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The Skinny on the Playoff Race

Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Skinny: Hawks 5, Isles 0

"The Skinny"
By Eric Hornick
Game 40
Chicago 5, Isles 0
Marian Hossa scored a goal and added two assists, while Corey Crawford made 29
saves for his 2nd career shutout, as the Chicago Blackhawks celebrated the 50th
anniversary of their 1961 Championship team by blanking the Isles 5-0 before an
overflow crowd of 21,205 at United Center.  The Isles head home with a 3-2
record on their five-game road trip.
Another Slow Start
The Islanders allowed the opening goal for the third straight game and fourth
time in five games; Patrick Sharp connected for his 7th goal in the last eight
games, on the power play at 4:52 for the opening period's only goal.  It was his
club-leading 25th goal of the season and eventually became his 6th game-winning
goal (which is tied with Dustin Byfuglien and Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead).
The Hawks came out flying and outshot the Isles 16-8 in the opening period.

Hawks Score 4 in the Second
The second period was all Hawks.  Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Dave Bolland, and
Niklas Hjalmarsson all tallied in the middle session.  Neither team scored in
the third.  5-0 Final.
Home and Road
The Isles are 13-21-6, 6-14-3 on the road. They are now 9-11-3 under Jack
Capuano, including 8-3-1 in the last 12.  Chicago is 23-18-3, 14-11-0 at home. 
The Champs have won 3 of their last four.
In the Nets
Crawford improves to 14-8-1 as he records his second NHL shutout (and first
since March 25, 2008).  Lawson made 40 saves for the Isles but falls to 0-2-1.
Power Plays
Chicago found a way to stop the Isles power play; they were shorthanded only
once. The Isles finish the trip 7-16 on the power play (43.8%). Chicago was 1-4
with the extra man; the Isles killed 14 of 15 on the trip.
In the Circle
The Isles won 27 of 56 (48%) face-offs.  Jeremy Colliton won 10 of 14 draws for
the Isles.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau is out for the season. Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Doug Weight, Trent
Hunter and Radek Martinek, Mark Eaton and Rick DiPietro remain out.  Frans
Nielsen missed his third game of the season with a groin strain while Trevor
Gillies was a healthy scratch. The Isles have now lost 244 man-games to injury.
Moulson Extends Streak
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 122 games since
joining the team last season.  Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 52 game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 20 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the

Getting Younger All the Time
The Isles, who as recently as last Saturday had a 41 year old on their roster,
dressed only three players over 30: Jon Sim and Zenon Konopka (30 years, 7
days), and they saw less than 22 minutes of ice-time combined.  With Kevin
Poulin on the roster, the Isles now have three players who were born in the
1990's (Travis Hamonic and John Tavares are the others; Tavares remains the
youngest player on the team).  The average age of the 20 players dressed for
this game was 25.10 years.
As seen on MSG+
Jeremy Colliton played in his second straight game.  Research by Elias noted
that Colliton, who scored two goals on Saturday, ended the second longest
drought between his first two NHL goals, while scoring both for the same team.
Colliton's goals were his first since April 15, 2006 against Pittsburgh, a span
of 1729 days. Only Butch McDonald had a longer stretch, he went 1817 days
between 1939-1944.  McDonald had a good excuse for his gap: World War II.
Race to 100 Heads Home
With the Isles shutout for the 4th time this season, the Race to 100 is on hold
until Tuesday.  Blake Comeau has 97 career points (41-56-97), one more than Kyle
Okposo (39-57-96), two more than Frans Nielsen (29-66-95) and five more than
Radek Martinek (19-73-92).  No player drafted by the Islanders has recorded 100
points in an Islander uniform since Scott Lachance reached the mark during the
1998-99 season.
Go East, Young Team!
The Isles played 23 of their first 40 on the road, matching the club record, set
in 1992-93.  They do not leave the Eastern Time Zone the remainder of the season
and play 24 of their final 42 at home.
Season Series Stats          
The Hawks win the only meeting of the season, and deprive the Isles the chance
to beat the last four Stanley Cup champions in a four week stretch.  The Hawks
beat the Isles for the first time since December 10, 2002, ending an Islander
six-game winning streak against the Hawks. It's Chicago's most lopsided win over
the Isles since a 5-0 win on November 12, 1999.
Happy Anniversary
25 years ago today (January 8, 1986):  Kelly Hrudey records a shutout as the
Isles blank Pittsburgh 9-0 at the Coliseum, matching the club record for the
most one-sided victory.    The Isles are now 9-8-1 all-time on this date.
3,000 Club
The loss spoiled the 3,000th regular season game in Islander history.  The Isles
are 1296-1290-414 all-time.  Two more milestones await.  Their 1,500th home game
will be on January 15th against Buffalo while their 1,500th Nassau Coliseum game
will be on January 20th against Washington (each NHL team played two neutral
site games in 1992-93 and 1993-94). 

Up Next
Sunday, January 11- Vancouver @ Islanders 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The schedule now turns as the Isles begin stretches of 13-of-20 and 19-of-29 at
home when they begin a five-game homestand by hosting the Vancouver Canucks.
As well as the Islanders have played of late, the Canucks have been even
better.  Vancouver leads the NHL with 60 points and are 17-1-3 in their last 21
games.  The Canucks had won eight straight before a shootout loss to Detroit on
Saturday; they have not lost in regulation since December 5th (13-0-3).  The
Canucks are also 8-0-1 in their last nine on the road; they are beginning a
5-game road trip with this game.
The Isles are 4-1-2 in their last seven home games against the Canucks and are
6-3-3 against Vancouver since 1999.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since
1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various
 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on
Twitter @ehornick

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