Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stat Trick: Philadelphia 4, Isles 3 (Shootout)

In a game that featured 4 fights, perhaps it was the Islanders'
choice of shootout shooters that proved most interesting. On to the
trick:

1. The fights: Weight v. Powe in the first, Thompson v Carcillo, Rechlicz v Cote and Jackman v Asham. Throw in a misconduct to Doug Weight, and it adds up to 70 pen minutes for the night --38 to the Isles.

2. The Isles took a 2-0 lead to the third on goals by Martinek in the first and Tambellini - baseball style - in the 2nd.

3. The scoreless first 40 minutes extended the shutout streak to over 100 minutes. Opponents hit 5 posts in the 5 periods.

...and more...

4.
The Flyers scored three goals in 3:55 early in the third to grab the
league (2 by Lupul and 1 by Hartnell). That ended the Isles pursuit of
something never done in franchise history--win games on consecutive
days, both by shutout.

5. The Flyer lead lasted only 32 seconds before Mark Streit scored to even the game, eventually sending it to a shootout.

6. Marty Biron made 30 saves for his 10th straight win over the Isles; Yann Danis had 33 saves for the Isles.

7. The Flyers scored on both of their shootout shots (Briere and Richards) but the Isles scored on only 1/3. Brendan Witt attempted a SO for the first time in his career but was stopped; Frans Nielsen scored for the Isles, but Mark Streit was stopped to give Philly the win.

8. The Isles have lost 2 straight at home (0-1-1) for the first time since a 4 game skein in January (0-3-1).

9. The Flyers beat the Isles for the 9th straight time; they lead the season series 5-0 ( Isles 0-3-2), and 10 points to 2.

10.
Up next: the Isles have an April Fools' Day date with the Capitals in
Washington. The Isles have dropped all three to Washington this
season, but both games on Long Island went extra time. It will be the
third meeting between the teams on April Fools' Day, but the first since 1979. It will also mark the 31st anniversary of Mike Bossy becoming the first rookie in NHL history to record 50 goals. He scored goals 50 and 51 in the third period against the Caps on 4/1/78; goal 51 was the game winner -- at 19:55 of the third. Now if only I could remember what I need to get at the supermarket!

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


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

Isles clinch shot at Tavares

With Phoenix' OT win last night, the Isls have assured themselves of a shot at Tavares.  While the Isles can still finish ahead of LA or Phoenix, they can't finish ahead of both of them (as those teams have 2 games left against each other). Those teams play each other Thursday/Saturday.  A Phoenix OT/SO win would guarantee that both teams finish ahead of the Isles.  (It may not come to that, as the Isles play both Wednesday and Thursday - a loss in either game will also guarantee it.)

The magic/tragic with Atlanta is now 3.  If the teams tie with 73 points, the Isles will finish below Atlanta due to fewer wins.  If Isles went 7-0 and Thrashers went 0-3-3 to both finish 32-41-9, Atlanta would still be ahead of Isles due to season series.

25  Los Angeles Kings  PAC 75 31 33 11 73 191 219
26  Phoenix Coyotes     PAC 76 32 37  7 71 192 235
27  Atlanta Thrashers       SE 76 32 38  6 70 237 262
28  Tampa Bay Lightning  SE 76 24 35 17 65 196 252
29  Colorado Avalanche   NW 76 31 43  2 64 193 247 
30  New York Islanders   ATL 75 25 41  9 59 189 244  

The biggest "worry" -- the Avalanche.  Colorado has been dreadful for a long time now, picking up just 1 point in their last 7 games.  If the Isles go 2-4-1 or worse the rest of the way, it won't matter -- Colorado can't catch them.

The Av's remaining schedule: 
Wed Apr 1, 2009    Coyotes Avalanche     9:00 PM     
Sun Apr 5, 2009     Avalanche Canucks    10:00 PM   
Tue Apr 7, 2009      Avalanche Sharks      10:30 PM         
Thu Apr 9, 2009      Stars Avalanche        9:00 PM    
Sat Apr 11, 2009     Canucks Avalanche  3:00 PM    
Sun Apr 12, 2009    Blues Avalanche       5:00 PM   

The Isles also play at 5:00 on Easter Sunday (April 12).  If it comes down to then, could there be another Easter Epic in the Isles future?

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sound Tigers are NOT a Mickey Mouse organization

You may have seen or heard that the Islanders intend for the Sound Tigers to play their first two home playoff games on Long Island. (Bridgeport needs 1 point in their final seven games to clinch a spot.)

What you may not have heard is the reason why. Apparently, the Sound Tigers' home rink is booked for the first weekend of the playoffs. No, not by Mickey and Minnie ... but by Bert, Ernie, and Elmo. "Sesame Street Live "When Elmo Grows Up " will play 7 shows in Bridgeport, April 16-19th.

Here's where it gets interesting. While the Sound Tigers were in first place early in the week, they've dropped into a tie for second place with the Baby Penguins. If the Pens finish 2nd and the ST's third, then the Sound Tigers would open on the road. It's unclear whether that would affect where Bridgeport would play it's "home" games.

Of course, so my ST's have played on Long Island this season, they certainly would know their way around.


More from the Connecticut Post:
<<Sound Tigers fail at Lowell
By Michael Fornabaio
STAFF WRITER
Updated: 03/29/2009 11:14:06 PM EDT

LOWELL, Mass. -- The Bridgeport Sound Tigers -- or is that Long
Island Sound Tigers? -- need at least two more days to clinch an AHL
playoff spot. At least their parent club says it knows where they'll
play their first two playoff games: Nassau Coliseum.


Lowell defeated the Sound Tigers 5-3 Sunday at Tsongas Arena.

Bridgeport's third consecutive bad first period led to its first three-game regulation-time losing streak of the season.

Bridgeport fell behind 3-0 and 5-1 before scoring two goals in the third period.

"The big thing for us is we've got to stay positive," veteran
defenseman Joe Callahan said. "The coaches know that. You're not going
to play an 80-game season and not hit little bumps in the road. It's
the same thing we're saying in the room: better now than in two weeks
in the playoffs."

It's a fair assumption that the team will make the playoffs. Its
magic number remains at one point after its loss and Philadelphia's 4-1
win over Grand Rapids.


The Sound Tigers also fell to third place by a tiebreaker in the
East after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's 1-0 win over Hershey. They failed to
clinch a playoff spot for the second day in a row and have five games
remaining.

"The first period -- we didn't get in until 5:30 in the morning,"
Bridgeport coach Jack Capuano said. "The guys responded in the second
and third. They did a lot of good things."

Three goals by defensemen, from Andrew MacDonald, Chris Lee and Mark Wotton-- the latter two off assists from recent returnee Rob Hennigar and Tomas Marcinko -- were too late.

Marcinko replaced Jeremy Colliton in the lineup; the team dropped
Colliton off at home early Sunday on the way to Lowell from a 7-2 loss
in Hershey, Pa. Colliton took a high hit from Staffan Kronwall in
Saturday's first period; he's day-to-day with an "upper-body injury."

