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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'...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Skinny: Isles 2, Detroit 1

"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
 
Game 32
Isles 2, Detroit 1
Anders Lee and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist as the Islanders stretched their winning streak to three with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings before a sellout crowd of 20,027 at Joe Louis Arena.  The win was the Isles' 22nd of the season.  It's the first time in franchise history that the Isles have won 22 of their first 32 games.
The Islanders, who welcomed both Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk back into the lineup, remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, just two points behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins.  Pittsburgh was idle tonight.

The Scoring:
 
1ST PERIOD
08:49    DET      Henrik Zetterberg (6) ASST: Darren Helm (11), Tomas Tatar (10)   1 - 0 DET         
16:03    NYI       Brock Nelson (14) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (7), Anders Lee (3) 1 - 1 Tie           
 
2ND PERIOD
10:41    NYI       Anders Lee (6) ASST: Brock Nelson (12) 2 - 1 NYI          
 
3RD PERIOD
NONE

The Skinny:
Detroit is winless in its last five games (0-2-3), and have scored just 5 goals in that span…Isles improved to 11-3-0 in games that they allowed the first goal; they have come-from-behind in 12 of their 21 wins. The Isles are also 11-2-0 in games that are tied after 20 minutes.…Brock Nelson's goal was his club-leading 14th; with 26 points he trails John Tavares by just one point for the club lead… With his17th win, Jaroslav Halak moved into a tie for 4th place in the NHL, behind Pekka Rinne (20), Frederik Andersen (18), and Marc-Andre Fleury (18).  Billy Smith (32 wins in 1981-82) is the only Islander to ever lead the NHL in wins…Detroit is 7-3-8 in games decided by 1 goal…The Isles win keeps Mike Babcock tied with the late Pat Burns for 17th place on the all-time NHL win list; each with 401 wins…The Red Wings have sold out 164 consecutive home games…After allowing 17 goals in their recent three-game losing streak, the Isles have allowed only 5 goals in their three-game winning streak…The Isles allowed only 18 shots on goal, matching a season low…The Isles are 6-0-0 all-time under Jack Capuano when allowing 18 shots or fewer…The Isles recorded their 10th road win of the season; they are the ONLY team in the Eastern Conference with at least 10 road wins.

Nelson Ties Nelson
With his goal and assist tonight, Brock Nelson now has 14 goals and 12 assists this season (in 32 games), exactly matching his rookie year totals (in 72 games).
 
Most Wins by Christmas
 
The Isles now have 22 wins on the season.  Only twice before have the Isles had more wins by Christmas Day:
·         24 in 83/84 
·         23 in 80/81 
·         22 in 14/15 with 2 games to play
·         21 in 76/77 
·         21 in 78/79 
 
Good Company for Halak
 
San Jose's Antti Niemi recently played in his 300th NHL game, and recorded his 172nd win, representing the most wins by an active goalie in his first 300 games.  Jaroslav Halak played in his 295th game tonight, and tied Marty Brodeur for most wins within his first 300 (with 5 games still to play):
·         Antti Niemi 172, 
·         Ryan Miller 170, 
·         Martin Brodeur 161, 
·         Jaroslav Halak 161 (295 games), 
·         Jimmy Howard 160
(Courtesy CSN-California via Elias Sports Bureau)
 
Comparable Records
The Isles are 22-10-0 thru 32 games.  The Isles were 9-18-5 through 32 games and 9-19-5 through 33 games last season, when they had only 22 wins at the Olympic Break (22-30-8).

Most wins in first 32 games:
·         22-10-0 in 2014-15
·         21-4-7 in 1978-79
·         21-9-2 in 1983-84
·         20-8-4 in 1976-77
·         19-7-6 in 1980-81

Most points in first 32 games:
·         49 in 1978-79
·         44 in 2014-15
·         44 in 1976-77
·         44 in 1980-81
·         44 in 1983-84

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 12-3-0 on Coliseum ice, matching the club record for most wins through 15 home games (12-3-0 in 1984-85).  They have had more than 24 points through 15 home games only twice: 11-0-4 in 1978-79 and 11-1-3 in 1974-75.
Only Nashville (12-2-1; 25 points in 15 games, .833) has a better home record (by percentage) than the Isles (.800)

Streakers
The Isles won their first four games, lost their next two games, won the two games after that, lost the next three games, went 13-2-0 in their next 15 and had lost their last three before winning their last three.
The Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games this season.  It's the first time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
The Isles have had five winning streaks of at least three games this season; they hadn't done that since the 2001-02 season.

