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The Skinny on The Openers

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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


"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 31
Isles 3, New Jersey 2 (SO)

Josh Bailey scored the game-deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout as the Islanders spoiled Long Island native Keith Kinkaid's Coliseum debut with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils before a crowd of 13,408 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The win was the Isles' second straight, and their 21st of the season.  It's the first time in franchise history that the Isles have won 21 of their first 31 games and also ties the club record for most wins in the first 15 home games (12-3-0). 

As per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Islanders are the FIRST team in NHL history to open a season by winning their first nine games that went beyond 60 minutes and have tied the NHL record for anytime during a season.  Montreal won 8 times to open the 2009-10 season while Vancouver (2006-07), Phoenix (2009-10) and Tampa Bay (2010-11) have also had 9-game winning streaks in a single season.
The Islanders, who going back to last season have now won 11 consecutive games that have gone beyond 60 minutes, remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, just two points behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins.  Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay tonight.

The Scoring:
1st Period
12:15    NJD      PPG - Marek Zidlicky (4) ASST: Scott Gomez (4), Jaromir Jagr (14) 1 - 0 NJD     
15:20    NJD      Scott Gomez (2) ASST: Jaromir Jagr (15), Marek Zidlicky (13)     2 - 0 NJD         
2nd Period
01:51    NYI       Josh Bailey (5) ASST: Ryan Strome (15), Mikhail Grabovski (7)    2 - 1 NJD         
3rd Period
10:45    NYI       Matt Martin (4) ASST: Casey Cizikas (5), Calvin de Haan (6)         2 - 2 Tie           
OT Period
NONE
The Shootout:
ROUND New York Islanders       New Jersey Devils
1          Frans Nielsen (NG)        Tuomo Ruutu    (NG)
2          Kyle Okposo     (G)        Scott Gomez     (G)
3          John Tavares    (NG)     Damon Severson (NG)  
4          Ryan Strome     (NG)     Marek Zidlicky   (NG)
5          Josh Bailey       (G/GDG) Jacob Josefson (NG)
Kyle Okposo improved to 5 of 6 in the shootout; he is tied for the NHL lead in shootout goals with Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg (5 of 7)…The Isles are 6-0 this season in the shootout and 63-41all-time.  The 63 wins share the NHL record with Pittsburgh (63-35)… The Isles are 12 for 21 in the shootout this season (57%) and have scored an NHL record 145 all-time shootout goals…Bailey is now 5-12 in career shootout attempts, including four game-deciding goals…The Isles have won a franchise-record 8 straight shootouts, dating back to the end of last season.
The Skinny:
Jaromir Jagr had assists on New Jersey's two goals; he is 61-91-152 vs. the Isles, making him the all-time leader vs New York in all three categories. He now has 1,065 career assists, passing Steve Yzerman (1,063) for of seventh place on the all-time NHL assists list. Jagr is 28-49-77 in 53 games at the Coliseum…The Isles improved to 10-3-0 in games that they allowed the first goal; they have come-from-behind in 11 of their 20 wins…Both Josh Bailey and Matt Martin recorded their second goal in the last three games…Ryan Strome tied John Tavares for 2nd place on the team with 15 assists; Strome played over 20 minutes for the first time this season (and third time of his career) and went +2 as he improved to a team-leading +10 on the season… John Tavares' point streak ended at four games…With his16th win, Jaroslav Halak moved into a tie for 4th place in the NHL, behind Pekka Rinne (19), Frederik Andersen (17), and Marc-Andre Fleury (17).  Billy Smith (32 wins in 1981-82) is the only Islander to ever lead the NHL in wins…Casey Cizikas is 2-4-6 in his last seven games played.
100 Point Club
The Isles have earned exactly 100 points in their last 82 games (51 last season and 31 this season), going 47-29-6.  It's the first time since February '84 – February '85 that they have done that.

Comparable Records
The Isles are 21-10-0 thru 31 games.  The Isles were 8-18-5 through 31 games and 9-18-5 through 32 games last season, when they did not win their 21st game until January 21st (21-24-7).

Most wins in first 31 games:
·         21-10-0 in 2014-15
·         20-4-7 in 1978-79
·         20-7-4 in 1976-77
·         20-9-2 in 1983-84
·         19-7-5 in 1980-81

Most points in first 31 games:
·         47 in 1978-79
·         44 in 1976-77
·         43 in 1980-81
·         42 in 2014-15
·         42 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 (11-2-1; 23 points in 14 games, .821) 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 two.
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 Shots:
Isles             7-11-13-2=33
New Jersey 12-7-7-2=28   
Home and Road
The Islanders are 21-10-0 overall, 12-3-0 at home and 9-7-0 on the road.
New Jersey is 11-15-6 overall; 3-4-4 at home and 8-11-2 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 9-2-0 in Division games and are 12-8-0 in games against other divisions. They are 5-2-0 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 26 saves and improves to 16-6-0 on the season with his 160th NHL win. He is 5-4-1 in his career against New Jersey and 23-20 all-time in shootouts.
Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves; the former Union College goalie is 0-1-2 on the season (0-0-2 as a starter).

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play while New Jersey was 1-2. 
The power play is 5-22 (22.7%) in the last six games after going 2-14 (14.3%) in the previous five games.
The penalty kill is 8-15 (53%) over the last five games.  The Isles have allowed 11 goals in 27 times short over the last nine games (59% penalty kill).
The Isles are 12-4-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 9-6-0 when they do not.  The Isles are 9-9-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 12-1-0 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 17-4-0 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 4-6-0 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 31 games of the season without an overtime/shootout loss or tie:
·         31 games (2014-15; current)
·         30 games (1998-99; 12-18-0 before tying Anaheim in game 31)

One Goal Games
The Isles are 14-2-0 in games decided by a single goal including 5-2-0 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 10-3-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, this was their first win (1-3-0) when allowing the first two goals.