A third-place finish actually might allow a better chance at home
playoff dates in Bridgeport. The New York Islanders announced Saturday
night that Bridgeport's first two home playoff dates would be played on
Long Island.

That surprised Sound Tigers season ticketholders, who weren't told
in advance, and who had to pay for their playoff tickets Friday; it may
have surprised the Sound Tigers, who had no announcement of their own.

Arena at Harbor Yard executive director Lynn Carlotto, met late
Saturday after the NCAA hockey tournament game, said such a move was
news to her.

Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan did not return a call Sunday afternoon seeking comment.

"Dates aren't certain," said Kimber Auerbach, the Sound Tigers'
director of media relations. "It's been announced by the Islanders, but
we're concerned about our season right now."

The team may have more details today, and Auerbach said Sound Tigers
season ticketholders would be offered seats matching their locations at
Harbor Yard.

Bridgeport's arena has Sesame Street Live booked from Thursday,
April 16, through Sunday, April 19. There are concerts the following
Tuesday and Friday and a WWE show Monday, April 27. The AHL regular
season ends April 12.

3 stars
1. PASCAL RHEAUME, LOWELL -- Scored two of the Devils' three first-period goals.
2. JON DiSALVATORE, LOWELL -- Went to the net to score the back-breaking fourth goal.
3. ROD PELLEY, LOWELL -- A couple of assists.
UNSUNG HERO -- Rob Hennigar had two assists in the third period in his second game back from Utah (ECHL).
UP NEXT -- Tuesday at Albany, 7 p.m.
-- MICHAEL FORNABAIO
>>

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

NYI Cup of Coffee

Perhaps, according to Charles Caleb Colton, I should be proud.

The first, of what is intended (at least according to the website ) to be a daily feature.

<<

NYI Cup of Coffee
New York Islanders
Mar 30, 2009, 9:38 AM EDT

* The
Islanders earned points in back-to-back games this weekend, marking the
fourth time this season the team has earned at least a point in both
games of a back-to-back set. The Islanders shutout the Red Wings, 2-0,
in Detroit on Friday before suffering a 4-3 shootout loss against the
Flyers on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.•
* Goaltender Joey MacDonald recorded 42 saves on Friday night in Detroit to record his first NHL
shutout. The shutout was even sweeter for MacDonald, who began his NHL
career with the Red Wings in 2006-07. "It's an unbelievable feeling to
get my first shutout in the NHL against my former team," said
MacDonald. "It's a perfect night."
* The 2-0 win
marked the Islanders' first shutout in Detroit since January 22, 1981.
Bill Smith made 34 saves for the victory, while Gord Lane scored the
game-winning goal and Clark Gillies added two tallies. Mike Bossy also
earned two assists in the game.
* Center Frans Nielsen scored his first career shorthanded goal in Friday's win against the Red Wings.
* The Islanders reassigned right wing Joel Rechlicz to Bridgeport (AHL). Rechlicz has one assist and 30 penalty minutes in 10 games with the Islanders this season.
* The
Islanders announced this weekend that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers – the
team's American Hockey League affiliate – will play their first two
home games of the Calder Cup Playoffs at Nassau Coliseum. Click here for more information.
* The
Sharp Player of the Month for March will be presented at the Islanders'
next home game on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.
* I.C.E. Tour: Booster Club Meeting – Long Island Marriott @ 7:30pm – 9:00pm
>>

"Imitation is the sincerest of flattery." - -- Charles Caleb Colton

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

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top 6

Stat Trick will have to wait, but using Brendan Witt (first career attempt) and Mark Streit (no career shootout goals) helped guarantee the Isles that they will finish no higher than 25th -- the 6th seed in the lottery.

Any point won by the Kings or lost by the Isles will clinch the 5th seed, and guarantee the Isles a shot at Tavares. (You can only move up 4 spots in the draft.)

With seven games to play for each team, the Isles have 59 points, Colorado 64 and Tampa 65. If the Isles tie Colorado in points, they will have fewer wins (and a better draft seed); if they tie Tampa in points, they will have more wins (and a worse draft seed). Both of those teams play Sunday, as Tampa hosts Ottawa and Colorado visits Anaheim. Of course, if the Isles go 2-5-0, they can't be caught by either team.

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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Re: Stat Trick errata: Isles 2, Detroit 0.

Bad night on the typos.

It was McDonald's 1st shutout (not 3); Isles have 12 SH goals (not 10).
 

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 2, Detroit 0.

"On paper, this game should never be played." "That's why they play the game." Clue the cliche machine for a rather remarkable Islander victory in Detroit. On to the trick:

1. Joey MacDonald made 42 saves for his third career shutout as the Isles blanked the Stanley Cup Champions in their own barn, temporarily denying Detroit a chance to be the first team since the Canadiens of the late 70's to record 50 victories for a fourth straight season.

2. MacDonald had help from his defense... and from the posts (and crossbars). Hossa hit a cross-bar in the 2nd period; Filippula, Datsyuk, and Franzen all hit posts in the 3rd.

3. It was the Isles first shutout of the Wings since Billy Smith blanked Detroit in 1981 and their first road shutout in 72 games, dating back to November 16, 2007 at New Jersey (1-0). It's the Isles first road shutout by anyone other than DiPietro since Garth Snow blanked San Jose 3-0 on February 19, 2003.

...and a few more:

4. Frans Nielsen (shorthanded) and Josh Bailey had the Islander goals, 6:28 apart in the second period. Nielsen has points in 4 of the last five games (3-2-5), while Bailey now has three goals in three games, and is 4-3-7 in March.

5. Doug Weight returned to the Islander lineup after missing 19 games.

6. The Isles stopped the Wings on 6 pp's, despite 14 Red Wing pp shots. Every Red Wing got at least one shot on goal except Kromwell; Mikael Samuelsson led the Wings with 7 shots.

7. The Wings not only out-shot the Isles 42-30, they had EIGHTY attempts on goal (14 blocked by the Isles; 24 missed shots --which includes the 4 posts). The Isles had only 37 attempts (1 blocked by Detroit and 6 missed net).

8. It took nearly four years to assemble, but the Isles own a 2-game win streak at the Joe for the first time since winning three straight in Detroit in 1984 and 1985. This was the only meeting of the season between the teams.

9. Nielsen's shorty was the first of his NHL career. It was the Isles' 10th SH goal of the season.

10. Up next: Speaking of Philadelphia, the Flyers visit Long Island on the back-end of the back-2-backs on Saturday. The Flyers have beaten the Islanders 8 straight (0-6-2) and 11 of 12 (1-9-2). The Isles have scored only 23 goals in those 12 games.

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

Stat Trick: Wild 6, Isles 2

It wasn't pretty.. in fact it was ugly, as the Wild pounded the Isles 6-2.  On to the trick:

1.  The Wild hadn't been to Long Island since 2005; after a 2nd period that produced nine shots...combined, 2013 would not be soon enough for their return.

