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"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bring on the Canucks

The Canucks make their first visit to Long Island in 33 months when they visit the Isles on Tuesday night.

I wonder if we might see Kevin Poulin in goal.  Poulin was in nets the last time these teams played at the Coliseum (January 11, 2011) and had a memorable performance-- Kevin made 48 saves, the most by an Isles rookie since Billy Smith  made 55 saves on November 22, 1972 in Philadelphia.
  • He became the first goalie under the age of 21 to face 51 shots in an NHL game since Dan Blackburn did so for the Rangers on November 23, 2001.  (Nobody else has done it since)
  • He also became the only goalie under the age of 21 to make at least 48 saves in an NHL game since at least the 1987-88 season (which is the earliest data in hockey-reference.com's database). Steve Mason and Jose Theodore each made 47 saves in a game as a 20-year old.
The Canucks got a late goal from Kevin Bieska to tie and then won the game (4-3) in the shootout, extending their point streak to 17 games (14-0-3).

Speaking of Vancouver, John Tavares of course had one of his best games as a rookie against the Canucks, going 2-3-5 with a +4 in his first trip to Vancouver (March 16, 2010 in an Islander 5-2 win).

Vancouver will have John Tortorella behind the bench.  The Isles were 5-5-2 against Torts at the Coliseum when he served as the coach of the Rangers; his last Coliseum visit was that memorable 1-0 NYR overtime win (Dan Girardi goal) last April.

The Canucks may also have Jeremy Welsh in the line-up.  This is meaningful mainly to Jeremy Welsh (and to me, as Jeremy is a Union graduate -- he left school after leading Union to the Frozen Four his junior year but had enough credits to graduate with his class; his thesis topic was "the marginal revenue products of NHL players," or in plain English, whether NHL players are paid what they're worth.)  Welsh will be looking for his first NHL goal--no former Union Dutchmen has ever scored a goal in the NHL.  Of course, the most successful NHL player to have played at Union was Steve Baker, and he was a goalie.
 
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

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