Get Your T-Shirts & Hoodies -- and support Make-A-Wish (R) Metro NY

THANK YOU 27,000 times for making my wish of helping @MakeaWish @MAWMNYcome true!!!!!!

#ItHappenedAtTheColiseum

Update: We've now sold over 1,900 shirts and raised over John Tonelli (or Anders Lee) Thousand Dollars ($27,000)! Un-beLIevable!

Please visit http://teespring.com/IslesBlogIHATC to order.
All proceeds benefit one of my favorite charities: Make-A-Wish® Metro New York.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ex- Isles Martinek update

In his years with the Isles, Radek Martinek played more than 70 games only once (74 in 2005-06).

This season is not starting off any differently in Columbus.  Martinek has missed the last four games with a concussion suffered 10 days ago in a game against Detroit.

GM (and former Islander) Scott Howson told the Columbus Disptach today that he is still experiencing symptoms and remains sidelined indefinitely.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Practice Notes

1.  John Tavares did not skate - described as a "maintenance" day.  Perhaps the 21 year old is getting a head start on some trick-or-treating.  Look for a lot of 91s all over Long Island this afternoon!

2.  Per Katie, the Isles have placed Trevor Gillies on waivers.  Including Gillies, the Isles have been carrying 23 players, which means someone would have to go if Nino Niederreiter is ready to play. 

3.  Nino skated in Tavares' spot at practice today.  Isles tweeted that Capuano said that "Niederreiter had a good practice today."

Around the league:

4. Ex-Isle Raffi Torres is getting some heat for his Halloween costume (really).  Puck Daddy has the photo: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Raffi-Torres-was-Jay-Z-for-Halloween-dark-skin-?urn=nhl-wp16211

5. Marty Brodeur has been taken off injured reserve by New Jersey.  Keith Kinkaid heads back to Albany.
Kinkaid's college team (and my alma mater)-- Union College -is ranked #7 in the country by Inside College Hockey.

6. And oh yes, that Sean Avery guy was placed on re-entry waivers by the Rangers today.  If not claimed by any other NHL team he is eligible to rejoin the Rangers at noon tomorrow.  Avery was re-acquired by the Rangers using re-entry waivers three seasons ago.  He is in the final season of a 4-year contract.


 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Isles 40 in 40 -- #36

Isles 40 in 40 -- #36

In honor of the Isles 40th anniversary year, I've put together a list of the Top 40 moments in club history.  I'll go through them throughout the season, bit by bit.
 
January 18, 1973-- Expansion Isles Beat the Champs

The 1972-73 Islanders won only two games on the road all season.  In the first one, on November 1, 1972, Germain Gagnon recorded the first hat trick in franchise history as the Islanders defeated the California Golden Seals 6-2. 

However, moment #36 deals not with that game, but with their other road win, some 79 days later.

The Bruins came into Boston Garden that night as the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, having won as many games in the previous season's final (against the Rangers) as the Islanders had won in their history: 4.

The Islanders had lost 12 straight (they would eventually finish the season with 12 wins total) and were 0-19-1 in their prior 20 games.

On paper, the game should never have been played.  Of course, they are not played on paper.

With the expansion Islanders in town, the Bruins started John Adams (yes that John Adams) in goal.  The roookie netminder would finish the season with a 9-3-1 record.  His night however would be finished in just 20 minutes as the Islanders jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first 17:46, bookended by a pair of goals by Don Blackburn.  Lorne Henning, Billy Harris and Ed Westfall also tallied for the Isles, who allowed a late goal by John Bucyk to make it 5-1 after 1.

Westfall tallied again early in the second period to make it 6-1, but by midway through the period the B's had cut the margin to 6-4.  Bucyk had two of those three goals, giving him a hat trick-- he would later add a 4th goal.

Brian Lefley scored with 4 1/2 minutes left in the 2nd to take a bit of the pressure and make it 7-4, but Wayne Cashman and Terry O'Reilly responded early in the 3rd.  After Tom Miller and Johnny Bucyk traded goals to make it 8-7, the Bruins had a chance to tie late in the third.  Year later, Islander goaltender Bill Smith described to Sports Illustrated what happened next:  "Finally, when it was 8-7, Wayne Cashman took a shot from the blue line that hit me in the head. Harris picked the puck up and went down and scored, or we sure as hell would have blown it.""

