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Sunday, March 27, 2011
The Skinny: Flyers 4, Isles 1
By Eric Hornick
Philadelphia 4, Isles 1
James van Riemsdyk scored three goals for his first career hat trick as the
Philadelphia Flyers continued their recent success over the Islanders, beating
the Isles 4-1 before 15,458 at the Nassau Coliseum. It is the first time since
late January that the Isles have lost consecutive games in regulation.
First, the Fights
There were two separate altercations in the first 21 seconds as Micheal Haley
fought Daniel Carcillo off the opening faceoff and Zenon Konopka battled Sean
O'Donnell. Konopka's bout gave him an even 250 penalty minutes on the season.
He is the first Islander to reach that total since Rich Pilon in 1997-98. It is
the sixth highest total in club history. There was only lone fight in remaining
59:39 as Matt Martin fought O'Donnell with just under 8 minutes to play. Martin
also received a ten-minute misconduct for his trouble. Martin, who led the
Isles with six hits, now has 281 hits on the season (3rd in the NHL).
Flyers Strike Twice…Quickly
The Flyers grabbed a 2-0 lead in a 22 second span of the first period. Jeff
Carter beat Rick DiPietro off a face-off win by Claude Giroux, who was playing
in his 200th NHL game, for his 34th goal of the season, and 19th in 38 career
games against the Isles. Van Riemsdyk then scored his first goal in ten games
to give the Flyers a 2-0 advantage.
Comeau Gets the Isles on the Board
Blake Comeau got the Isles on the board at 10:28 of the opening period with his
21st goal of the season. It's the first time that Comeau has tallied 21 times
in a single campaign since he did so for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL in
2005-06. However, van Riemsdyk restored the two-goal difference at 13:25 when
he converted a pass from Andrej Mezaros. The Flyer defensemen appeared to
intentionally shoot the puck wide of the net and it came out the other side,
where "JVR" was waiting to bang it home.
Following a scoreless middle period, van Riemsdyk completed his hat trick, and
the scoring, with a power play tally midway through the third period. It was
his 19th goal of the season, and fifth in 10 career games against the Islanders.
The loss mathematically eliminated the Islanders from playoff contention.
The Islanders have five players with at least 18 goals: Grabner 31, Moulson 30,
Tavares 27, Comeau 21, and Parenteau 18. The quintet has combined for 127 of
the Islanders' 206 goals (62%) this season. At least one of the five has scored
a goal in every game this month – 13 in all.
200 Shot Club
Michael Grabner had two shots on goal and now has 211 shots on the season;
breaking a tie with Denis Potvin for third place in Islander history among
rookies. The Islanders now have three players (Moulson 213 and Tavares-217) with
200 shots in a season for the first time since 2006-07 (Blake, Satan and
Yashin). He is the first Islander rookie with at least 200 shots in a season
since David Volek had 229 in 1988-89.
Grabner's Chase of the Record Books
Most Goals, Islander Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 53 (1977-78)
2. Bryan Trottier 32 (1975-76)
3. Michael Grabner 31 (2010-11)
Grabner needs one goal to tie Trottier for second place on the all-time rookie
goal scoring list.
Most Shots on Goal, Islander Rookie
1. Mike Bossy 235 (1977-78)
2. David Volek 229 (1988-89)
3. Michael Grabner 211 (2010-11)
4. Denis Potvin 209 (1973-74)
Grabner would need to average 4.1 shots per game to break Bossy's record.
Rookies Who Have Led Isles in Goals
1. Billy Harris - 28 in 1972-73,
2. Mike Bossy - 53 in 1977-78,
3. Trent Hunter -25 in 2003-04 (tied with Mariusz Czerkawski)
4. Kyle Okposo-18 in 2008-09.
Grabner currently has the team lead with 31.
Despite the loss, the Islanders are 14-8-5 since the All-Star Break and are
24-17-7 in their last 48 games
Growing Up Together
The Islanders have had five players record their 100th career point, all of them
in Islander uniforms, this season.
· Frans Nielsen has 118 points (35-83-118), tops among healthy
· Blake Comeau's goal gives him 117 career points (53-64-117).
· John Tavares now has 115 points (51-64-115). He is the youngest player
in Islander history to record 50 goals and the second youngest player (Bryan
Trottier) to record 100 career points.
· Kyle Okposo's has 113 points (44-69-113).
· Veteran defender Radek Martinek earned an assist on Comeau's tally; he
has 101 career points (20-81-101)
With 229 points, Trent Hunter (injured) is the only player on the current roster
to have recorded more points in an Islander uniform.
Matt Moulson has 106 career points; however, his first ten points came as a
member of the Los Angeles Kings.
