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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Skinny: Isles 5, Boston 3 (preseason)

The Isles improved to 4-1-0 in the pre-season with a 5-3 win in Boston.  With just over three minutes to play, Cal Clutterbuck broke a 3-3 tie with a blast that Jeremy Smith couldn't handle.  Scott Mayfield added an empty net from 172 feet away to seal the win.

For the second straight game, the Isles allowed a 2 goal lead get away, but came back to win the game.

It's the third time this pre-season a two goal lead has been erased in a game the Isles won.  They trailed Ottawa 2-0 before winning 3-2 in a shootout and led New Jersey 2-0 before wining 3-2 in a shootout.  Tonight, the Isles led 3-1 with two goals late in the second and then allowed two goals 43 seconds apart early in the third before Clutterbuck's winning tally.

The Scoring: (from NHL.com)
1st Period
06:45BOS Patrice Bergeron (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brad Marchand (1) 1 - 0 BOS
2nd Period
08:20NYI PPG - TJ Brennan (1) Slapshot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (1), Kyle Okposo (1) 1 - 1 Tie
17:20NYI Kyle Okposo (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Hickey (1), Ryan Strome (1) 2 - 1 NYI
18:24NYI Cory Conacher (1) Snap shot - ASST: John Tavares (1), Cal Clutterbuck (1) 3 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
02:47BOS SHG - Matt Bartkowski (1) Snap shot - ASST: Patrice Bergeron (1), Adam McQuaid (1) 3 - 2 NYI
03:30BOS Brad Marchand (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Loui Eriksson (1) 3 - 3 Tie
16:51NYI Cal Clutterbuck (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE 4 - 3 NYI
18:49NYI EN - Scott Mayfield (1) Slapshot - ASST: NONE 5 - 3 NYI

The Skinny --- Isles were outshot 29-27 despite outshooting Boston 16-6.  The Isles outhit the Bruins, IN BOSTON, by a 35-21 margin.  Mayfield and Clutterbuck were both +3 but the the Tavares line du jour (Okposo and Conacher) were all -2.

The Isles would certainly like to duplicate the 4-1-0 start to the pre-season when the regular campaign opens; however only once since Denis Potvin retired have they earned at least 8 points in the first five games -- that came in 2001-02, when they opened 4-0-0-1 (and eventually 9-0-1-1).

Line of the Night:  NESN's Jack Edwards, noting the Tom Caron will call the play-by-play of the rematch on Friday night in Bridgeport:  "I have a family obligation that is nearly 6,000 years old".  Friday's game will be played at the beginning of Yom Kippur.

The Isles will be in New Jersey on Thursday (WRHU) before playing in Bridgeport Friday (WRHU, Islanders TV) to close out the pre-season.

 The complete Skinny will return on Opening Night.

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

2 of 12 USA Today voters pick #JT91 to win league MVP

Stuck in an airport today I had plenty of time to enjoy USA Today's Special NHL preview.

Isles fans are hoping (and expecting) John Tavares to be as good as new this season -- and they're not the only ones.

Tavares, who turned 24 earlier this month, was forecast as the NHL MVP by two of the 12 members of USA Today's power ranking panel.

Former NHL goaltender and now TV analyst Darren Eliot as well as Jimmy Hascup, a USA Today producer, both picked Tavares.  Ironically both picked the Rangers to win the Metropolitan Division.

Sidney Crosby (4x) and Steven Stamkos (3x) were the other players selected more than once.

9 of the 12 balloters picked a Western Conference team to hoist the Cup in June, with Chicago named 4 times.

The Isles were picked by only 4 of the 12 balloters to be a playoff team.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Skinny: Isles 3, New Jersey 2 (shootout)

The real Skinny returns in two weeks... but the Isles recorded their first-ever win at Barclays Center with a 3-2 shootout victory over New Jersey before 11,823.

The Isles grabbed a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Ryan Pulock and Colin McDonald, dominating the session in shots by an 11-3 margin, but could not hold it, as Martin Havlat and Michael Ryder each scored on a power play for the Devils.  The Devils outshot the Isles 24-11 in the 2nd and 3rd periods, before the Isles controlled the overtime by a 5-1 margin.  The skills competition followed, and Brock Nelson scored the deciding goal for the Isles.