2. Marian Gaborik had a 4 point game (2-2-4); three teammates each had three points (Zidlicky, Nolan, Brunette).

3. Nolan btw was chosen first overall in the famed 1990 draft that produced NHL stars with the first five picks.  When Uwe Krupp knocked the Penguins out of the playoffs with an OT goal (and the Islanders in), it put the Pens 5th (Jaromir Jagr) and the Islanders 6th (Scott Scissons).

.... a few more

4. Kyle Okposo had his 8 game point streak stopped.  It was the longest by an NHL rookie this season.

5. Cal Clutterbuck had 7 hits for Minnesota, setting an NHL record with 317 on the season.  (Dustin Brown, LA, set the record with 311 last year).

6. Joel Rechlicz fought for the 2nd consective game and third on the season. (Paul Scott).

7. Andy Hilbert and Bruno Gervais has the Islander goals. Hilbert's goal was his 11th, one shy of his career high. It was his first goal in 18 games.  Gervais' was his 3rd goal in 11 games after going 160 games without one.

8.  Yann Danis made 28 saves for the Isles; Nik Backstrom had 26 stops for Minnesota.

9.  The Wild sweep the season series 2-0,  The Wild scored six goals against the Isles for the first time in their history (previous high was 4).  The Isles hadn't allowed 6 goals to Minnesota since the North Stars scored 6 against them in October 1989.

10. The Isles drop to  24-41-8 on the season.  It's the first time that they've gone pointless in at least half of their games since 2000-01.
 
Up next:  The Isles visit the Stanley Cup Champions as they head to Detroit. It's the first meeting of the teams in nearly 26 months. The Wings have outscored the Isles 36-19 in the last 10 games between the teams -- the Isles have won 1, tied 1, lost twice in overtime and lost six times in regulation in that span.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stat Trick: Ottawa 5, Isles 2

Remember when we feared that Ottawa would battle the Isles for draft position? The Sens are in the midst of a playoff run. On to the trick.

1. After a scoreless first period, the Sens exploded for 4 straight goals in the 2nd period to put the game away. It was the first time all season that Ottawa had scored 4 goals in any period. Chris Neil, playing his 500th NHL games, got the scoring going with his first goal since November 6th. Kuba, Fisher and Heatley had the other goals in the 2nd period for Ottawa, while Foligno scored for the Sens in the 3rd.

2. Josh Bailey had both Islander goals - his first 2-goal game of his career. Baily is 3-3-6 in his last 8 and now has 5 goals and 17 assists on the season. Blake Comeau, playing his 100th NHL game, assisted on the first goal.

3. Yann Danis made 21 saves, and allowed 5 goals, matching a season high. His save percentage dropped to .921 (tied-5th in NHL this season). Brian Elliott improved to 15-5-3 for the Sens, making 20 saves. He has won a rookie club-record 8 straight and is 11-1-2 in his last 14 decisions.

...and a few more...

4. Kyle Okposo assisted on Bailey's first goal, extending his assist streak to 4 games and his points streak to 8 games (5-5-10). His eight-game point streak is the longest by any NHL rookie this season (longest current streak is 9 games, by Spezza and White). Okposo had points on 8 (3-5-8) of the 16 goals that the Isles scored on the road trip. He is now in the top 10 for rookies in both goals and points.

5. The Isles finished the longest road trip of the season with a 2-3-1 record.

6. Joel Rechlicz had his second NHL fight --this one with Mike Fisher.

7. The loss was the Isles' 40th of the season. They haven't lost 41 games in a season since 2000-01.

8. The Sens improve to 31-30-10, going over NHL-.500 for the first time since November 6 (6-5-2). Ottawa is 8-1 in their last 9.

9. Despite the loss, the Isles win the season series with Ottawa 3 games to 1, and 6 points to 2.

10. Up next: the Isles finally return home when they host Minnesota in a rare Wednesday game. The Wild beat the Isles in St. Paul in December and have beaten three different Isles coaches in the last three games between the teams. It will be Minnesota's first visit to Long Island since December 13, 2005 -- a span of 1,198 days.

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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Scoring 4 in a period and losing... losing when leading after 2

I have to double-check, but I believe that this is the first time since December 19, 2005 that the Isles scored 4 goals in a period and lost in regulation.

The Isles scored 4 in the first period in Toronto that night, but allowed 4 in both the first and second periods of the highest scoring Isles game (9-6 loss) since 1990.

The Isles have now lost 5 games in regulation that they've led after 2 periods (nobody else has lost more than 3; six teams have earned a point in every game they've led after 2 periods.)

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

Stat Trick: Carolina 5, Isles 4

Score 4 goals in regulation and lose? That's unusual. Score 4 goals in a period and lose? That's bizarre. On to the trick.

1. Trailing 2-0 in the 2nd period, the Isles rip off 4 straight goals, only to have Carolina score 9 seconds after goal #4. It's only the third time all season that the Isles have scored four goals in a period.

2. Frans Nielsen, Richard Park, Bruno Gervais and Kyle Okposo had the goals for the Isles. Both Nielsen and Okposo also had assists. It was Gervais' second goal of the month after going 160 games without one.

3. Matt Cullen and Claude LaRose each scored in the first and third periods for Carolina, but it was Tuomo Ruuttu's goal, 9 seconds after Okposo's that turned the momentum in the final seconds of the second period.

....and a few more...

4. Peter Mannino made 32 saves in his 2nd NHL start. Cam Ward had 28 saves as he beat the Isles for a third time this season.

5. Tim Jackman celebrated his contract extension by recording two assists. Joe Covo and Ray Whitney each had three helpers for Carolina.

6. Kyle Okposo extended his point streak to 7 games (5-4-9), while Streit and Park extended their streak to 4 and 3 games respectively. Okposo now has 17 goals to lead the club; one more than Bill Guerin had when he was traded to Pittsburgh.

7. The Hurricanes' two goals in the third hands the Isles their 5th regulation loss in a game they led after 40 minutes. (19-5-3). It's the first time since the 1995-96 season (first year of the Milbury "error") that they've lost 5 games when they led in the second intermission. The Isles have been outscored 93-56 in the third period this season. (Nobody else has allowed more than 78 third period goals.)

8. Eric Staal played in his 400th NHL game. Staal, who played in his 327th consecutive game (2nd longest current streak - Bourwmeester 330), was held off the scorebaord despite having 9 shots on goal. He finished +2.

9. Carolina leads the season series 3 games to 0, winning all three in regulation time. The Isles have lost four games in regulation this season when they've scored 4 goals, all by a 5-4 score. (They've also lost once in OT and once in a shootout by the same score.)

10 Up next: The long road trip (2-2-1) concludes in Ottawa on Saturday night. The Isles beat the Sens three times in November, all in regulation. It's the first time that the Isles have ever won 3 games in one season from Ottawa. Saturday's game will mark the first since the trade that sent Comrie and Campoli to the Sens in exchange for McAmmond and the first round pick Ottawa previously acquired from San Jose.

