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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'...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Skinny: Isles 5, Phoenix 1

"The Skinny"  

 By Eric Hornick
Game 62
Isles 5, Arizona 1
The Islanders scored 4 goals in a 5:52 span of the third period to break open a tie game as they defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 before a crowd of 15,888 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Kael Mouillierat, playing his third NHL game, recorded his first NHL goal and first NHL assist during the third period.
The Islanders continue to lead the Metropolitan Division by two points over the Rangers, and extend their lead to five points over the Penguins and six points over the Capitals. 
With their 40th win of the season (and points 81 and 82), the Isles guarantee themselves their first NHL-.500 full season since 2006-07.

The Scoring:

1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
00:37    NYI       Anders Lee (20) ASST: Travis Hamonic (19), Brock Nelson (19)    1 - 0 NYI          
15:52    ARI       Mark Arcobello (12) ASST: Martin Erat (19), David Moss (4)        1 - 1 Tie
           
3rd Period
03:18    NYI       Matt Martin (8) ASST: Nikolay Kulemin (10), Kael Mouillierat (1)    2 - 1 NYI          
04:15    NYI       Johnny Boychuk (7) ASST: John Tavares (34), Ryan Strome (26)  3 - 1 NYI         
07:16    NYI       Kael Mouillierat (1) ASST: Colin McDonald (5), Nikolay Kulemin (11) 4 - 1 NYI      
09:10    NYI       Brock Nelson (17) ASST: Josh Bailey (19), Colin McDonald (6)    5 - 1 NYI

The Skinny
The Isles are 9-6-1 since the All-Star break… The Isles have scored first in 9 of their last 11 games…The Isles scored four goals in the third period, matching a season high. The Isles also scored 4 goals in a period on 10/14 at Madison Square Garden and on 1/16 vs. Pittsburgh.  Like tonight, both of those outbursts were also in the third period… Jack Capuano recorded his 158th win as Islander coach; he is 2nd in wins to Al Arbour and now has as many wins as Terry Simpson (81) and Peter Laviolette (77) did as Isles coaches, combined – they are 3rd and 4th on the win list…The two goals that broke the tie were scored 57 seconds apart.  Matt Martin tied a career high with his 8th goal, while Johnny Boychuk extended his career high with his 7th… Nikolay Kulemin earned his first point since the All-Star break on the winning goal; he added a second point 3:58 later…Kael Mouillierat is the 354th Islander to score a goal, but the first to do so wearing #48….Colin McDonald had a pair of assists, giving him 8 points in 10 games since his recall…Travis Hamonic was one of 10 Islanders with a +2 rating; Hamonic is +10 in February and +16 on the season…Ryan Strome was also +2 and is now +21; the Isles have not had a player finish a season with a +/- of +20 or better since the 2003/04 season: Adrian Aucoin +29, Kenny Jonsson +25, Trent Hunter +23.  The Isles have also not had a player 21 or younger finish a season with that high of a rating in the Post-Cup era…Anders Lee's goal was the Isles' first 86:25, while Arcobello's goal was the Coyotes' first in 104:10…Brock Nelson recorded his 8th multi-point game, but his first since December 19th…John Tavares' assist was his 63rd point; Nicklas Backstrom, Jacob Voracek and Patrick Kane share the NHL lead with 64 points.
Look at me, I'm Anders Lee!
Anders Lee scored his 20th goal of the season, temporarily tying him with Filip Forsberg for the NHL lead among rookies (Forsberg re-took the lead later in the evening).  Lee opened the scoring for the 8th time; only Rick Nash (9) has done so more frequently this season.  Three of Lee's last four goals have opened the scoring. He is the first Islander to open the scoring 8 times in one season since Matt Moulson did so 12 times in the 2011-12 season.  Lee's goal was the 30th of his NHL career, and came in his 80th NHL game.

Look at Lee, and this Company!
Lee's 8 game opening goals match Tyler Johnson's total from last season.  A few others in recent years, including Sidney Crosby, also opened the scoring 8 times in their rookie seasons.  However, in the past 25 seasons, only two players have done so more frequently: Alex Ovechkin did it 12 times in 2005-06 and Teemu Selanne did it 10 times in 1992-93.