Sports Illustrated Vault -- looking back at the Original Islanders


The headlines across the continent told the story:  "Islanders Catch Bruins Napping", said the Pittsburgh Press, "Bruins Mauled by Islanders" said the Regina (SK) Leader Post, "Lowly Islanders Stun Champion Bruins" said the LA Times, "Good Grief" said the Boston Globe.

The New York Times relied on a wire service story, adding a very Times-like "Bruins are Upset by Islanders, 9-7" headline.  However, the next day veteran scribe Gerry Eskensazi penned a piece that was titled "And if They Last 1,000 Years, It Was Islanders' Finest Hour".


Phil Goyette earned the victory behind the bench for the Isles; he was relieved of his duties 11 days later with a record of 6-40-4.

The Isles and Bruins have played 148 regular season games since then, and the Isles have never scored nine goals against Boston again.  The Isles have played over 1,500 road games since, and have scored more than 9 goals only twice (in Atlanta in 1978 and in Toronto in 1984).

And oh yes, it made a young boy    wake up very happy the following morning -- his 9th birthday.

Perhaps it was Islander radio announcer Al Albert (who the Times referred to as Alan) said it best: "Expansion has diluted the Bruins."

The List to Date:
#36 -- January 18, 1973 -- Expansion Isles Beat the Champs
#37 -- November 28, 1979 -- Billy Smith is credited with a goal
#38 -- December 23, 1978 -- Trottier re-writes the record book
#39 -- February 11, 2011 -- Isles pound Pens 9-3
#40 -- Summer 2001 -- Isles hire Laviolette, trade for Peca and Yashin, claim Osgood.
March 16, 2010 -- Tavares' 5-point game.
February 13, 2011 -- Grab-Trick. 
March 31, 1990 -- Uwe, Uwe. 

Like any of these lists, my #2 may be your #20...
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Sunday, October 30, 2011

40 in 40 #36 -- Coming Soon

Have you been following my 40 in 40 series, celebrating 40 great moments in Islander history?  Moment #36 will be published on Monday morning.  It deals with one of the great upsets in Islander history.   Check back in this space Monday!

The list to date:
The List to Date:
#37 -- November 28, 1979 -- Billy Smith is credited with a goal
#38 -- December 23, 1978 -- Trottier re-writes the record book
#39 -- February 11, 2011 -- Isles pound Pens 9-3
#40 -- Summer 2001 -- Isles hire Laviolette, trade for Peca and Yashin, claim Osgood.
March 16, 2010 -- Tavares' 5-point game.
February 13, 2011 -- Grab-Trick. 
March 31, 1990 -- Uwe, Uwe. 


Nabakov Interview

Nabakov with David Pollak of the SJ Mercury News

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/2011/10/29/it-was-probably-the-best-10-years-of-my-life-out-there-nabokov-says-of-time-in-san-jose/
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny: San Jose 3, Isles 2 (OT)

"The Skinny"

 By Eric Hornick
 
Game 9
San Jose 3, Isles 2 (overtime)
 
Brett Burns scored a power play goal 1:07 into overtime as the San Jose Sharks took advantage of a disputed delay of game call to defeat the Islanders 3-2 before 11,742 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.   The overtime loss extends the Isles' winless streak to five games (0-3-2) but earns them a standings point for the second straight game (0-0-2).

Sharks Start Fast
Following a pre-game ceremony to honor the Islanders' 1992-93 Patrick Division Playoff Championship team, Steve Staios took a cross-checking penalty just 10 seconds into play.  Seven seconds later, Joe Pavelski converted a rebound off the goalpost to give the Sharks the advantage.

Powering Up
It was the Isles turn with the power play in the middle session as John Tavares and Michael Grabner scored power play goals eight minutes apart.  Tavares' goal was his 7th; he has points on 11 of the Isles' 18 goals.  It was also his 4th power play tally, tying him for the league lead with two other players.  Grabner deflected home a Kyle Okposo pass for his third goal of the season, as he became the first Isles forward other than Tavares to convert with the extra man.  The two goals went a bit against form as the Isles had scored only three 2nd period goals in their first eight games and San Jose had allowed only three 2nd period goals in their first eight games.

Sharks Get Even
The Islander lead lasted only 1:51.  Logan Couture tied the game at 13:19 of the second period with his 3rd goal of the season.  Neither team scored through the rest of regulation, setting up overtime.

Overtime is not Our Time
With 29 seconds gone in overtime, Travis Hamonic tried to play the puck up the near board to Tavares.  Replays indicated that the puck skimmed the boards before going out of play but the officials saw otherwise and awarded San Jose a power play for delay of game.  "The play happened pretty quickly on the ice. I chipped the puck off the glass and obviously the call was, what the call was," Hamonic said. "Those are the bounces you have to deal with sometimes."  Burns' blast from the top of the slot decided matters.  3-2 (overtime) Final.

Burned by Burns Again
It's Burns' second career overtime goal against the Isles. The first one came on February 9, 2008 in Minnesota.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 3-4-2 overall and 3-2-1 at home.  The Isles have earned points in four of their last five home games (3-1-1).
The Sharks win their 5th straight (all on the road) and improve to 6-3-0; they are 5-1-0 on the road.

Against the West
The Isles are now 1-0-1 against the Western Conference this season (1-0-1 at home, 0-0-0 on the road).  The Isles were 8-5-5 against the West last season and are 12-0-6 in their last 18 home games against Western foes dating back to a 4-1 loss to Evgeni Nabokov and San Jose on October 17, 2009.
In the Nets
Rick DiPietro, who had made his season debut in the shootout on Thursday, allowed goals on the Sharks' first and last shots but stopped 27 of 28 in between.  He is 0-0-2 this season.
Thomas Greiss finished with 35 saves as the Isles fired a season-high 37 shots against him.
Power Plays
The Islanders were 2-4 on the power play while the Sharks were also 2-4.   The Isles are now 7-33 on the power play and 31-36 on the penalty kill this season.  It's the third time this season that the Isles have scored two power play goals.  It's the first time this season that the Isles scored and allowed multiple power play goals.  It happened twice last season, both in victories (10/11/10 vs. NYR, 2/11/11 vs. Pittsburgh).
They Tweeted It 
@StapeNewsday  #Isles introducing 10 members of the 1992-93 team on hand for 20th anniv. Good to see one of the all-time characters, Darius Kasparaitis. 

Leading Ice Men
Andrew MacDonald led all players with 24:41.  Marc-Edouard Vlasic led the Sharks with 23:50 of ice-time.  Vlasic has five shots on goal and five blocked shots as well.

Stuck on 2
The Isles scored twice tonight and are still averaging two goals per game (18 goals in the first nine games). They have scored the fewest goals in the NHL.
Fewest Goals Scored, First 9 Games
·         17 in 1973-74
·         17 in 1998-99
·         18 in 1999-00
·         18 in 2010-11

108 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,892 goals in their history (excluding 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 108 shy of 10,000.

Still Searching
The Isles have two forwards (Josh Bailey and Jay Pandolfo) who have played every game and have yet to record a point.

Best D in a Decade
The Isles have allowed only 22 goals (does not include 1 in a shootout) in nine games (2.44 goals per game).  It's the fewest goals that the Isles have allowed in the first nine games since 2001-02 and the 9th time in their history that they have allowed 19 or fewer over the first eight.  The club record for Fewest Goals Allowed, First 9 Games is 17, set in 1974-75.

In the Circle
The Islanders rebounded from a 39% face-off night in Pittsburgh to win 34 of 62 (55%) face-offs.   Marty Reasoner was dominant in the circle, winning 14 of 17.

Missing Men
Mike Mottau, Trevor Gillies and Evgeni Nabakov were scratched.  The Isles have three players on injured reserve: Nino Niederreiter, Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic.  The Isles have lost 45 man-games to injury so far this season.

Ironmen
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 173 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 71 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.

More Points for Milan
Milan Jurcina played his second game of the season and the Isles have earned standings points in both of them.  Since joining the team last season, the Isles are 24-15-9 when Jurcina plays and 12-28-3 when he does not.

Com(eau)ing Along
Blake Comeau, who had only one shot on goal in his first six games had four shots on goal, as well as four hits.

Martin 7, Sharks 7
Matt Martin had seven hits, equaling the total for the Sharks, who were out-hit 16-7.

Stopping Joe
The Isles held Joe Thornton without a point, ending his five game point streak.  Thornton has 1,009 points in his career, more than any other NHL player since he debuted in 1997-98.  It's the second straight season that the Isles have held Thornton without a point.

From the Geniuses at Elias
Since expansion, only three power play goals have been scored earlier in a game than Pavelski's tally at 17 seconds:
·         13 seconds   12/09/1995 DAL  1   at TOR  3   Adams, Greg        
·         16 seconds   11/17/1985 BUF  3   vs TOR  5   Tucker, John           
·         16 seconds   01/10/1977 NYI   8   vs PHI   3   Trottier, Bryan       

Out With October
The Isles are 167-157-64 in 388 games played in October. 

Season Series Stats
The Sharks win the season series one game to none (two points to one).   The Isles are 1-3-2 vs. the Sharks since the lockout, including a 1-1-1 record on home ice. 

Happy Anniversary
20 years ago tonight: October 29, 1991.  Pierre Turgeon scored his first goal in an Islander uniform as the Isles scored four goals in the third period to pound the Sharks 8-4 at the Coliseum. 
Overall the Islanders are now 5-7-3 on this date, including 0-4-2 since defeating Montreal 5-2 on this date in 1997.   

On The Farm
Casey Cizikas scored two third period goals, including the winning tally with just 19 seconds to play as Bridgeport edged Connecticut 3-2 at Harbor Yard on Saturday.  Justin DiBenedetto scored his team-leading 8th goal and added an assist. Bridgeport is 4-4-1-0 , including 1-0-1-0 on their five-game homestand, which continues on Wednesday morning. 

Up Next
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD WINNIPEG AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU(88.7FM)]
 
After playing only nine games in the first 28 days of the season, the Isles begin a 13-game November (7 at home and 6 on the road) with their first meeting in 5,717 days with the Winnipeg Jets.

Two Islanders who were honored at the Shark game played in the last Isles –Jets game (3/9/1996): Darius Kasparaitis and Brad Dalgarno.  Derek Armstrong scored his first NHL goal as the Isles beat the Jets 4-2.  Overall, the Isles were 25-14-8 vs. the original Jets.

The current Jets played last season in Atlanta and swept a pair of one-goal games on Long Island.  Overall, the Isles are 1-2-1 vs. Atlanta last season.

This will be the first of four games between the two teams.  The Isles will visit Manitoba five days before Christmas and again on Valentine's Day, before hosting Winnipeg in the home finale on April 5th.

Note that this game will be televised on MSG+2.

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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ex- Isles McLellan leads SJSharks

You're forgiven if you don't remember Todd McLellan's NHL playing career, which consisted of 5 games for the Isles in the 1987-88 season.

McLellan made his NHL debut on December 28, 1987, when as a 20-year old he scored a goal for the Isles on his first shot in first game (at New Jersey). He added an assist in a home game against the Rangers the next day.  Those were his only NHL points.

McLellan also played in games against Pittsburgh on January 2nd and January 19th.  His final NHL game was in the regular season finale, in Boston, on April 3, 1988.

McLellan was the Isles 6th pick, 104th overall in 1986.  Tom Fitzgerald was a first round pick that year; Rich Pilon was drafted 143rd from that draft.  Both of those players played major roles in the 1992-93 Patrick Division Playoff champion team that will be honored tonight.

McLellan is one of three current NHL head coaches who played for the Islanders; Brent Sutter and Joe Sacco are the others.