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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wait 'til next year

I don't remember seeing it noted anywhere, but last night's Hurricane win mathematically eliminated the Islanders from post-season play.

There are 1,001 possible outcomes to the draft lottery, although 1 is not used. The Isles are guaranteed to have 5 of them (0.5%). Of course these percentages will go up as the season plays out.

30th........... 25.0% (250 combinations)
29th........... 18.8% (188 combinations)
28th........... 14.2% (142 combinations)
27th........... 10.7% (107 combinations)
26th.............8.1% (81 combinations)
25th.............6.2% (62 combinations)
24th.............4.7% (47 combinations)
23rd.............3.6% (36 combinations)
22nd............ 2.7% (27 combinations)
21st.............2.1% (21 combinations)
20th.............1.5% (15 combinations)
19th.............1.1% (11 combinations)
18th.............0.8% (8 combinations)
17th.............0.5% (5 combinations)

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

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stat Trick - Mannino errata

The DiPietro reference below is incorrect.  That was Ricky's first win after spending a season and a half in the minors,  but he made his debut on January 27, 2001 in a 2-1 loss to Buffalo.  Ricky's first NHL win came on February 16, 2001 vs.Edmonton.

You have to go back to the 1999-2000 season to find an Islander goalie who won his first NHL start.  That season, Roberto Luongo defeated Boston, 2-1 on November 28,1999 and Stephen Valiquette beat Atlanta 4-2 on March 16, 2000 (9 years ago today).  Thus, Valiquette was the most recent Isles goalie to win his first NHL start (as an Islander).

<<Vs. Chicago

2.  Mannino is the first Islander goalie to win his first NHL start since Rick DiPietro (12/19/02 vs Minnesota).>>

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

A few more...

1. Mark Streit now has 52 points. He's the first Isle in 2 seasons to crack the 50 point level. Comrie led the team last season with 49.

2. Streit also now has 37 assists. The Isles haven't had a 40-assist man since Yashin had 43 in 2001-02.

3. Streit leads the team in both assists and points. No Isle defensemen, other than Denis Potvin, has led the team in points -- Potvin did it 4 times. Potvin (4 times) and Poti (once) are the only defenders to lead the team in assists. Streit is one goal behind Okposo for the team lead in that category -- no defensemen has ever led the Isles in goals.

4. Streit needs 5 goals and Okposo 4 goals to reach 20. The Isles have never had a season without a 20-goal scorer. Palffy had 22 goals in 1998-99 to lead the team -- the lowest in a full-season for a team leader (Ferraro had 22 in 1995 lockout season).

5. Okposo now has a point in a career high 6 straight. He had two
separate 5 game point streaks earlier this season. Bobby Ryan has the
longest streak by a rookie this season-7games; Two others also have had
six game streaks.

6. Manino joined MacDonald and Danis in recording their first career Islander win this season. It's the fourth time in club history that three goalies have recorded their first Islander win in the same season. Perhaps the Isles should re-call former Union College goalie Kris Mayotte to give him a shot at making it 4.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982 (and a proud Union College alum!)

Stat Tricks: Boston 2, Isles 1 and Isles 4, Chicago 2

A weekend split gives the Isles a 2-1-1 record on their tour of 4 of the original 6 teams. 4 off days now follow, before the trip continues in Carolina on Friday. On to the tricks:

Boston:

1. A bad start doomed the Isles in this one as Phil Kessel and Marc Savard scored 65 seconds apart. The B's led 2-0 before the game was 5 minutes old.

2. Mark Streit had the first of his three goals on the weekend mid-way through the second to get the Isles back in the game. Okposo assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to 5 (although his goal streak ended at 4). Streit's goal gives the Islander defense 121 points on the season--one more than all last season.

3. Yann Danis allowed goals on the game's first two shots...but stopped the final 23 Boston shots. Tim Thomas made 21 saves for Boston to record his 30th win of the season.

...and a few more...

4. Streak stoppers: Comeau (6 games), Iggulden (4 games).

5. The two teams, first and last in the East, entered the game with identical records since February first: 8-8-3.

6. Andy Hilbert had 6 shots to lead the Isles; Mark Streit had 4.

7. The B's won 29 of 49 draws, with Patrice Bergeron and Savard going a combined 20-13.

8. The Bruins have won the last 5 games between the teams, including all three this season. The Isles have scored only 6 goals in those 5 games, and only 9 in the last seven games agaisnt Boston (1-6-0).

9. It's the first time that the Bruisn have beaten the Isles in 5 straight since 1993-1995, when they won 7 straight (as part of an 11 game unbeaten streak vs the Isles).

10.The Islanders have NEVER shutout the Bruins in Boston -- 67 games (regular season) + 5 more in the playoffs.


Vs. Chicago

1. Peter Mannino started the day with the worst save percentage in NHL history - .625. He'll probably never have to worry about that distinction again, stopping 40 of 42 to earn his first NHL win. He lowered his GAA from 13.85 to 2.47. The Hawks out-shot the Isles 42-19.

2. Mannino is the first Islander goalie to win his first NHL start since Rick DiPietro (12/19/02 vs Minnesota).

3. Mannio is the fourth Islander goalie to win a game this season (MacDonald 13, Danis 9, DiPietro 1). Only DiPietro had won a game for the Isles prior to this season.

...and a few more...

4. Mark Streit had two goals and an assist (all on the pp) for the Isles, raising his season totals to 15-37-52. The 15 goals are a new career high (13 last season). He is 2nd among all NHL defensemen in pp goals (10) and tie for third in points. He has 3 goals and 3 assists in the last 3 games, recording points on 6 of the Isles' 8 goals.

5. Richard Park and Frans Nielsen had the other goals for the Isles; Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane (7 shots) had responses for the Hawks. Cam Barker had an assist for the 5th straight game for Chicago.

6. Attendance at the United Center was 22,140 (5,843 bigger than capacity at the Coliseum). They have sold out 35 straight games (including all 32 this season).

7. Kyle Okposo had two assists to extend his point streak to 6. Okposo is 10th in rookie scoring with 30 points.

8. The Hawks were 20-7-7 at year's end, but are only 17-14-2 in 2009.

9. The Isles continue the streakiness of the all-time series vs. the Hawks. The Isles have won the last 5, dating to Yashin's 4 goal game in 2003. Prior to that, the Isles had won only once in the prior 22 and 4 times in the prior 38 against Chicago. Prior to that, the Isles were 15-1-2 in 18 games against Chicago between 1980 and 1985.

10. (See #10 above) The Isles have 4 shutouts in their history against the Hawks -- all of them in Chicago!


Up next: Four days of R&R before the road trip continues in Carolina on Friday. It's the first of two trips to Carolina in the season's final 13 games for the Isles, who lost both home games to Carolina this season. The most recent meeting, on February 19, was the only one-sided loss the Isles have had at home in the last two months -- a 6-2 pasting.


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

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 3, Montreal 2 (OT)

Have I mentioned recently how dangerous Yann Danis is? Dangerous enough to give the Isles their second straight win in Montreal. How rare is that? You have to read the trick:

1. Kyle Okposo scored for the 4th straight game --this time 26 seconds into overtime, to give the Isles the victory and a sweep of the two games in Montreal this season. Okposo finished with 7 shots and 4 hits in 23:30 of ice-time. The Isles outshot Montreal 3-0 in OT and 32-14 over the final 40:26. Carey Price finished with 36 saves for Montreal.

2. The win breaks a 7-game (0-6-1) road losing streak and was the Isles' first road win in 6 weeks (42 days). It's only the Isles 2nd win in their last 23 road games (2-19-2).

3. It's the first time since last March 29-April 1 that the Isles have played two consecutive overtime games and the first time since January 3-5, 2008 that two consecutive Isles games were decided by an OT goal.

.... a few more...

4. Mike Iggulden recorded a point in his 4th straight game by scoring his first NHL goal in his 5th NHL game. (He played one game for the Sharks last season -- it was against the Islanders.)

5. Frans Nielsen had the other Islander goal. Blake Comeau assisted on both of the regulation goals --he now has a point in 6 straight games.

6. Tomas Plekanec and Tom Kotsopolous had the goals for Montreal.

7. Yann Danis made 24 saves to improve to 4-1 in his last 5 starts and 5-2 in his last 7 starts. Danis has allowed 2 goals or less in 6 of the 7 games.


All-time Save Percentage Leaders (at least 10 NHL starts; entire career played since save % official stat)
1. Nicklas Backstrom 92.27%
2. Yann Danis 92.24%
3. Dominic Hasek 92.22%
4. Jonas Heller 92.20%

8. Joel Rechlicz recorded his first NHL fight (with Tom Kotsopoulos); Tim Jackman also had a fight.

9. When was the last time the Isles won 2 straight road games against Montreal? Glad you asked. On November 18/December 22, 1993. However, the first game was actually played in Hamilton (it was Montreal's home game). The last time the Isles won 2 straight road games IN Montreal was on March 13, 1989 and January 17, 1990. The last time the Isles won 2 straight road games in one season in Montreal -- well there is no last time. It had never happened before. In fact, the Isles had never won two road games in Montreal in one season before Thursday night. Really. The Isles now lead the season series 2 games to 1, with each team earning four points in the standings.

10. Kurtis MacLean was injured BEFORE THE GAME, warming up playing soccer with his teammate. The Isles dressed only 17 skaters for the third time this month -- they've won all three.

Up next: The Isles play back-to-back weekend matinees for the 2nd week in a row. On Saturday afternoon, the Isles return to Boston for the first time since an embarrassing 7-2 loss to the Bruins the day after Thanksgiving. Boston leads the season series 2-0, and has beaten the Isles 4 straight over two seasons. The Isles have been held to 2 goals or less in their last six games against Boston, losing five of them (1-5-0).


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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last night in Philly...

Where would they ever get this idea....

>>
Last night, at the Flyers-Caps game, during a break, the organist played the chicken dance wedding song - but when he got to the part where you clap four times he paused, allowing the Philly fans to scream "Ovechkin S***S!  This happened about five times >>

Ovechkin btw had his NHL-leading 48th goal and added an assist in a 2-1 Cap win.


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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Save percentage laggards and leaders.

Peter Mannino has been recalled to replace the injured Joey MacDonald.

I'm sure that Mannino would like to get into a game, and get himself out of the record books.

Mannino played the final 10 minutes in Boston and emerged with the worst save percentage of all-time ( 5 saves/8 shots = .625) -- including only players whose entire NHL career came after save percentage became an official stat.

Ironically, there are two other Islander connections to historical save percentages:

Of goalies who have appeared in at least 10 games, who has the worst save percentage of all-time?  Islander coach Scott Gordon (.829)
Of goalies who have appeared in at least 10 games, who has the best save percentage of all-time?  Yann Danis (tied with three others at .922) 

Mannino's GAA is 13.81  -- only three goalies in NHL history have a higher goals against.


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

Stat Trick: Toronto 3, Isles 2 (OT)

For the 7th time in 25 games, the Isles took a lead to the third, but couldn't hold it.  (18-4-3).  On to the trick:

1.  All of the first period scoring was done in a one minute span.  After Lee Stempniak scored for Toronto, Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau responded for the Isles.

2.  The Leafs tied the game on a Ponivarovsky goal with 11:14 to play, and won it in overtime on a tally by Mikhail Grabovski.

3. It's the second time in less than two weeks that the Leafs have beaten the Isles in extra time, winning in a shootout at the Coliseum in late February.

a few more...

4  The Leafs win the season series 3 games to 1 and six points to four.

5. Kyle Okposo now has 15 goals on the season and has recorded goals in three straight; he led all players with 8 shots on goal.  Mike Iggulden picked up his 4th assist in his third game with the Isles.

6. The Isles went 0-5 on the powerplay, including a 5:06 stretch of consecutive power play in the second period (that included two separate 5-on-3's, totaling 54 seconds.)   Eleven of the Isles 30 shots on Martin Gerber came with the extra man. The Leafs went 0-2.

7. The injury bug bit again.  Both Joey MacDonald (25 saves) and Sean Bergenheim suffered injuries and have returned to NY.

8. Mark Streit had a strong game, playing 28:45, and recording three shots, 4  hits, and four blocks.  Brendan Witt returned to the lineup following his suspension and logged 19:15

9  Through 35 home games, the Isles have 37 points -- equal to last season.  On the road, though, the Isles have only 15 points (fewest since 1988-89), 17 less than last season.

10. Up next: it's been 108 days since the Isles last faced the Canadiens, and emerged with a miracle win keyed by Ryan O'Bryne's own goal and raising their road record to 5-4-1.  The Isles have won exactly once on the road since (1-19-2).
 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Chasing" Tampa

With Sunday's win, the Isles are only 4 points behind Tampa.  Making matters worse is that the Isles already have more wins than Tampa, meaning if the teams tie in points, Tampa will finish behind the Isles.


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

Stat Trick: Isles 3, Coyotes 2

Have I mentioned recently that Yann Danis is dangerous... real dangerous.  On to the trick.

1.  The Isles closed within 4 points of now-29th place Tampa Bay as they won home games on consecutive days for only the third time in franchise history.  (It happened on Thanksgiving weekend in both 2001 and 2006.)

2. All of the goals went into one net, as three 2nd period Islander tallies off-set Phoenix scores in both the first and third period.

3.  The three Islander goal scorers: Tambellini, Bailey and Okposo have a combined 22 goals this season.  They entered this year with 6 combined (4 for Tambellini and 2 for Okposo).

...and a few more...

4. Danis made 40 saves to tie his career high.  Since the All-Star break, Danis is 7-5-1 with a 2.00 GAA and a .939 save percentage.  Danis hasn't played enough to qualify as a league leader in save percentage (needs to appear in 1/3 of a team's minutes and he's just shy), but if he did, he would he tied for 2nd with Tomas Vokoun for the season (.926; Tim Thomas leads at .932)

5. Nine Islanders had points on the three goals; 15 Islanders had at least one point on the weekend.

6.  The Isles win on the back-end of back-2-backs for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend (0-5-2).  They finish the homestand 4-1-1, including 4-1-0 in the last 5.  The Islekids are 10-8-2 in their last 20 and have not gone more than 2 games without a point in that stretch.

7. The Isles don't play Sunday home games very often (this was the first of 2 on the season), so it's not surprising that this is their first Sunday home win since beating Tampa 4-0 on March 21, 2004 (2 losses, an OT loss, and a tie).

8. Josh Tordjman made his NHL debut in goal for Phoenix, stopping 23 shots.  Scott Upshall and Shane Doan had the Coyote goals, who were playing their 8th game on Long Island since Doan (and the Coyotes) relocated from Phoenix.  The Isles won the first two, tied the second two, lost the next two and have won the last two.

9. The Isles out-hit Phoenix 36-30, with every Islander credited with at least one.  Phoenix outshot the ISles 42-26, with Michalek and Upshall combining for 15 of them.
 
10.  Up next: the Isles begin a 6 game road trip in Toronto on Tuesday at 7:30.  The Isles have only one road win since winning in Montreal 15 weeks ago (1-19-1) and completed February 0-6 on the road.  10 of the final 16 are on the road.  The first 4 of the 6 games are all against original 6 teams --19th time in club history, tying record for consecutive games against Original 6 teams.  The Isles trail the season series with Toronto 4 points to 3, having gone 1-1-1 against the Leafs.


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

Sunday, March 08, 2009

FW: [Notes From Forever1940] Home grown success

Quick correction; it was the end of Micheletti&#39;s first season, not Westfall&#39;s last.


----- Original Message -----
Subject: [Notes From Forever1940] Home grown success
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2009 16:05:51
From: Eric <forever1940@yahoo.com>
To: <forever1940@yahoo.com>

Sean Bergenheim's hat trick yesterday is a rarity, at least recently, for the Islanders. It's the first hat trick this century by an Islander player who was drafted by the Islanders. (Thanks to Matt Borzello for this gem) Believe it or not, you need to go back to April 17, 1999 to find the last hat trick by an Islander-drafted player for the Islanders. That afternoon, Zigmund Palffy turned the trick in Pittsburgh. How long ago was that? It was the last game Palffy played as an Islander - he was traded that summer. It was the final game of Ed Westfall's broadcasting career - he was replaced by Joe Micheletti. It was the final game of Bill Stewart's coaching career - he was replaced by Butch Goring. The Islanders have played 721 regualr season games since then Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.
--
Posted By Eric to Notes From Forever1940 at 3/08/2009 12:05:00 PM

Home grown success

Sean Bergenheim's hat trick yesterday is a rarity, at least recently, for the Islanders. It's the first hat trick this century by an Islander player who was drafted by the Islanders. (Thanks to Matt Borzello for this gem)

Believe it or not, you need to go back to April 17, 1999 to find the last hat trick by an Islander-drafted player for the Islanders. That afternoon, Zigmund Palffy turned the trick in Pittsburgh.

How long ago was that?

It was the last game Palffy played as an Islander - he was traded that summer.
It was the final game of Ed Westfall's broadcasting career - he was replaced by Joe Micheletti.
It was the final game of Bill Stewart's coaching career - he was replaced by Butch Goring.
The Islanders have played 721 regualr season games since then


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

Stat Trick: Isles 7, Devils 3

Ber-gen-heim! On to the trick.

1. Sean Bergenheim became the first Islander to record a hat trick since Bill Guerin on October 18, 2007 in Washington, when he scored into an empty net in the final second of the Isles' 7-3 win. It was the first hat trick of his career, and gives him 14 goals on the season.

2. For the fourth straight game, an Islander made his debut. Mike Iggulden had played one game with San Jose last season, but made his first appearance for the Isles, recording 2 assists.

3. The Islanders scored 7 goals for the first time this season (6 on Marty Brodeur in 2 periods --the first time he's been beaten six times in a game since October, 2006). They last tallied seven on December 3, 2006 at Madison Square Garden, and hadn't scored 7 at home since October 25, 2003 - a 7-2 win over Pittsburgh that featured Bergenheim's first NHL goal. It had been nearly 16 years since the Isles scored seven against the Devils -- they last did it on April 16, 1993. Brodeur spent that season with the Utica Devils; over the next month the Isles would win playoff series from Washington and Pittsburgh.

...and a few more...

4. Offensive heroes were everywhere. Radek Martinek, Kyle Okposo, Jeff Tambellini and Blake Comeau had the other Isles goals. Tambellini, who has two goals in three games, also added an assist.

5. Even in a blowout win, there was another Isles injury. Trent Hunter broke his left ankle in a collision with Bobby Holik. His season is over.

6. The Devils win the season series 4 games to 2; the Isles outscored NJ 11-3 over the final two games.

7. The kids shall lead them: two points each for Hillen, Iggulden, Tambellini and Bailey.

8. Joey MacDonald made 35 saves to pick up the victory for the Isles.

9. Even the power play worked for the Isles; after going 0-18 in the last five games the Isles scored on both of the power play chances.

10. Up next: The Coyotes make only their second appearance since 2002 at the Coliseum as the Isles look to split the season series with Phoenix. Face-off on Sunday is at 3:00.


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

Bergenheim

I wrote this feature for NYI.com in early October, 1983.

Better late than never...


NOW WEARING #10, Sean Bergenheim
By Eric Hornick, FSNY


Maybe, just maybe, Sean Bergenheim was born to be a World
Class athlete. After all, he was born on
February 8, 1984, the day the Olympic flame was lit in Sarajevo.

The 18-year old Bergenheim has made the Islanders Opening
Night roster and when he makes his NHL debut he will become the first Islander
to be born after the club won the last of its four consecutive Stanley Cups in
1983.

Sean is nearly 2 ½ years younger than Rick DiPietro, who
relinquishes his title as the youngest Islander.

Bergenheim was the 22nd pick overall in the 2002
NHL Entry Draft. Only five of the 21
players picked ahead of Bergenheim played in the NHL last season; five others
have made NHL rosters this season.

Bergenheim will keep the number 10 he wore in Finland,
playing for his hometown Jokerit squad.

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, it could be
argued that the speedy Finn is the most offensively talented player to wear
#10.

Lorne Henning wore the number with pride and distinction in
each of the first nine seasons, notching 184 points. Of course, Lorne was more known for his
defense and penalty killing, as well as a particular pass from his own blue
line that led to the 1980 Cup Winning Goal.