Tired vs. Rested
This was the 19th time that the Isles, their opponent, or both teams are playing on back to back nights.
·         The Isles are 7-1-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This will next happen on March 13th vs Ottawa.
·         The Isles are 1-3-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will next happen again on March 10th vs the Rangers.
·         The Isles are 7-0-0 when both teams played the night before. This will next happen again on Saturday vs. Carolina.
The Isles have five back-to-back sets remaining; in two of the five their second game opponent will also play the night before.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           40-20-2=82 points / 62 games (33 ROW)  Beat Arizona 5-1
·         NY Rangers 37-16-6=80 points / 59 games (34 ROW)  Beat Calgary 1-0
·         Pittsburgh     34-17-9=77 points / 60 games (31 ROW)  Idle
·         Washington  33-18-10=76 points / 61 games (30 ROW) Idle

Upcoming Schedule:
·         ISLES:  Tuesday vs. Arizona, Friday vs. Calgary, Saturday vs. Carolina
·         NY Rangers: Tuesday vs. Calgary, Thursday vs. Arizona, Saturday @ Philadelphia, Monday vs. Nashville
·         Pittsburgh: Wednesday @ Washington Sunday vs. Columbus
·         Washington: Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh, Friday @ Carolina, Sunday vs. Toronto

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 16 of their 28 home dates this season. The 16 sellouts are the most for the Isles since they also had 21 full houses at the Old Barn in 2001-02.  The Isles have drawn at least 15,000 fans 20 times this season.

Month for the Fans:
February is the busiest home month in Islander history, as they play ten home games this month.  The Isles have played ten home games three previous times (January 1980, December 1999 and December 2000) but all were in 31-day months.
This was the eighth game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  The Isles are 6-2-1 in this stretch (5-2-0 at home and 1-0-1 on the road).

What a Season:
The Isles are 40-20-2 thru 62 games.  Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 62 games.  It's the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 40 games in a season.


Most wins in first 62 games:
·         42-14-6 in 1981-82
·         40-20-2 in 2014-15
·         40-12-10 in 1978-79
·         38-13-11 in 1977-78
·         38-22-2 in 1983-84
·         37-16-9 in 1976-77
·         36-16-10 in 1980-81

Most points in first 62 games:
·         90 in 1978-79
·         90 in 1981-82
·         87 in 1977-78
·         83 in 1976-77
·         82 in 2014-15
·         82 in 1980-81
·         78 in 1983-84


Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 22-8-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 22 of their first 30 home games (25-3-2 in 1981-82, 23-2-5 in 1977-78, and 23-2-5 in 1978-79). 

Streakers
The Isles have had a season of streaks, going 4-0-0 to open the season and then (in succession) 0-2-0, 2-0-0, 0-3-0, 13-2-0, 0-3-0, 7-1-1, 0-2-0, 6-1-0, 0-3-0, and are 8-3-1 in their last 12.

Winning Streaks (Season)
·         2 streaks of at least 5 games -- First time since the 1987-88 season that the Isles have had two winning streaks of at least five games.
·         6 streaks of at least 4 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least six winning streaks of at least four games. The Isles had seven separate winning streaks of at least four games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.
·         8 streaks of at least 3 games -- First time in the Post-Cup era that the Isles have had at least eight winning streaks of at least three games. The Isles had nine separate winning streaks of at least three games in their 1983-84 defense of the Stanley Cup.

The Shots:
Isles            12-13-14=39
Arizona        6-14-8=28
The Isles have outshot 29 of their last 33 opponents. They fell one shot shy of reaching 40 shots for the 16th time this season.  The Isles lead the NHL with 15 games with at least 40 shots.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,099-1,728 for a +371 shot differential.

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +371 THIS SEASON
·         +307 in 1976-77
·         +254 in 1986-87
·         +152 in 1975-76
Isles had 2,537 shots on goal last season, most since a franchise-record 2,616 in 1992-93. Isles are currently on pace for a record-breaking 2,776 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 40-20-2 overall; 22-8-0 at home and 18-12-2 on the road.  
Arizona is 20-34-7 overall; 9-16-4 at home and 11-18-3 on the road. 
The Coyotes have lost 7 straight games, and have been outscored 28-9 in that stretch.

By Division
The Isles are 19-3-1 in Division games and are 21-17-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 7-4-0 vs. the Pacific Division.
The Isles finished last season 10-16-4 against the Met and 24-21-7 against other Divisions. 

Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc.
The Isles are 19-3-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-1-1 in their last 14 division matchups.  They are 11-1-0 at home (outscoring opponents 50-29) and 8-2-1 on the road. The Isles are 7-1 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road. 
The Isles' next division game will be on Saturday vs. Carolina.

In the Nets
Chad Johnson made 27 saves and improves to 8-7-1 on the season. He is 1-1-0 in his career against the Coyotes.  Johnson is 2-1-1 in February, with a 1.23 GA average and a 95.3 save percentage.
Mike Smith made 34 saves but falls to 10-28-5 on the season. He is 4-3-0 in his career against the Isles. 

