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The Skinny: Isles 3, Washington 1

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 30 Isles 3, Washington 1 Andrew Ladd and John Tavares scored goals in the first 1:34 of the 2nd ...

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Skinny on the Opener


"The Skinny"

By Eric Hornick
The Skinny returns all season long beginning Friday.  Here is some Opening Night Skinny to get you started.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4th—ISLANDERS AT NEW JERSEY 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), 88.7 WRHU-FM]
 
The Islanders begin their 42nd NHL season when they visit New Jersey.
  It's the first of five meetings this season with New Jersey, who will be the only team to visit the Coliseum three times for the second straight season.  The Isles won last season's series 3 games to 2 (and 6 points to 5), winning both games at Prudential Center;
it's the first time since 1998-99 that the Isles have swept the season series in New Jersey.
 

It's the first time in five seasons that the Isles are opening on the road. The Isles are 10-22-8 in 40 previous road openers and are 9-21-10 on Opening Night (including 7-17-8 when they open on the road). The Devils will actually open their season on Thursday in Pittsburgh before returning to Newark for their home opener.

This is the 2nd straight season that the Islanders have opened with New Jersey.  The Devils edged the Islanders 2-1 at the Nassau Coliseum on January 19th. Jack Capuano missed that game due to kidney stones.

Opening Night Skinny:
This is the 5th time that the Isles have opened the season against the Devils and New Jersey has won the first four (1984 and 1992 at the Meadowlands, 2008 at The Rock and in January at the Coliseum). The Isles also opened the 1975-76 season with a 1-1 tie in Kansas City (the Devils' original home).

The Isles will be looking for their first win on Opening Night since 2007 (0-3-2); it is the longest current streak in the NHL.  No current Islander played in that game, a 6-4 win in Buffalo in which Mike Comrie scored two goals and added two assists.  The Isles are 1-7-2 in their last ten Opening Nights.

If Evgeni Nabokov gets the start on Friday night, he will end a streak just by playing. The Isles have used five starting goaltenders (Rick DiPietro-Joey MacDonald-Dwayne Roloson-Al Montoya-Evgeni Nabokov) in the five previous openers.

John Tavares is the 14th captain in Islander history.  All-time, the Isles are 5-7-1 in their first game under a new captain, including 3-6-1 when the new captain starts a season.  The Isles have had a new captain for the first game of every-other season since 2005:  2005 (Alexei Yashin), 2007 (Bill Guerin), 2009 (Doug Weight), 2011 (Mark Streit).

Tavares is only the sixth Islander captain to be drafted by the team.  Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Brent Sutter, Patrick Flatley and Bryan McCabe are the others, and all served in succession from 1977-1998.  In fact, the Isles have an all-drafted leadership team as Andrew MacDonald and Kyle Okposo will serve as alternate captains.

This is the 5th time in club history that the Isles will open on the road, and then have their home opener the following night.  The Isles are 1-2-1 in the road game (including losses in New Jersey in both 1984 and 2008) and are 4-0-0 in the home game.  The Isles opened at home and then played the next night on the road in 1980, when they defeated Boston and Washington in their first two games as Stanley Cup Champions.

The Isles have been involved in three shutouts on Opening Night.  Chico Resch blanked the Flyers in 1976, while the Kings (Stephane Fiset in 1996) and Panthers (Jose Theodore in 2011) turned the trick on the Isles.

And some other Skinny notes:
Chhh Chhh Changes
The Isles reached the 23-man roster limit on Monday.  Of the 23 players on last year's opening night roster, only 16 remain.  Gone are Keith Aucoin, Brad Boyes, Rick DiPietro, Joe Finley, Radek Martinek, Marty Reasoner and David Ullstrom; they have been replaced by Josh Bailey (from injured list), Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brock Nelson, Kevin Poulin, Peter Regin, Griffin Reinhart and Lubomir Visnovsky.
Of the 23 Isles on the active roster, Griffin Reinhart is the only one to have never played an NHL game.  Brock Nelson appeared in one playoff game (game 6) last spring and will be looking to make his regular season debut.

Youth Be Served
The Islanders 23-man roster consists of three players born in the 1970s (Eric Boulton, Evgeni Nabokov and Ludomir Visnovsky) and three seven players born in the 1990s (Casey Cizikas, Matt Donovan, Travis Hamonic, Brock Nelson, Kevin Poulin, Griffin Reinhart and John Tavares).  The other 13 players were born in the 1980s.
Reinhart is the only teenager on the roster and by far the youngest Islander; he'll turn 20 in January.  Fellow rookie Brock Nelson is the second youngest player -- he will turn 22 later this month.