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Nabakov talks to SJ reporter David Pollak


http://blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/2011/10/29/not-a-case-of-sharks-flu-says-injured-nabokov-and-mclellan-says-itll-be-greiss-in-net-tonight/

An excerpt:

<<
He's injured and won't play tonight, of course, and he said that's prompted some of his teammates to accuse him of having "Sharks flu."

But, Nabokov said, he had been looking forward to tonight's game for weeks and wanted to face the team on which he played for a decade.

"Absolutely," he said. "It's always nice to see ex-teammates and to play the game against them would be awesome. This was one of the things, when I came to training camp, I looked at the schedule and put a little dot right there.">>

Pollak will apparently have more on his thought process regarding reporting/not-reporting later on.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Thomas Greiss to face #Isles

Looks like Thomas Greiss will make his first career start against the Isles tonight.

Greiss played 9:36 of the second period in a game against the Isles on February 18, 2008.  Greiss temporarily replaced Evgeni Nabakov, who had been injured when a shot by Radek Martinek hit him in the mask.  Nabakov returned to the game for the third period as the Isles rallied from a 2-0 deficit early in the period to defeat the Sharks 3-2.

Greiss hasn't played in two weeks, and is 1-2-0 on the season.  He played in Sweden last season.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Friday, October 28, 2011

Damien Cox on #islesTavares

Fairly lengthy piece in the Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/article/1077385--cox-maturing-tavares-learning-hard-lessons-on-island

A snippet:
"I just think I was happy here," he said. "I saw the way (GM) Garth (Snow) and ownership has wanted to change the culture here. I see it every day and I'm a part of it. I want to be part of turning things around. There was no reason for me not to want to re-sign. Once we started talking, they were close right away.
"I was more than happy to be an Islander.""
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

In memory

The Islander family (and most of NY sports) lost a widow of a NY sports legend yesterday.  Geraldine (Gerry) Kremenko passed at the age of 91.

Gerry's husband Barney was one of the most popular sportswriters of his time, covering first the baseball Giants (it was he who gave Willie Mays the "Say Hey Kid" nickname), and later the early days of the Mets. He later did public relations and publicity for both the Nets and of course the Islanders and was associated with the Isles until his passing in 1990. 

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Only the shootout: #isles DiPietro is the 5th in #nhl history. All have lost.

I now have compiled the complete list.  DiPietro is the 5th goalie to appear only in a shootout.  All have lost the game.

The others:
10/22/2008  Toronto v Anaheim.  Curtis Joseph replaced Vesa Toskala for shootout (coach's decision).
10/26/2006  Atlanta v Philadelphia.  Kari Lehtonen replaced Johan Hedberg (coach's decision).
3/7/2006   Edmonton v Dallas.  Mark Morrison replac
ed Ty Conklin for Edmonton (coach's decision). 
11/22/2005  Buffalo v NY Rangers.  Martin Biron replaced Mika Noronen for Buffalo (injured during shootout).

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Skinny revision: Cujo also did it. #isles

Add Curtis Joseph to the list of goalies who played only in the shootout after not appearing in the game.  With thanks to TSN, Joseph replaced Vesa Toskala for the shootout in the 10/22/2008 Toronto-Anaheim game.  Ron Wilson's move didn't work -- the Ducks won the shootout in 2 rounds.  (Unfortunately my original source doesn't note this game.)
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Capuano/Nabakov post-game interview link #Isles

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=131064
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Skinny: #Pens 3, #Isles 2 (shootout)

"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
 
Game 8
Pittsburgh 3, Isles 2 (shootout)
 
Evgeni Malkin beat emergency replacement Rick DiPietro for the only goal of the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 2-0 third period deficit to defeat the Islanders 3-2 before 18,461 at the Consol Energy Center.   The shootout loss extends the Isles' winless streak to four games (0-3-1) but earns them a standings point for the first time since October 15th.

Neilsen Breaks Through
Frans Nielsen converted a rebound in front of Marc-Andre Fleury at 18:59 of the first for the session's only goal.  It was Frans' 2nd goal of the season and stopped several scoreless/shutout streaks: 
·         1st goal for the Isles in 104:27 
·         1st even strength goal for the Isles in 211:04
·         1st goal allowed by the Penguins, and by Fleury in 97:12
·         1st goal the Isles have scored in Pittsburgh in 167:44 dating back to last October 15th.
 