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 139-130-39 behind the Islander bench.

Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 308
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 139
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74
They Said It
Matt Martin: "Zeeker's pass to me was an unbelievable pass, and I was able to sneak it under the bar."

They Tweeted It
@StephenCLorenzo JT on PK after his ill-advised penalty: "I owe those guys dinner." #Isles
@eyesonislesFS It's becoming a theme... the #Isles have the most wins in the NHL... again.  (Technically they're tied, but we like the sentiment)
@DiegoP44  @mattymarts17 hey Matt, great game, way to spark the team! I appreciate that you bust your (butt) out there! #LGI! #isles
@BSutterFan 2 quick wins and suddenly it's sunny and happy again in #isles land
@TomLiodice #isles have 21 wins in 31 games. That's like never happened. Ever. So they must be pretty good.

The Coach
"We're that stingy team right now…We didn't give them much.  That's the hockey we have to play.  We grinded it out…. Matt (Martin) plays every game like it's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup."

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 4-1-0 in the front-end and 4-1-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. 
The Isles will play only one set of back-to-backs in December and it is their next two games.  They will visit Detroit on Friday and then host Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Leading Ice Men
Calvin deHaan led all Isles with 22:44 of ice-time; Marek Zidlicky led New Jersey with 26:41.  Every Islander saw at least 12 minutes of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (9-2-0), Travis Hamonic (4-1-0), 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).
Ryan Strome led the Isles forwards with 20:09 of ice-time.  Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (10-9-0), 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 30 of 54 draws (56%).  John Tavares won 14 of 20 and Casey Cizikas won 6 of 9 for the Isles; Travis Zajac won 11 of 20 for New Jersey.
The Isles won 11 of 15 (73%) draws in their defensive zone.  The Isles won 4 of 6 draws on the power play but only 1 of 4 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit New Jersey 31-18.  Matt Donovan 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 13 blocked shots, including 3 from Thomas Hickey.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 57-43, which measures shots attempted for and against (including blocks).  This included a 43-26 advantage over the last two periods and overtime.
Ryan Strome led the Isles with a +15 even-strength Corsi. Strome also had a team-leading 80% of Corsi For events. Jaromir Jagr (+10) led New Jersey.

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 17 games over all-time NHL .500 (1426-1409-450 in 3,285 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 283 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 83 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Matt Carkner, Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk are on injured reserve.  Casey Cizikas replaced Michael Grabner (injured) in the lineup; Eric Boulton and Brian Strait were scratched.

The Isles have lost 124 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)
·         381 games played (tied-42nd among Islander skaters all-time with Randy Wood, 2 behind Anders Kallur and 7 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)
·         478 games played (26th among Islander skaters all-time,1 behind Radek Martinek and 15 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)
·         421 games played (35th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Dave Langevin, 4 behind Greg Gilbert, 5 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:
·         426 games played (tied-31st among Islander skaters all-time with Jason Blake and 24 behind Scott Lachance)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 1).  The remaining meetings will be in New Jersey on January 9th and March 21st.
The Isles have won four straight games over the Devils (dating back to last season), which is something that they haven't accomplished since they beat New Jersey in six straight games from April 2007 to January 2008.  Three of the four wins have come in overtime.

33 years ago tonight (1981) – In the highest scoring game in Coliseum history, the Islanders rallied from a 4-2 deficit and defeated the Quebec Nordiques 10-7.
The win, which was the Isles' 4th straight at home, came in the first game back from a 1-5-1 road trip that had dropped the Isles' record to 15-9-5.  Beginning with this game the Isles went 39-7-5 the rest of the way, enroute to their third consecutive Stanley Cup.
Billy Smith was in the Islander net, and told the NY Times' Parton Keese: "Look at all those open nets everybody was missing tonight. It could have easily been double digits both ways."
The Isles had eight different goal scorers, including Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin, who each scored twice.  Greg Gilbert, making his NHL debut, scored the tenth goal. 
The Isles allowed two goals early in the third period to fall back behind 6-5, before rallying for five goals on their own for the victory.
The Isles have been involved in two other 17-goal games in their history, losing 10-7 in Toronto in 1978 and winning 11-6 in Toronto in 1983.

Also on this date: (2000) – Bill Muckalt scored the winning goal midway through the third period and John Vanbiesbrouck made 28 saves as the Isles beat Toronto 3-2.  Former Islander Glenn Healy took the loss in his final game at the Coliseum.
Also on this date: (1962) - My mom and dad got married!  Happy anniversary!

All-time, the Isles have played twelve December 15th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 5-4-3 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
Bridgeport is 12-10-3-1 on the season after a 5-4 overtime loss on Sunday to Hartford. The Sound Tigers will play in Norfolk on Friday and Saturday before returning home to play Worcester on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19th—ISLANDERS AT DETROIT 7:30PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 7:00), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Islanders have three days without a game for the first time November 2nd-4th before they face the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena on Friday. 
It will be the first meeting of the conference rivals in nearly a year; Evgeni Nabokov blanked the Red Wings 3-0 last December 23rd.
The Isles are 7-1-1 in their last nine games against the Red Wings, including four straight wins at the Joe, where they have not lost since 2003.  The four straight wins in the Motor City match their longest-ever winning streak in Detroit.


And Finally…
He plays for the opposition, but he is a Long Islander; one whose father attended every Stanley Cup Final game at the Coliseum between 1980-83. Congratulations to Keith Kinkaid on his Coliseum debut. "In between the TV timeouts, I could see some of my friends," Kinkaid said. "Some were behind the bench. It's a good feeling. They're rooting for me. It was a fun atmosphere and definitely a memorable game."


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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