Stability at the Top
Jack Capuano begins the season as the 9th-longest tenured coach with his current team while Garth Snow begins the season as the 10th-longest tenured GM with his current squad.
Of the nine New York head coaches/managers, only Tom Coughlin, Rex Ryan and Joe Girardi were appointed before Capuano, who assumed his role with the Islanders eight days before Terry Collins became the manager of the Mets.

Road Warriors
The Isles finished last season with the second-best road record in the East, behind only Pittsburgh. The Isles earned 32 points out of 48 possible road points; their .667 point percentage was the highest in franchise history. They finished above .500 on the road for the first time since 2006-07, and had their second best record ever thru 24 road games:

Most points in first 24 road games (all time):
·         34 in 1976-77 (15-5-4)
·         33 in 1980-81 (15-6-3)
·         32 in 2012-13 (14-6-4)
·         31 in 1978-79 (13-6-5)
·         28 in 1983-84 (13-9-2)
The Isles ended the regular season with a three-game road winless streak (0-1-2); it was the only time all season that they went three straight road games without a win.

Second to One
Jack Capuano is now 2nd on the all-time Islander list in both games coached (195) and wins (84). Capuano will coach his 200th game on October 12th in Nashville.

Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 84
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 195
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181

What a Pair!
John Tavares and Matt Moulson combined for 43 goals last season.  Moulson assisted on 20 Tavares goals last season after assisting on 12 of his 31 goals in 2011-12.  Tavares earned an assist on 10 Moulson goals last season. 

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 249 career points; he is 56 points ahead of Matt Duchene for most among 2009 draft picks.  No other player in that draft is anywhere close.  Tavares also has more goals and more assists than any other player in that draft.

118 NHL Goals
Moulson has 118 career goals (112 as an Islander).  While 262 players were selected before the Penguins chose Moulson in the 2003 entry draft, only 16 have more goals. 

All–time Winners
The Islanders are 9 games over all-time NHL .500 (1371-1362-439 in 3,172 games).  The Isles have finished every season since 1977-78 above all-time NHL .500.

Ironmen
John Tavares is the reigning Islanders' ironman. Tavares has now played in 207 consecutive games.
Two other Islanders played in every game for the second straight season: Frans Nielsen and former captain Mark Streit have each played in 130 consecutive games.
Five more players played in every game last season: Kyle Okposo (now 113 consecutive games), Travis Hamonic (70), Matt Martin (61), Andrew Mac Donald & Brad Boyes (48).

Longest Consecutive Game Streaks, Post Cup Era 
·         Matt Moulson 10/3/2009- 4/4/2013  284
·         Richard Park 10/5/2006 – 2/18/2009 221
·         Bryan McCabe 10/7/1995-2/4/1998 220
·         Bryan Trottier 3/7/1981- 1/12/1984 219
·         Mariusz Czerkawski 12/23/1999 – 4/14/2002 215
·         John Tavares 10/16/10 – CURRENT  207

Career Wins, Active Goalies
Career Wins
17. Roberto Luongo 348
18. Gump Worsley 335
20. Nikolai Khabibulin 332
Career Shutouts, Active Goalies
4. Tomas Vokoun 51
Career Shutouts
18 Clint Benedict       57
19 Evgeni Nabokov 55
20 Bernie Parent       54
20 Ed Giacomin        54
Career Goals as an Islander
21
Ray Ferraro
116
22
Matt Moulson
112
22
John Tavares
112
24
Benoit Hogue
105
24
Ed Westfall
105
Career Assists as an Islander
26
Steve Thomas
140
27
Mark Streit
139
28
Greg Gilbert
138
29
John Tavares
137
30
Frans Nielsen
136
31
Jason Blake
131





Career Games as an Islander (skaters)
39
Randy Wood
381
40
Frans Nielsen
367
41
Dave Scatchard
347



49
Shawn Bates
330
50
Josh Bailey
329
51
Eric Cairns
327
52
Alan Kerr
326
53
Brad Dalgarno
321
54
Kyle Okposo
319
55
Ray Ferraro
316
55
Steve Webb
316
55
Richard Park
316
58
Gerald Diduck
314
59
Mikko Makela
307
60
Gordon Lane
304
61
Arron Asham
300
61
Roman Hamrlik
300
63
Matt Moulson
293
64
John Tavares
291
65
Gordon Dineen
287
Career Points as an Islander
21
Jason Blake
258
21
Steve Thomas
258
23
John Tavares
249
23
David Volek
249
25
Ray Ferraro
238



31
Mikko Makela
219
32
Matt Moulson
214
32
Mark Parrish
214
34
Garry Howatt
213
34
Jean Potvin
213
36
Anders Kallur
211
37
Marty McInnis
198
38
Wayne Merrick
197
39
Frans Nielsen
196
40
Robert Goring
195
41
Jeffrey Norton
188
42
Kyle Okposo
185
43
Lorne Henning
184



 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 January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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