Alan Kerr also wore #10 for parts of seven seasons, totaling
154 points. He scored a career high 24
goals for the Isles in their Patrick Division championship season of 1988.

For the past decade or so, however, #10 has bounced from player to player. From
Micah Aivazoff and Corey Foster to Joe Sacco and Jason Dawe, over a dozen
players in all. Mats Lindgren wore that
sweater during his stay on Long Island and Eric Manlow wore it briefly last
year.

But now it's Bergenheim's. With a three-year contract in his back pocket, the Islanders hope that
it will be his number for many years to come.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982.

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

Friday, March 06, 2009

Did the Isles drop the ball by not claiming Avery?

A question that came up recently is why didn't the Isles claim Avery and trade him to the Rangers for a draft pick or other compensation. 

The answer: It's prohibited by the CBA:

<<

A Player who has been acquired by Waiver claim shall not be Traded to another Club until the termination of Playoffs of the season in which he was acquired unless he is first offered on the same terms to the Club(s) that entered a claim when Waivers were requested originally and the offer has been refused.
>>

Basically, if both the Isles and Rangers claimed him, the Isles would have to offer him to the Rangers on the waiver terms.  Of course the Isles could have claimed him, keeping him from the Rangers, and kept him until the end of the season and then traded him... but this wasn't what they did.

The Rangers, btw, already have over $41 million of payroll committed for next season to cover 9 players, with Antropov, Morris, and Zherdev all scheduled to become UFA's at the end of the season.
   


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

The Baby Isles

With the trades of Guerin and Comrie, the banishment of Sim, the injuries to Park, Weight and Sillinger, and the suspension of Witt, the Isles are a muh different team than the one that opened the season at The Rock in October.  Only 10 of the 18 skaters and 1 of the 2 goales dressed last night dressed on opening night:

Check out these numbers for the players that dressed that night vs. those that dressed against the Rangers last night.

Average age:  Then 28.8
(20 man roster) Now 25.9

The roster (excluding goalies) on opening night had played in 5,975 games and had 990 goals and 1983 assists for 2973 points.

The roster (excluding goalies) last night had played in 3,119 games and had 433 goals and 747 assists for 1180 points.  Nearly one-third of the games, and over one-third of the goals and points belong to Dean McAmmond, the oldest player dressed last night (178-246-424 in 921 games prior to last night).

After McAmmond, Trent Hunter has the most goals of the Isles who dressed (87), while Andy Hilbert was third with 41. 

The Baby Isles dressed only 4 players who were born when Bob Nystrom scored "The Goal":  McAmmond, Martinek, Streit and Joey McDonald.


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

Stat Trick: Rangers 4, Isles 2

Someday, perhaps this June 26th, Islander fans will feel better about losing 5 of 6 to the Rangers this season.  On to the trick.

On to the trick.

1. The Islanders dominated play at times, but it was some of the Rangers veterans who did the goal scoring: Nikolai Zherdev, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund had the goal for the Blueshirts, with goals #2 and #4 coming on the powerplay.

2. Blake Comeau and Jack HIllen had the Isle goals.  It was the first goal in 19 games for Comeau, and the first goal of his career for Hillen.  Comeau and Dean McAmmond each had two points for the Isles.

3. Hillen is the 6th Islander (and 2nd in two games) to score his first NHL goal this season.  The others:  Thompson, Bailey, Smith, McLean and Joensuu. 

...and a few more

4. The Rangers went 2-5 on the powerplay while the Isles were 0-2.  On the season series, the Rangers were 5-30 (allowing three shorthanded goals), while the Isles went 0-16.  The Isles have been held without a pp goal in 5 straight games, overall (18 attempts).

5. The Isles out-hit the Rangers 39-36.  Eleven Islanders had at least two hits, while every Ranger except Zherdev had at least 1.

6. With the loss, the Isles have 47 points, five fewer than Atlanta and seven fewer than Tampa Bay.  All three teams have 18 games to play.  Atlanta hosts Montreal while Tampa entertains St. Louis on Friday.

7. Sean Avery made his return to the NHL, playing 13:56.  He had three hits, was -1, and took a silly crosschecking penalty in front of the Islander goal in the third period.  The Isles were credited with 9 hits on Avery.

8. For the 3rd straight game, an Islander made his NHL debut : Joel Rechlicz made his NHL debut, recording three hits in 3:52 and wearing uniform #40. Rechlicz even added an assist, tying his career high for most points with a single team
.
9. Competing cheers: "Kansas City" vs. "Sloppy Seconds".

10. The Rangers have beaten the Isles five straight on Long Island, their longest streak ever.

Up next: the Isles play their final game of the season in the Metro Ice Challenge as they host the Devils.  The Devils won the first four meetings of the season, before Yann Danis blanked New Jersey on February 21st.  It's a 2pm face-off at the Coliseum on Saturday.

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

Monday, March 02, 2009

Stat Trick: Isles 4, Colorado 2.

Yann Danis is dangerous. Too much Danis could cost the Isles draft position. Could the Isles trade him by Wednesday?

On to the trick.

1. Danis made 20 saves for his 3rd straight win at home. When Ryan Smyth scored the first of his two goals 33 seconds into the second period, it was the first goal Danis has allowed a goal at the Coliseum since Alexander Frolov of the Kings beat him at 6:41 of the 3rd period on February 10th.
That's 158:52 of scoreless hockey (including the OT on 2/10); he'd
stopped 86 straight shots in that timespan.

2 Danis is 7-4-2
in his last 12 starts. He's gone 3-1 in his last four starts, allowing just 3
goals, and stopped 118 of 121 shots.

3. Bruno Gervais finally scored a goal, ending his 160 game streak (dating back to April 18, 2006) without a goal. Gervais now has 4 goals in 188 NHL games. (Only Derek Boogaard - 161 games, had a longer current streak)

...and a few more

4. The Isles played without Trent Hunter,
who took the pre-game skate and was on the game roster but never
appeared on the bench. Unlike Guerin on Saturday, the Isles reported that Hunter, who is in the first year of a five year deal, had a lower body injury.

5.For the 2nd straight game, and Islander made his NHL debut : Jesse Joensuu made his NHL debut, playing 11:35 and wearing uniform #58. Josensuu, playing his 4th game in 4 nights, scored a goal on his first shot, in his first game. (That's not the first time that's happened for the Isles; Chris Campoli and Todd McLellan have both done it (among others)

6. Jon Sim had his best night as an Isle; he recorded his first career three assist game and was +4. Sim also had five shots and 4 hits.

7. Jeff Tambellini and Dean McAmmond had the other Islander goals. The four Islander goal scorers tonight had combined for a total of 6 NHL goals prior to tonight -- only three of them as Islanders.

8.
The Isles have earned points in 10 of 11 at home ( 7-1-3). They moved over 500 on the season at home: 14-13-5. It's the first time since winning the home opener that the Isles have a winning record at home.

