers had 19 shots blocked, 5 alone by Mark Streit.

6. Mike Comrie had a rough nite against his former team; he was charged with 5 giveaways and lost 11 of 15 face-offs.

7. Hard to believe I -- The Isles are the only team in the NHL with a losing record when they score first -- they're 8-9-1.

8. Hard to believe II -- The Isles are now a despicable 2-6-1 when LEADING after 1 period. Carolina is the only other team with 6 losses when leading after 1 periods, but the Canes are 9-6-1. The Isles were 16-3-4 when LEADING after 1 period last season

9. The Isles have only two wins in their last 17 -- equaling a similar stretch in 97/98. They ended the first half in Edmonton for the second straight season. They were 20-17-4 last season; 12-25-4 this season.

10. Up next: the road trip concludes as the Isles play Thursday in Calgary (9:00 ET). The Isles visit an unfamiliar yet friendly rink as they travel to Calgary. The Isles won in a shootout there last season-- their first visit since 2002. The Flames haven't beaten the Isles in Alberta since November 23, 1999 - a 3-2 win for Butch Goring. The Isles will be trying to win a third straight game on the road against the Flames for the first time since they swept three games in ATLANTA in the 1976-77 season. Overall, the Isles are 6-16-4 vs. the Flames in games played in Calgary.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Iggy, MacDonald named AHL All-stars

Two Sound Tigers, Mike Iggulden and Andrew MacDonald have been named to the Canadian AHL All-Star Team that will face Planet USA (everyone born outside of Canada) on January 26 in Worcester. No Sound Tigers were named to PlanetUSA.

Iggulden, 26, is currently tied for 7th in the AHL point race with 38 (16 goals, 22 assists). Mac Donald, just 22, had 5 goals and 9 assists and is +9.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It wasn't the Isles' year...

2008, that is.

According to statistics compiled by Elias, the Isles finished calendar year 2008 with a record of 27-44-11. The 65 points is the fewest of any team in the NHL (one fewer than Atlanta, who played only 80 games to the Isles' 82). The Isles finished the calendar year with a point percentage of .396, dead-last. (Atlanta was at .413).

The Isles scored 198 goals and allowed 275. (includes six goals for shootout winners and four goals allowed for shootout losers) . Tampa had 196 goals and Columbus 191. The Thrashers allowed 279 goals--the only team that allowed more than the Isles.

The Sharks had the best record in the league in 2008 (55-15-10, for a sterling .750 points percentage).

2008 was a stellar year for Mark Streit. The Canadien-turned-Islanders went 15-55-70 for the year, leading all defensemen in assists and points. Ex-Isle Zdeno Chara led NHL defenders with 19 goals.

One other Islander tied for a league lead -- Richard Park, who had 5 SH goals, equalling the total of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Evgeny Malkin led the NHL in assists and points, going 47-77-124. Alex Ovechkin led in goals, with 60, and was the only other player to top 100 points (60-53-113).


Bill Guerin and Richard Park, btw, were two of 18 players to play in 82 games (remember, not all teams played 82 games during the year); one player, Phoenix' Zbynek Michalek, played in 83.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Stat Trick: San Jose 5, Isles 3

Another late rally...another road defeat. 12 in a row (0-11-1) on the loser side of the ledger since a miracle win in Montreal just before Thanksgiving. On to the trick.

1. When contrasted with the Isles' third period problems, the Sharks have been nearly perfect-- 55-1-4 in the last season and a half when leading after 40. Their only loss came to the Isles on Presidents Day. (The Isles trailed 2-0 in that game before rallying for the win in the
third. Freddy Meyer had the winning goal

2. The Sharks have won 5 of the last six in NoCal between the teams. (The only Isles win in SJ since 2000 came on February 19 2003 -- a shutout for Garth Snow)

3. The Isles have now lost 12 straight on the road (0-11-1) --longest since 1972-73. That season the Isles lost 28 of 29, with a 9-7 win in Boston on January 18 1973 separating a 13 game road losing streak and a 15 game road losing streak.

...and a few more

4. Richard Park was in on all three Islanders goals (goal and 2 assists). He has six points on the seven goals scored by the Isles on this trip.

5. Tim Jackman got the Isles back in the game with a shorthanded goal. It's the Isles 9th SH goal of the season -- only Philadelphia (13) has more. It was the first shorty of Jackman's NHL career; he had 2 for Bridgeport last season. It was also his second goal of the season - a career high.