The Shots:
Isles     9-16-7=32
Detroit  6-7-5=18   
 
The shots were 5-5 late in the first period; the Isles outshot the Wings 20-8 through the rest of the first period and through the second period.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 22-10-0 overall, 12-3-0 at home and 10-7-0 on the road.
Detroit is 17-8-8 overall; 11-4-5 at home and 6-4-3 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 9-2-0 in Division games and are 13-8-0 in games against other divisions. They are 6-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division, 3-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 4-1-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles did not win their ninth divisional game last season until March 29th (9-15-3); they finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met. 

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves and improves to 17-6-0 on the season with his 161st NHL win. He is 5-4-1 in his career against Detroit.
Jimmy Howard made eight saves in the first period before leaving with an injury.  Petr Mrazek made 22 saves over the final two periods but falls to 0-2-0 vs. the Isles and 3-2-0 on the season.

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while Detroit was 0-2. 
The power play is 1-12 (8.3%) in the last four games after going 4-13 (30.8%) in the previous three games.
The penalty kill is 10-17 (58.8%) over the last six games.  The Isles have allowed 11 goals in 29 times short over the last ten games (62.1% penalty kill).
The Isles are 12-4-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 10-6-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 9-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 13-1-0 when they do not. 

Three is (Usually) a Magic Number
The Isles are 17-4-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 5-6-0 when they do not. 

Two Column Team
The Isles are the only NHL team without an overtime or shootout loss this season and have established a club record by going the first 32 games of the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie:
·         32 games (2014-15; current)
·         30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 15-2-0 in games decided by a single goal including 6-2-0 in regulation. They are 3-0 in games decided in overtime and are 6-0 in shootouts.  Three games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 2-1 in those games.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 11-7-0 when they score first and are 11-3-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 10-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history and was behind the bench for his 300th game on November 28th in Washington. Capuano is 140-130-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 309
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 140
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Brock Nelson: "You've got to get to the front [of the net] to score goals. Coaches harp on that: Got to get big bodies to the net."
Anders Lee:  "Always a part of our game plan to get puck to the net and crash."

They Tweeted It
@DisgustedNYer  Jaroslav Halak was so good tonight, and he has been great all year. It helps for him that his defense has been so good this year.
@Isles_Country  Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy as Islanders still feel surreal to me.
@TreeVillager  It's official. Anders Lee is my favorite #isles forward.
@Bleuchz  Isles kidline was made possible by an aggressive trade back into first round for Brock Nelson and finding a risky gem later on with Lee.
@CaseyStern Good road win over the Wings. Looking forward to being at Nassau tomorrow night. #Isles

The Coach
"We wanted to play strong defensively. … I thought we did a good job of keeping them to the outside.

Back-to-Backs
The Isles improve to 5-1-0 in the front-end; they are 4-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. 
This is the only set of back-to-backs that the Isles will play this month; it will conclude on Saturday at the Coliseum.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 20:55 of ice-time; Niklas Kronwell led Detroit with 21:28.  Every Islander saw at least 12 minutes of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (9-2-0), Travis Hamonic (5-1-0), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (1-3-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-2-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-1-0).
John Tavares led the Isles forwards with 19:42 of ice-time.  Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (11-9-0), Kyle Okposo (7-0-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0) and Casey Cizikas (1-0-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 28 of 52 draws (54%).  Brock Nelson won 4 of 6 for the Isles; no Red Wing who took multiple draws won more than he lost.   
The Isles won 23 of 36 (64%) draws in in the first two periods but only 5 of 16 (31%) in the third period.  The Isles won 3 of 6 draws on the power play and 2 of 3 on the penalty kill.
It's the first time since November 18-22 (3 games) that the Isles have won a majority of face-offs in consecutive games.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles were out-hit 25-21.  Travis Hamonic led the Isles with five hits. 
There were no fights. The Isles have been involved in eight fights this season: Martin (5), Hamonic (2), Lee (1), and all but one of the fights (Martin vs. Minnesota) have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 15 blocked shots, including 3 from Thomas Hickey and Calvin deHaan.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 48-44, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).  
Kyle Okposo led the Isles with a +7 even-strength Corsi. Okposo also had a team-leading 65% of Corsi For events. Johan Franzen (+9) led Detroit.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 342 career points; he is 59 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.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to 18 games over all-time NHL .500 (1427-1409-450 in 3,286 games).  
The Isles have not been more than 1 game under NHL-.500 since January 11, 1978 and have finished every season since 1977-78 over all-time NHL .500.

Ironmen
Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 284 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 84 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner and Michael Grabner are on injured reserve. Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup from stints on IR; Matt Donovan was scratched and Griffin Reinhart was returned to Bridgeport. Eric Boulton and Brian Strait were also scratched.
The Isles have lost 126 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         148 goals (14th all-time and 13 behind Pat Flatley)
·         194 assists (14th all-time and 55 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         342 points (14th all-time and 27 behind Stefan Persson)
·         382 games played (tied-42nd among Islander skaters all-time with Randy Wood, 1 behind Anders Kallur and 6 behind Travis Green)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         91 goals (35th all-time, 1 behind Travis Green and 2 behind Greg Gilbert & Garry Howatt)
·         180 assists (18th all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall, 13 behind Pierre Turgeon and 13 behind John Tavares)
·         271 points (23rd all-time, 10 behind Kyle Okposo and 15 behind Ed Westfall)
·         479 games played (tied-25th among Islander skaters all-time with Radek Martinek and 14 behind Ed Westfall)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         106 goals (23rd all-time and 10 behind Ray Ferraro)
·         175 assists (tied-19th all-time with Kenny Jonsson, 4 behind Frans Nielsen and 6 behind Ed Westfall)
·         281 points (22nd all-time, 5 behind Ed Westfall and 9 behind Alexei Yashin)
·         422 games played (tied-34th among Islander skaters all-time with Dave Langevin, 3 behind Greg Gilbert, 4 behind Jason Blake and 5 behind Josh Bailey,)
Michael Grabner has:
·         84 goals (tied-37th all-time with Tomas Jonsson and 3 behind Butch Goring)
Josh Bailey has:
·         427 games played (31st among Islander skaters all-time and 23 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats

The Isles lead the season series 1 game to 0 (and 2 points to 0).  The Islanders will return to Detroit for a Saturday matinee on January 31st before hosting the Red Wings at 5pm on March 29th.

The Isles are 8-1-1 in their last ten games against the Red Wings, including five straight wins at the Joe, where they have not lost since 2003.  The five straight wins in the Motor City represent their longest-ever winning streak in Detroit.

15 years ago tonight (1999) - Roberto Luongo made 46 saves for his second career victory (and first at the Coliseum) as the Isles beat New Jersey 5-3.
Gino Odjick broke a 2-2 tie with 3:16 to play in the middle period to give the Isles the lead for good.

Olli Jokinen scored the game-winning goal early in the third period, but it was the play of the rookie netminder Luongo that drew everybody's attention.

Luongo did not even expect to play, but a pending trade of Felix Potvin to Vancouver put Luongo in the nets. "They told me so late, I didn't know if I was going to be ready".  Ready he was, stopping all but a pair of Claude Lemieux shots.

"We had to battle and Luongo gave us a great game", said Islander coach Butch Goring, adding "I got a call from [GM Mike Milbury] and was told that Potvin couldn't play tonight".  Potvin, who took warmups expecting to play in the game, spent the game on the bench as the back-up.

It was the first of four Coliseum wins for Luongo in an Islander uniform, who has gone on to win over 380 NHL games.

Also on this date: (1989) – Don Maloney scored at 3:18 of overtime as the suddenly surging islanders won their third straight game, defeating New Jersey 5-4.
All-time, the Isles have played seven December 19th games at the Coliseum and finish with a 4-3-0 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
Colin McDonald scored two goals and added an assist while David Leggio earned his first win since November 15th as Bridgeport beat Norfolk 5-2 on Friday night. Bridgeport is now 13-10-3-1 on the season. The Sound Tigers will play in Norfolk again on Saturday before returning home to play Worcester on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20th—TAMPA BAY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders return home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final meeting of the teams during the regular season.  Each team holds a 5-2 win on home-ice in games that were played four days apart in November.  However, in each of those games the home team was rested while the visitor was playing on the back-end of back-to-backs.  Tampa played Friday night as well, losing in a shootout to New Jersey 3-2 at Prudential Center.  Long Islander Keith Kinkaid recorded his first NHL win in that game.
The Isles are 5-1-2 in their last eight games against Tampa Bay and are 6-0-1 in their last seven at home against the Lightning.

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 & on his blog www.nyiskinny.com. 
 
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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