9. The Isles have beaten the Avs five straight on Long Island, dating back to 1988.

10. Up next: it's the final Islander-Ranger meeting of the season as the Broadway Blues visit Long Island Thursday. Could Sean Avery be in the lineup? The Rangers lead the season series 4 games to 1, and have won the last four games on Long Island, equalling their longest win streak ever at the Coliseum (1995 - 1996).


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

Nice (non-Isles) story

 

---: Saturday, February 28, 2009, 5:33 AM

From today's Toronto Star. This really put a smile on my face:

http://www.thestar. com/Sports/ article/594480

THRILL OF A LIFETIME
Feb 28, 2009 04:30 AM
Be the first to comment on this article...
Ross Brewitt
Special to The Star

It's time for one of those feel-good anecdotes, the kind that doesn't come out of the cynical world of professional sport very often. It's about a goaltender named Dave Gatherum and how his mercurial hockey story finally came full circle.

Make no mistake, Dave Gatherum could play some goal. The mainstay of the Fort William Hurricanes in junior, he was the property of Detroit and after training camp went to Sherbrooke (Que.) in the QHL as third on the Wings' depth chart. Ahead of him were Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall. Any budding goalie would have been number three behind those two.

But in October 1953, with an injury to Sawchuk, coach Tommy Ivan called for Gatherum to join the Wings and installed him between the pipes for the next three games.

Gatherum began his NHL career with a 4-0 shutout of the Leafs. In Chicago, he kept the Hawks off the scoreboard until 21 seconds into the third in a game that ended in a 2-2 tie, establishing an NHL mark for scoreless time by a rookie in his debut, 100 minutes, 21 seconds, a 55-year-old record that still stands.

The next night in Detroit he had another shutout going but the Blackhawks scored with just seven seconds left in the third, a 2-1 Red Wing victory. Gatherum's stats for his entire NHL career reads three games, two wins, one tie, and a goals against average of 1.00.

The Wings went on to win the 1953-54 Stanley Cup with Gatherum's name engraved on it for posterity.

Fast forward to this month, and a small parcel is delivered to the Gatherum home in Thunder Bay. Inside is a striking, 64-diamond encrusted 2007-08 Red Wings Stanley Cup ring, the name "Gatherum" in raised gold on one side, the Stanley Cup on the other, and the Wings' logo perched above a large solitaire diamond on top.

The unheralded, unannounced ring puzzled the Gatherums until they read the letter inside.

"We are very pleased to be able to acknowledge your past Stanley Cup Championship by presenting you with a 2008 championship ring. We sincerely thank you for the pride you brought to the team, the city of Detroit, and the State of Michigan, and we congratulate you on your accomplishment.

Mike and Marian."

"It left us speechless," Gatherum admitted of the letter from Wings owner Mike Ilitch and his wife.

Ilitch had decided to give rings to every living Wing that won a Cup prior to their 1997 championship, the team's first title in decades.

All the players in Gatherum's day were without rings. They weren't the sought-after ID of pro sports champions until the mid-60s.

"I was moved," Gatherum said, "I had to say thank you to someone, so I called the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and going through the switchboard, then a receptionist, I was put through to the executive offices. When I explained who I was, and why I was calling a man said, `Just hang on.' The next voice I heard said, `So, you received the ring?'

``When I asked who I was speaking to he said, `Mike Ilitch.' I could hardly believe it and when I told him I wanted to send a letter of thanks, he said, `Just hearing your voice, and knowing you're happy, Dave, is thanks enough.'"

Now, with a ring he claims is almost too big, and valuable, for everyday wear, Gatherum is still pondering his good fortune.

With that, there was a pause in our conversation. ``All I can tell you is Mike Ilitch didn't have to do this. But turning the ring over one day I noticed there was something engraved on the inside. FAMILY.

"It's one of the nicest things I've ever experienced, and all I know is, this ring will be in the Gatherum family. Forever!"

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

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sound Tigers surge

While everyone has been paying attention to Bill Guerin, the Isles' minor league team swept to three straight wins. THe Sound Tigers beat Philly on Friday and then swept Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a home and home.

The Sound Tigers have earned a point in 11 straight games (8 wins, 3 shootout losses), and begin a stretch of 4 home games in 6 days on Tuesday.

Bridgeport's record (36-17-3-5; the AHL separates OT losses from shootout losses) is almost exactly the opposite of the Isles record (19-36-7). Bridgeport has five 15-goal scorers, led by Mike Iggulden (23-34-57). The Sound Tigers are in 2nd place in both the Eastern Division and Eastern Conference -- 4 points behind Hershey and two points ahead of Wilkes Barre.


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

Stat Trick: Islanders 2, Buffalo 0

Yann Danis is dangerous. Too much Danis could cost the Isles draft position. On to the trick.

1. Danis made 31 saves for his 2nd straight shutout at home. Danis has allowed a goal at the Coliseum since Alexander Frolov of the Kings beat him at 6:41 of the 3rd period on February 10th. That's 138:19 of scoreless hockey (including the OT on 2/10); he's stopped 79 straight shots in that timespan.

2 Danis is 6-4-2 in his last 12 starts, and hasn't allowed an even strength goal in five of the 12. He's gone 2-1 in his last three starts, allowing just 1 goal, and stopped 98 of 99 shots.

3. Sean Bergenheim had both goals in the game and now has 11 on the season. He has three goals in the last two games, and four goals in the last 4; two of the 4 were game-winners. The 4 GWG's lead the team; only 29 players in the NHL have more. The 11 goals are a new career high; he had 10 last season.

...and a few more

4. The Isles played without Bill Guerin, who took the morning skate and was on the game roster but never appeared on the bench. (Although he was on the roster, he didn't play, so he becomes the last Islander to miss a game this season.) It's likely that he will be traded, but nothing had been announced by mid-afternoon Sunday.

5.With Brendan Witt missing the first of his five game suspension, Andrew MacDonald made his NHL debut, playing 7:14 and wearing uniform #43. Mark Streit saw extra ice-time: 29:50 in all.

6. Jack Hillen continues to step up: 4 shots, 3 hits, 3 blocks, 1 assist, +2

7. After losing to Buffalo 7-1 in October, the Isles rebounded to win the season series 5 points to 4; both teams had 2 wins.

8. The Isles are 6-1-2 in their last 9 games at home, earning at least a point in all but the 6-2 disaster to Carolina last Thursday.

9. Kyle Okposo had an asist and was +1, but was held without a shot for only the third time this season.

10. Up next: the Colorado Avalanche visit Long Island on Monday in a showdown of 15th place teams. The Isles have won the last 4 games against the Avs on Long Island, dating back to a 2-1 Colorado win on December 8, 1998. In that game, Cam Russell and Peter Forsberg scored for Colorado while Mariusz Czerkawski had the response for the Isles. Patrick Roy beat Tommy Salo. Monday's game will be televised nationally in the US by Versus and in Canada by TSN.


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