6. Thomas Pock got the Isles back to 4-3 with a sixth attacker goal. It was his first goal since March 31, 2007 (as a Ranger) and the 8th of his NHL career. The Isles have now scored five 6th attacker goals and allowed 1 in the last five games.

7. The Isles fall to 5-15-2 on the road. The 12 points in 22 games in the fewest since the 1995 lockout season, when they had 10 in the first 22 games and finished with 12 points in a 24-game road schedule.

8. Mike Grier had a pair of goals, Joe Thornton had two assists, and Jonathan Cheechoo had three assists for the Sharks, who improve to 19-0-2 at home.

9. Brendan Witt and Freddy Meyer were each -3. They are -6 and -7 respectively, in the last two games and -21 and -19 respectively on the season. Only Brad Boyes (-22) and Rod Brind'Amour (-26), both forwards, were worse than Witt.

10. Up next: the Isles play Monday in Edmonton (9:30 ET). The Isles were shutout by Mathieu Garon in Edmonton last season, ending a 6-game winning streak against the Oilers. Garon has never allowed a goal to the Isles, registering 43 saves in 80 minutes. The Isles will be looking for their first goal in Edmonton since Jason Blake hit the empty-net at 19:40 of the third period on March 13, 2003 (the Isles' previous visit to Edmonton).

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Weight restores Middleton to rightful spot in NHL history; other Weight notes

Doug Weight became the 73rd player in NHL history to reach 1000th points. With Weight reaching the milestone, Rick Middleton is once again the NHLer who had the most points but fell short of 1,000. Middleton had 988 (74th all-time, and two more than Dave Keon).

Weight is also the 8th American to reach 1,000 points. Three of the other seven are within reach this season. Keith Tkachuk has 1,010 (and counting); Pat Lafontaine had 1,013 and Brian Leetch finished with 1,028.

Weight now has 729 assists. He ranks 43rd all-time on that list.

Weight's milestone came exactly one week after Bill Guerin become the 79th player in NHL history with 400 goals. It was also the 23rd anniversary of Mike Bossy's 500th goal.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.

Stat Trick: Phoenix 5, Isles 4

A pair of third period milestones, but in the end an 11th straight road loss. On to the trick:

1. Moments after ex-Isle Olli Jokinen had given the Coyotes a 4-1 lead, Josh Bailey struck for the first NHL goal of his career. It came in his 25th NHL game. Bailey also was _+2, had four shots on goal and won 12 of 15 draws.

2. The game looked out of reach, but Richard Park scored twice in the final 3:06 to make the final minutes interesting. Doug Weight assisted on both goals for the 1000th and 1001st points of his NHL career. It was his 6th two-point game of the season. Weight leads the Isles in both assists (25) and points (32).

3. Weight reaches the milestone in 1167 games. He did it against one of his favorite opponents; Weight now has 63 points in 58 career games against the Jets/Coyotes.

and a few more...

4. The Isles are now 1-6-2 all-time in Phoenix, winning only in 2004.

5. The Isles have now scored four 6th attacker goals and allowed 1 in the last four games.

6. Guerin and Okposo each recorded assists to extend their point streaks to 5, but Comeau's point streak stopped at four, while Comrie's goal streak ended at 3. Comrie wnet down fighting -- a game-high 7 shots on goal; it's the 2nd straight game he's had 7 SOG's.

7. Rick DiPietro made 28 saves in his 5th start of the season. He recorded an assist for the second straight appearance, extending his club records for assists and points by a goalie to 15.

8. Lots of crooked numbers on the Isles +/- tonight. Gervais, Park, Guerin and Campoli were all +3 while Bailey was +2. However, Meyer was -4, Witt, Jackman, and Comrie were -3, Comeau and Bergenheim were -2. Only two crookeds for the Yote's: Michalek was +3 while Morris was -2.

9. When all was said and done, the Isles dropped to 6-12 in one-goal games (includes 4 ot/so losses). The 8 regulation one-goal losses share the league lead.

10. Up next: the road trip doesn't get any easier as the Isles head to the Tank to face the Sharks. The Sharks are 18-0-2 at home this season and haven't been beaten in regulation at home in over 10 months (26-0-3). The Sharks are 28-4-5 overall. A difficult task to be sure. But that's why they play the games.


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.