The Scoring:
08:21NYIPPG - Ryan Pulock (1) Slapshot - ASST: John Tavares (1), Anders Lee (1)1 - 0 NYI
11:32NYIColin McDonald (1) Snap shot - ASST: NONE2 - 0 NYI
08:08NJDPPG - Martin Havlat (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Andy Greene (1), Patrik Elias (1)2 - 1 NYI
01:51NJDPPG - Michael Ryder (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Peter Harrold (1), Scott Gomez (1)2 - 2 Tie

The Shootout
John Tavares (NG), Reid Boucher (G), Kyle Okposo (G), Adam Henrique (NG), Brock Nelson (G), Martin Havlat (NG)

Random thoughts:
Devils took all three 1st period penalties, allowing Isles to build momentum.  Isles took the final four -- leading to both Devils goals, and totally changing the game. The Isles have reportedly spent no time on special teams yet...Both goalies played well.  Keith Kinkaid allowed a gimme to Colin McDonald but was otherwise sharp, including a couple of great stops in overtime.  Chad Johnson was beaten only on power plays-- if he comes close to matching his .925 save percentage and 2.10 GAA from last season the Isles will be in good shape in nets.... In addition to scoring a goal, I thought that Ryan Pulock looked pretty solid on defense.... TJ Brennan also had a strong game, paired mainly with Travis Hamonic (who played over 27 minutes)... Isles dominated the face-off circle by a 30-19 margin; at one point it was 24-7 in the Isles favor...

Rule Changes:
There have been changes to the rules regarding OT and shootouts.  The overtime is now preceded by the dry scrape -- this will add a few minutes to the overall time of games that are settled in overtime.  I really like the rule change that has the teams play the long change in the overtime session.  

There is no scrape before the shootout -- this left the ice a bit choppier than it has been in recent years.  Teams no longer name their shooters in advance,  Thus the previous short break between regulation and overtime  now occurs before the shootout.

And About Barclays:
This was the second time I have been in the building (I saw a Nets game during the NHL lockout).... Our broadcast position was quite good -- similar to where the Devils home broadcasters sit at Prudential Center.  We are essentially in the stands, which meant I got to say hello to a few loyal Skinny readers!  The off-center scoreboard did not bother me a bit and my family enjoyed their view from behind the nets.  ...  The concourses are wide, the bathrooms are clean.  A first rate facility although it will be interesting to hear about how fans felt about the views from other spots.   We were off the air by about 10:15 and I made a 10:29 direct train home.

The remainder of the pre-season schedule:


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


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Skinny on Justin Johnson

If you watched the last telecast of last season, the very last shot on MSG+ was of an Islander player hugging his goaltender:

That player was Justin Johnson, who was playing in his second (and likely final) NHL game.  Johnson saw about 13 minutes of total ice-time over the last two games of the regular season, but for him it might have felt like 13 hours.  Johnson turned 33 in May and yesterday it was announced that the Alaskan native had signed an ECHL contract to return to his home-state Alaska Aces. (h/t Mike Fornabaio)

He'll always have those two games, hopefully a copy of that image, and maybe this fan's tweet:  @JimGolembowski  I have been more inspired by watching Justin Johnson's 2 games than some others' 15 year careers.He's everyman #isles

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Move over Trotts, here comes Merlyn Philips. The Skinny on an NHL record book change

On March 22, 1984,  Bryan Trottier scored a goal 5 seconds into an Isles game in Boston.  (It was an unusual broadcast that night as Ed Westfall came down with laryngitis)

Trottier became the second player in modern NHL history to score :05 into play (Doug Smail did so for Winnipeg in 1981); Buffalo's Alex Mogilny would join them in the record book in 1991.  For the past two decades, those three players have had the record book to themselves.

The NHL, however, is in the midst of digitizing old records and in doing so, they found a goal by a guy named Merlyn Phillips nearly 88 years after it happened.  Phillips, playing for the Montreal Maroons, scored 5 seconds into a game in Chicago on December 29, 1926.  Phillips played 278 games for the Maroons; he finished his NHL career with the NY Americans in the 1932-33 season.  
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

The Skinny: Isles 3, Ottawa 2 (shootout - evening game)

The Isles completed a sweep of the day-night doubleheader with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Ottawa in St. John's Newfoundland.

Cal Clutterbuck's 5th round shootout goal proved to be the decisive tally, making a winner of Kevin Poulin (in relief of Jaroslav Halak).

Newly-acquired Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and an assist for the Isles.  Josh Bailey scored the tying goal late in the second period and also scored in the 4th round of the shootout.

Here's the box from STATS:

Scoring Summary
1st Period
Clarke MacArthur (Power Play)
Assists: Mark Stone, Kyle Turris
Senators 1-0
Curtis Lazar (Power Play)
Assists: David Legwand, Matt Puempel
Senators 2-0
2nd Period
Mikhail Grabovski
Assists: Cory Conacher, Nikolai Kulemin
Senators 2-1
Josh Bailey
Assists: Mikhail Grabovski
Tied 2-2
3rd Period
No Goals Scored
Overtime 1
No Goals Scored


F. NielsenR. Lehner Missed

K. TurrisK. Poulin Missed

M. GrabovskiR. Lehner Missed

E. KarlssonK. Poulin Missed

C. ConacherR. Lehner Missed

M. StoneK. Poulin Missed

J. BaileyR. Lehner Made

C. GreeningK. Poulin Made

C. ClutterbuckR. Lehner Made

M. PuempelK. Poulin Missed

The Isles will return to Long Island and practice tomorrow.  The only (and final) Coliseum pre-season game will be on Wednesday at 7pm against Carolina. That game will be webcast on IslandersTV and broadcast on WRHU (88.7FM).

The Isles won the afternoon game 3-2.  Details here: NYISkinny: Eric Hornick's Blog: The Skinny: Isles 3, Ottawa 2 (afternoon game)

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

The Skinny: Isles 3, Ottawa 2 (afternoon game)

Okay, you'll have to wait about 2 1/2 weeks for the real thing, but the Isles did win the matinee with the Sens 3-2.  Game 2 at 6pm ET.  Ottawa radio is carrying both games with Dean Brown called pbp.  Pre-game show for game 2 essentially began when game 1 ended (I'm not kidding).

Listen here: TSN 1200

Here's the scoring on the matinee from STATS, Inc.

1st Period
Brock Nelson (Power Play)
Assists: Anders Lee, Ryan Strome
Islanders 1-0
Alex Chiasson
Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Milan Michalek
Tied 1-1
2nd Period
Sebastian Collberg
Assists: Brock Nelson, Kevin Czuczman
Islanders 2-1
Cole Schneider
Assists: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Shane Prince
Tied 2-2
3rd Period
Jack Skille
Assists: Casey Cizikas, Harry Zolnierczyk
Islanders 3-2

Wouldn't give much credence to anything else that appears in the Stats boxscore (It has all of the Islander shots taken by Brock Nelson and all of Ottawa's by Alex Chiasson).  Chad Johnson and David Leggio split the game for the Isles.  I believe Leggio gave up the tying goal in the 2nd period but made a couple of big saves late.

The game-winning goal scorer, Jack Skille, was the 7th overall pick in 2005.  Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson, Benoit Pouliot and Carey Price were the top 5, but he was picked ahead of guys such as Anze Kopitar, Marc Staal and Devon Setoguchi.  He was also picked ahead of Ryan O'Marra (15th by the Isles).

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

It's game day (x 2)!

The NHL pre-season began on Sunday and on Monday it's the Islanders' turn as they head to St. John's Newfoundland to play Ottawa in a split-team double-header.

There's no Isles radio and no TV of the contests but Ottawa's TSN 1200 will carry both games.
Listen live: TSN 1200
TSN 1200
Listen live to TSN 1200 with our new live streaming player featuring Instant Repla...
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The first game at Mile One Center  is 1:30 ET (3:00 local time); the second game is at 6:00 ET (7:30 local time).

The Isles rosters for the two games (from islanders.nhl.com):

Afternoon Roster

30 - Chad Johnson
35 - David Leggio

3 - Travis Hamonic
6 - Ryan Pulock
8 - Griffin Reinhart
24 - Kevin Czuczman42 - Scott Mayfield
44 - Calvin de Haan

13 - Colin McDonald
16 - Harry Zolnierczyk
18 - Ryan Strome
20 - Jack Skille
27 - Anders Lee
29 - Brock Nelson
36 - Eric Boulton
48 - Kael Mouillierat
49 - Sebastian Collberg
53 - Casey Cizikas
66 - Joshua Ho-Sang
71 - Michael Dal Colle

Evening Roster
41 - Jaroslav Halak60 - Kevin Poulin
4 - TJ Brennan
7 - Matt Carkner 
11 - Lubomir Visnovsky
14 - Thomas Hickey37 - Brian Strait46 - Matt Donovan

12 - Josh Bailey
15 - Cal Clutterbuck
21 - Kyle Okposo
28 - Johan Sundstrom
40 - Michael Grabner
51 - Frans Nielsen
56 - John Persson
59 - Brett Gallant
84 - Mikhail Grabovski
86 - Nikolay Kulemin
89 - Cory Conacher
91 - John Tavares

The Isles will return to New York after the games; the only Coliseum pre-season game is on Wednesday vs. Carolina (WRHU 88.7FM & Islanders TV(webcast).
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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Harvard alum interested in Isles' ownership

The Isles may need to add an alternate jersey in "crimson" because today's NY Post has a report that Phil Falcone may be looking to sell his 45% share in the Minnesota Wild and become part of the Jonathan Ledecky/ Scott Malkin ownership group that has an agreement to purchase the Islanders (first a minority share, and later a majority share) from Charles Wang.

Like Ledecky and Malkin, Falcone is a Harvard alum.  

Falcone does have NY ties -- his wife is from New York and they own or have owned large places in both Manhattan and the Hamptons.

Falcone played 4 years of varsity hockey for the Crimson -- he even has his own hockeydb.com page: Phil Falcone hockey statistics and profile at hockeydb.com
Phil Falcone hockey statistics and profile at hockeydb.c...
Statistics of Phil Falcone, a hockey player from Chisholm, MN who was active from 1980 to 1984.
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See the complete NY Post story by Josh Kosman here:

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