Move over Billy, Ozzy and DiPi
Jaroslav Halak has tied the franchise record with 32 wins in a season.
Player               Wins
Jaroslav Halak  32 in 2014-15
Rick DiPietro     32 in 2006-07
Billy Smith        32 in 1981-82
Chris Osgood   32 in 2001-02

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-1 on the power play, while Arizona was 0-2. 
The power play is only 6-39 (15.4%) in the last 14 games.
The penalty kill has killed 17 of 19 (89.4%) in the last 8 games.
The Isles are 21-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-11-2 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-15-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 26-4-2 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 34-6-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-14-1 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 22-5-2 in games decided by a single goal including 10-5-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-2 in shootouts.  Five games have been decided by two goals in which the second goal was an empty-netter.  The Isles are 3-2 in those games. 
The club record for 1-goal wins in 23, set in 2007-08 when 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 24-12-2 when they score first and are 16-8-0 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 13-0-0 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win three times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, and Philadelphia on February 5th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 158-140-41 behind the Islander bench. Among the 9 New York teams, only the Giants' Tom Coughlin and the Yankees' Joe Girardi have led their respective teams longer than Capuano.


Most games coached (Islanders):
1.     Al Arbour 1,500
2.     Jack Capuano 339
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 158
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74


They Said It
Kael Mouillierat: "It's an unbelievable feeling. You play so long and especially at my age to get my first crack at the NHL, there are times in the minors you think it's never going to happen and when it does, it's a pretty incredible feeling."
Johnny Boychuk: ""Even if we're down one or two, we still know that we're capable of coming out; we have a lot of threats on our team and we have to be confident in ourselves…It's a good feeling when you come out and explode like that….There was a 4-on-3 or 4-on-2 and I saw a chance to jump up in the rush at the right time. Johnny made a good pass, and all I had to do was hit that blocker side because he had come out a little bit and I saw that side open."

They Tweeted It
@StephenCLorenzo Leddy: "Obviously it's nice to have (the contract) done, but the focus is still on the end goal and that's winning the Stanley Cup." #Isles
@jamesarthur31 My arms are tired from yessing so much #yesyesyes #isles
@john_islesfan  @ledpipe08 so happy you are with the #isles for the long haul, this team is going places and you will help bring them there.
@RobynDemGoals Do the #isles have a magic number yet?  (The Isles magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 28)
@tommyhendo @ehornick What's the record for four goal time span for the Isles? If you have it handy. Did they come close tonight? You never know  (I know, and no.  It's 1:38 vs Pittsburgh on 1/26/82. John Tonelli and Duane Sutter sandwiched a pair of Bryan Trottier goals)

The Coach
(On Anders Lee):"If you go to the net, you're going to get some goals. When you see a guy who goes to the net like that, good things are going to happen. He does it every day."

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 7-3-1 in the front-end and 8-3-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-backs, are 1-1-0 in five sets and are 0-1-1 in one set.
The next back-to-back set will be on Friday vs Calgary and Saturday (5pm) vs Carolina.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 21:49 of ice-time; Oliver Ekman-Larsson led Arizona in ice-time with 23:37. 
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (17-2-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0), Brian Strait (1-0-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).
John Tavares led Isles forwards with 19:10 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (23-19-2), Kyle Okposo (12-1-0), Ryan Strome (1-0-0), Brock Nelson (1-1-0), Anders Lee (1-0-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Casey Cizikas (1-0-0), and Josh Bailey (0-1-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 30 of 59 draws (541%).  John Tavares won 11 of 18 for the Isles while Frans Nielsen won 5 of 8; Antoine Vermette won 11 of 19 for Arizona. The Isles won 21 of 35 draws in the first two periods but won only 9 of 24 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles won both draws on the power play but lost all 4 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Arizona 54-33.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Islanders with 7 hits while Matt Martin and Thomas Hickey added six each.
Martin leads the NHL with 309 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 263.  It's the third time in his career Martin has recorded at least 300 hits; he has the two highest totals in NHL history (since 2005):

Most hits, season:
1.     Matt Martin, NYI 374 in 2011-12
2.     Matt Martin, NYI 359 in 2013-14
3.     Cal Clutterbuck, Min 356 in 2009-10       
There were no fights in the game. The Isles have been involved in 14 fights this season: Martin (9), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 11 of the 14 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 24 blocked shots; Lubomir Visnovsky led the Isles with 5.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 68-35, including 29-8 in the third period. The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
John Tavares led the Isles with a +8 even-strength Corsi rating; Tavares and Colin McDonald were on-ice for a team-leading 60% of Corsi For events.  David Moss and former Islander Dylan Reese both had +11 ratings for Arizona.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 378 career points; he is 77 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.