Doubling Up
The Penguins dominated the middle session, outshooting the Isles 13-2 but Evgeny Nabakov was superb in nets to keep the score 1-0.  Only 45 seconds into the third period, the Isles made it 2-0 as Matt Martin beat Fleury.  Steve Staios and Marty Reasoner earned assists. It was the first point of the season for all three players.

Here Come the Pens
The score stayed 2-0 for only 44 seconds.  Chris Kunitz beat Nabakov to break the shutout.  Kyle Okposo was then called for goalie interference and the Penguins connected on the ensuing advantage as James Neal tallied for the 9th time this season.  Neither team scored the rest of the way in regulation or in overtime.  The Penguins outshot the Isles for the game 32-19.

Enter DiPietro
Nobody could have expected what came next.  Rick DiPietro was brought in to replace Nabakov for the shootout for his first game action of the season.  Islander coach Jack Capuano explained to MSG's Peter Ruttgaizer "Nabby obviously wasn't feeling well so we had to go to Ricky."   After a scoreless first inning (Kris Letang and Frans Nielsen), Malkin beat DiPietro for the shootout's only tally.  PA Parenteau, James Neal and then John Tavares all were stopped or missed the and the Penguins had the victory.  3-2 (Shootout) Final.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 3-4-1 overall and 0-2-1 on the road.  It's the Isles' first point on the road since a 5-2 win in Tampa last March 22nd (0-5-1).
The Penguins win their 5th straight and improve to 8-2-2; they are 4-1-1 at home.  Their 18 points are the most in the NHL; however no other team has played more than ten games.

Division Games
The Isles are now 1-1-1 in the division.  They are 0-0-0 vs. New Jersey, 1-0-0 vs. New York, 0-0-0 vs. Philadelphia, and 0-1-1 vs. Pittsburgh.  The Isles were 6-13-5 in divisional games last season.

In the Nets
Nabakov made 30 saves but remains 1-2-0 on the season.  Nabokov has allowed only nine goals on 123 shots this season (2.23 GAA, 92.7 save percentage).
DiPietro is 0-0-1 this season and is now 19-11 in his career in shootouts.
Fleury made 17 saves.  He has stopped 100 of 104 shots over the last four games, all Penguin wins. 

Only the Shootout
DiPietro is not the first goalie in NHL history to appear only in the shootout.  On March 7, 2006, Mark Morrison replaced Ty Conklin for Edmonton (coach's decision).  Edmonton lost in the shootout to Dallas.
DiPietro will be credited for a game played, but no time.  He is the first Islander goalie to play less than a minute since Kevin Poulin did so last February 2nd as he replaced DiPietro with 17 seconds to play in a loss in Pittsburgh.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-2 on the power play while the Penguins were 1-6.   The Isles are now 5-29 on the power play and 29-32 on the penalty kill this season.  They have killed 28 of the last 30 power plays against them.  The Isles have been held to two power plays three times in their last four games.

They Tweeted It 
@RobRossiTrib  Shootout between #Pens #Islanders in PGH, not to be confused with the other shootout between #Flyers #Jets  [Winnipeg won 9-8 in Philadelphia tonight]

Leading Ice Men
Mark Streit led the Isles with a club season-high 27:31; it was his most ice-time since he played 31:02 vs. St. Louis on March 11, 2010.  Kris Letang led all players with 30:16 of ice-time.

200 Club
Kyle Okposo played his 200th NHL/Isles game, one game after Matt Moulson had done so.

Stuck on 2
The Isles scored twice tonight and are still averaging two goals per game (16 goals in the first eight games). They remain tied with the Rangers for the fewest goals in the NHL.