A number of Islanders are either close to or have assured themselves of career
years in key offensive categories: (Unless otherwise noted, the career high was
set last season)
Set New Career Highs:
· John Tavares: 27 goals, 34 assists, 61 points (24-30-54 last season),
4 GW goals (2)
· PA Parenteau: 18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points (3-5-8)
· Michael Grabner: 31 goals, 17 assists, 48 points (5-6-11), 5 SH Goals
· Blake Comeau: 21 goals, 21 assists, 42 points (17-18-35), 4 pp goals
(2 in 2008-09), 69 games (63)
· Frans Nielsen: 31 assists (26),42 points (38), 6 SH goals (1)
· Andrew Mac Donald: 4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points (1-6-7)
· Josh Bailey: 4 pp goals (3 -- twice)
· Jack Hillen: 4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points (3-12-15)
· Zenon Konopka: 76 games, 7 assists, 9 points (74 games, 3 twice , 7 in
· Matt Moulson: 9 pp goals (8)
· Milan Jurcina: 13 assists, 17 points (11 in 2008-09, 14 in 2008-09)
Tied Career High
· Matt Moulson: 30-18-48 (30-18-48)
Approaching Career Highs
· Frans Nielsen: 11 goals (12)
· Zenon Konopka: 250 penalty minutes (265)
Home and Road
The Isles are 29-35-12, and are 16-17-5 at home. They are 25-25-9 under Jack
Capuano, including 24-17-7 in the last 48. Their 70 points is nine more than
they managed in the entire 2008-09 season; they remain two points behind last
The Flyers are 45-19-10, and are 24-9-4 on the road. The 24 road wins match a
Flyer team record, set in 2002-03. They now have 100 points on the season; it
the first time that they have done this in 74 games since the 1985-86 season.
Sharing the Wealth
The Isles are 24-17-7 in their last 48 games, and all six goalies that the Isles
have used this season have wins during that stretch (Montoya 8, DiPietro 5,
Roloson 4, Poulin 4, Koskinen 2, and Lawson 1).
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro, playing for just the second time since February 2nd, made 18
saves but drops to 8-11-4 on the season. He is tied with Al Montoya for the
team lead in wins. DiPietro is 127-128-33 on his career, with a 7-13-0 record
against the Flyers.
Calder Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves to improve to 27-11-6.
The Islanders went 0-4 on the power play while the Flyers were 1-1. The power
play is 0-8 in the last two games and 1-18 in the last five games, while the
penalty killer have allowed goals in three straight games for the first time
since December 16-22.
The Isles have been held to one goal in consecutive games for the first time
since November 20-21.
Shutting Down the Flyers
The Islanders held the Flyers to 22 shots, their fewest against the Isles since
having only 17 on November 17, 2007. It's the fewest Flyer shots at the
Coliseum since April 2, 2006 (when they also had 22).
Lots of PIMs
Konopka has 250 penalty minutes while Martin has 128. It's the first time since
the 1997-98 season that the Isles have had at least two players with at least
128 penalty minutes. (Pilon 291, Bryan McCabe 145, Paul Kruse 138).
In the Circle
The Islanders won 33 of 56 (59%) face-offs. Frans Nielsen won 9 of 13.
Nice to See the Barn (Nearly) Full
The crowd of 15,458 was the third-largest of the season at the Coliseum.
The Isles announced on Friday that Andrew MacDonald would not play again would
not play this season due to a hip injury. Mark Streit, Mike Mottau, Trent
Hunter, Kevin Poulin and Mark Eaton are also out for the season, while Doug
Weight remains out. Trevor Gillies is eligible to play but was a healthy
scratch. The Isles have lost 525 games to injury and 25 games to suspension
The Isles are 1-12-3 in games that Andrew MacDonald has missed this season.
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 158 games since
joining the team last season. Zenon Konopka is the only other Isle to have
played every game this season; his 88-game streak includes the final 12 games
last season for Tampa Bay. Travis Hamonic has now played 56 NHL games (all
consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the
Cappy's First 59
Jack Capuano drops to NHL .500 with a 25-25-9 record. Only four other coaches in
Islander history who coached at least 50 games have at least a .500 record (Al
Arbour, Peter Laviolette, Steve Stirling, and Ted Nolan). Capuano has earned 59
standings points – more than any coach in Islander history who did not start the
season behind the bench.
March to the Finish
The Isles are 6-3-4 in March with two games to play. The 16 points in March is
one shy of the 17 that they earned in 2005-06. They have not earned more than
17 points in March since 1988 when they earned 19 points in March.
Season Series Stats
The Flyers continue their recent dominance over the Isles. The Islanders are
1-16-4 against Philadelphia since February, 2008. This season the Flyers have
won all five meetings, with three of the five games being decided by a single
goal. The Flyers won all three Coliseum tilts this season and are 10-1 in their
last 11 trips to Long Island (Isles are 1-8-2 in same stretch).
33 years ago today (March 26, 1978): In the makeup of a game snowed out six
weeks earlier, the Islanders rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Minnesota
North Stars 6-3 at the Coliseum. Bob Nystrom scored two goals and added three
assists while Bob Bourne also added a pair of goals. The game was played on
Easter Sunday; the Isles did not play another Sunday home game until 1990 and
would not win another game on Easter Sunday until Pat LaFontaine ended the
Easter Epic at 1:58 in the morning of Easter Sunday 1987.
All-time, the Isles are 8-7-1 on this date.
Wednesday, March 30 @ New Jersey 7:00pm
[MSG+2 (Subway Islanders Game Night at 6:30), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders head to Newark for the final meeting of the season with the
Devils. The Isles won the first two meetings of the season, but the Devils have
taken the last three meetings, including a pair of 3-2 victories this month (in
a shootout at the Coliseum and in overtime at The Rock). New Jersey has outshot
the Islanders 155-100 shots over the five games.
Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982.
Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.
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