This Team is Deep!
John Tavares has been held pointless 21 times this season and the Isles are 15-6-0 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles had won only 40 of the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless.

All-time Winners
The Islanders improve to 26 games over all-time NHL .500 (1445-1419-451 in 3,315 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 314 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 115 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Eric Boulton and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve.  Brian Strait and Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 227 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         165 goals (13th all-time, 3 behind Ziggy Palffy and 19 behind Billy Harris)
·         213 assists (15th all-time, 36 behind Tomas Jonsson and 46behind Billy Harris)
·         378 points (13th all-time and 65 behind Billy Harris)
·         412 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time,10 behind Dave Langevin, 13 behind Greg Gilbert and 14 behind Jason Blake)
Kyle Okposo has:
·         113 goals (24th all-time, 3 behind Ray Ferraro and 5 behind Steve Thomas, Matt Moulson and Mark Parrish)
·         185 assists (18th all-time, 8 behind Pierre Turgeon and 9 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         436 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Scott Lachance and 20 behind Josh Bailey)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         96 goals (29th all-time, 3 behind Trent Hunter and 5 behind Anders Kallur)
·         194 assists (16th all-time and 18 behind John Tavares)
·         290 points (tied-21st all-time with Alexei Yashin, 2 behind Duane Sutter, 5 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 8 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         508 games played (tied-23rd among Islander skaters all-time with Rich Pilon, 1 behind Mick Vukota and 5 behind Dave Lewis)
Josh Bailey has:
·         130 assists (tied-33rd all-time with Trent Hunter and 1 behind Jason Blake)
·         208 points (39th all-time, 3 behind Anders Kallur and 5 behind Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt)
·         456 games played (30th among Islander skaters, 3 behind Trent Hunter and 14 behind Mariusz Czerkawski)
Michael Grabner has:
·         88 goals (36th all-time, 4 behind Travis Green and 5 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).
The Isles are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against the Coyotes.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 24th
3 years ago tonight (2012) – PA Parenteau scored two goals and Matt Moulson added a goal and an assist as the Islanders defeated the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. 
The Isles grabbed a two-goal lead before the game was nine minutes old on goals by Moulson and Parenteau. John Tavares had the front assist on each goal.
After Marc Staal cut the lead to 2-1 with a power play tally, Parenteau responded with a power play tally of his own for his second career two-goal game.  But before the second period ended, goals by Marian Gaborik and Derek Stepan tied the game for the Blueshirts.
Neither team could score in the third period or overtime.  In the shootout Frans Nielsen gave the Isles the lead but Marian Gaborik evened the score.  Neither team scored in the next two rounds, but Moulson gave the Isles the lead in round 4.  Evgeni Nabokov then stopped John Mitchell to earn the victory.
"(The shootout goal was) definitely the icing on the cake," Matt Moulson told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "This was obviously huge for us."
"It doesn't matter where we are in the standings when we play the Islanders here," Ranger coach John Tortorella told Newsday's Steve  Zipay. "It's always a crazy game. I'm happy we battled back, but as far as where we are mentally in some stages of the game, we need to be sharper."
The Isles improved to 5-1 all-time in shootouts against the Rangers; the only Ranger win came the night Rick DiPietro held the Rangers to 1 goal on 57 shots in regulation/overtime (3/5/2007) at The Garden.
Casey Cizikas played 11:33 in his NHL debut.
 
Also on this date: (2004) – Rick DiPietro made 28 saves in the final scoreless tie in Islander history.  Felix Potvin made 33 saves for Boston.
All-time, the Isles have played nine February 24th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-1-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 
On The Farm
Bridgeport has lost six straight games to fall to 21-25-5-1 on the season.   The Sound Tigers are off until Friday, when they visit Springfield for the first of back-to-back games against the Falcons.

Up Next
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th— CALGARY AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+2 (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The homestand continues on Friday as the Isles host their expansion cousins, the Calgary Flames.  The Flames were the opposition for the very first regular season game in Islander history (October 7, 1972) and this will be their final trip to Long Island.

The Isles defeated Calgary 2-1 in Alberta in January to run their record to 6-3-0 in their last 9 games against the Flames.  The Isles are 3-1-0 in their last four home games against Calgary.

This will be the Flames' 3rd game in 4 nights as they lost 1-0 @MSG on Tuesday and visit New Jersey on Wednesday; the Isles will be coming off consecutive days without a game for the first time since February 1st – 2nd and only the second time since the All-Star Break.

Note that this game is on MSG+2 (and not the team's regular home, MSG+)

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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