Fewest Goals Scored, First 8 Games
·         15 in 1973-74
·         16 in 2010-11
·         16 in 1998-99
·         18 in 2009-10  (17 + 1 goal for winning a shootout)
·         18 in 1972-73
·         18 in 1996-97
·         18 in 1999-00

After Two
The Isles have earned points in all three games (2-0-1) that they have led after two periods.  Tonight's win for Pittsburgh was their first when trailing after 2 periods since April 3, 2010 vs. Atlanta (4-3 OT).

Under 20
The Isles have been held to fewer than 20 shots three times in the first eight games (1-1-1) after being held below 20 only five times all last season.

71 to Go
The Isles have scored 9,929 goals in their history (including 39 shootout winners), leaving the club 71 shy of 10,000.

Still Searching
The Isles have two forwards (Josh Bailey and Jay Pandolfo) who have played every game and have yet to record a point.

Best D Since Lockout
The Isles have allowed only 19 goals (does not include 1 in a shootout) in eight games (2.38 goals per game).  It's the fewest goals that the Isles have allowed in the first eight games since the lockout and the 7th time in their history that they have allowed 19 or fewer over the first eight.  The club record for Fewest Goals Allowed, First 8 Games is 16, set in 1974-75 and equaled in 1976-77.

In the Circle
The Islanders won only 24 of 62 (39%) face-offs.   No Islander won more than he lost.  Joe Vitale won 7 of 8 for Pittsburgh.  The Isles have won a majority of face-offs in only two of the first eight games.

Missing Men
Milan Jurcina made his season debut, replacing Mike Mottau in the lineup. Trevor Gillies and Al Montoya were scratched.  The Isles have three players on injured reserve: Nino Niederreiter, Rhett Rakhshani and Mark Katic.  The Isles have lost 41 man-games to injury so far this season.

Ironmen
Matt Moulson, the Isles' reigning ironman, has played in all 172 games since joining the team. Travis Hamonic has now played 70 NHL games (all consecutive); he has the longest consecutive game streak on defense for the Isles.

Enter Milan
Jurcina's return to the lineup (11:41, 4 hits) marked the Isles' first change on defense this season.  They had used the same six defenders for the first seven games; it's the longest streak to start a season since Butch Goring started the same sextet in the first 16 games of the 2000-01 season.   The Isles were 24-15-7 with Jurcina in the lineup last season.

Season Series Stats
The Penguins lead the season series two games to none (four points to one).   The Isles are now 0-11-2 in their last 13 games in Pittsburgh and 0-2-2 at the Consol Energy Center.

Happy Anniversary
13 years ago tonight: October 27, 1998.  Tommy Salo made 20 saves and Joe Sacco had the only goal as the Islanders blanked the Los Angeles Kings 1-0. 
Overall the Islanders are now 7-10-4 on this date, including 0-4-1 since defeating Montreal 2-1 on this date in 2000.   This date has older historical meaning for the Isles as well – Al Arbour won his first game as Islander coach as the Isles defeated the Rangers for their first time (1973) and Bryan Trottier played his 1,000th NHL game (1988).

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 3-4-0-0 as they start a five-game homestand against Worcester on Friday and Connecticut on Saturday.  Justin DiBenedetto leads the team in scoring (7-0-7) while captain Jeremy Colliton, David Ullstrom and rookie Casey Cizikas each have five points. 

Up Next
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29TH ISLANDERS AT SAN JOSE 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU(88.7FM)]
 
The Islanders return home to start a three-game homestand as they entertain San Jose on Saturday night.  The teams met once last season, and San Jose prevailed 2-1 in a shootout in Scott Gordon's penultimate game as Islander coach.

The Islanders will be catching the Sharks on the back-end of a back-to-back.  San Jose will face rival Detroit on Friday night before heading to Long Island.

The Isles are 1-3-1 vs. the Sharks since the Lockout, including a 1-1-0 record on home ice.  The last Islander victory over the Sharks was on February 21, 2008 when the Isles rallied from a 2-0 third period deficit for a 3-2 victory; Freddy Meyer scored the winning goal.

The 1992-93 team will be honored before the game.  To understand why, watch this: http://video.islanders.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=757&id=3904

The Isles will also be celebrating Halloween a few days early.  Check http://islanders.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=74535 for information on special ticket discounts.

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