As I watch Buffalo and Winnipeg battle tonight, it's hard to know who the Isles should even root for. A Buffalo win would keep the Isles five points out of 8th (as long as it's in regulation) but would leave the Isles five points behind two teams. A Jet win would leave the Isles 7 points behind a Winnipeg team that has a bunch of road games ahead.
However, in every playoff race, you always think about the points that you didn't get...and for the Isles this season, there are more than a few:
- October 27 -- Nabokov injured, leaves before shootout in game Isles led 3-1. DiPietro loses shutout in Pittsburgh.
- October 29 -- Isles honor 1993 team before a game against San Jose, then allow a power play goal only 17 seconds into play. The Isles rebound to tie but a phantom delay call on Travis Hamonic in overtime seals their fate.
- November 10 -- In Colorado, Isles appear to be rebounding from 6-2 loss three nights earlier in Boston, only to blow a 3-0 lead and lose in overtime.
- November 23 -- A 3-1 lead gets away in a Turkey Eve loss in overtime to Philadelphia.
- December 2 -- Isles dominate 3rd period (and overtime) in Chicago, but can only tie the game. The shootout goes the Hawks' way.
- December 15- Isles lead Dallas 2-1 at home after 2, but lose 3-2 -- first home regulation loss to Western Conference since 10/17/2009.
- January 6- Isles lead then-slumping Anaheim 2-1 midway through the third but allow a Bobby Ryan SH goal to tie, and fall 4-2
- February 4- Isles led Buffalo 3-1 late in 2nd but lose 4-3 in a shootout; Ryan Miller made nine saves in overtime.
- February 28- Isles lead 2-0 in Washington with 3 1/2 minutes to play but lose 3-2 in overtime
11 points lost (plus points gained by Buffalo and Washington) that the Isles would like to get back, but can't.
Of course there have been games that have gone the other way too; most notably the Nabokov 1-0 shootout shutout in Philadelphia, but you forget those a lot quicker than you forget the ones that got away.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick