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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Skinny: Isles 6, Columbus 3

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 56
Isles 6, Columbus 3

Josh Bailey and John Tavares each scored twice and Anders Lee became the first Islander in over seven years to record four assists as the Islanders stretched their winning streak to four with a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

It's the first time this season that two Islanders have scored at least twice in the same game.

With the win, the Isles extend their lead in the Metropolitan Division over the idle Penguins to three points.  The Isles also jumped over idle Tampa Bay and remain one point behind Montreal (who beat Toronto in a shootout) for the Conference lead.

The Scoring:
1st Period
01:07    NYI       Josh Bailey (10) ASST: Anders Lee (7), John Tavares (28)           1 - 0 NYI          
08:21    NYI       Josh Bailey (11) ASST: John Tavares (29), Anders Lee (8)           2 - 0 NYI          
15:45    CBJ      Brandon Dubinsky (5) ASST: Matt Calvert (8), Fedor Tyutin (6)     2 - 1 NYI          
19:28    CBJ      Cam Atkinson (13) ASST: NONE            2 - 2 Tie           
2nd Period
07:02    NYI       Ryan Strome (10) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (9), Frans Nielsen (21) 3 - 2 NYI      
19:28    CBJ      Nick Foligno (22) ASST: Scott Hartnell (23), James Wisniewski (20) 3 - 3 Tie        
3rd Period
01:54    NYI       Frans Nielsen (10) ASST: Thomas Hickey (17), Mikhail Grabovski (9) 4 - 3 NYI     
07:08    NYI       John Tavares (25) ASST: Anders Lee (9), Brian Strait (4) 5 - 3 NYI          
11:15    NYI       John Tavares (26) ASST: Josh Bailey (17), Anders Lee (10)         6 - 3 NYI

First Times in a Long Time
·         Anders Lee is the the first Islander since Chris Campoli (10-18-2007 at Washington) to record four assists in a game and the first forward (and the first to do so at home) since Alexei Yashin (10-21-2006 vs Carolina).
·         Lee is the first Islander rookie with a four-assist game since Tim Connolly on January 13, 2001 vs Pittsburgh.
·         Lee and Tavares are the first Isles teammates to have 4 points in the same day since Matt Moulson and Tavares did it on February 16, 2013 vs. New Jersey.
·         The top line combined for 11 points in the game, which was the most by an Isles trio since Ryan Smyth (4). Mike Sillinger (4) and Marc-Andre Bergeron (3) did so on March 17, 2007 in Florida.
·         The Isles (37-18-1) are 19 games over NHL -.500 for the first time in the Post-Cup era; they finished the 1983-84 with a 50-26-4 record.
·         The Isles have matched the 1981-82 team's record of winning 37 of their first 56 games.  It's only the 17th time in club history that the Isles have won 37 games in a season – and there are still 26 games to go!

The Skinny
Lee is 5-5-10 in the last 7 games, including 3-5-8 in his four game point streak; he had only 6 assists on the season prior to tonight and had never had 2 assists in an NHL game… John Tavares recorded his 27th career multi-goal game and 5th this season; he also had his 9th career 4-point game and tied a career high with 9 shots on goal…Josh Bailey had the first two goals and added an assist.  …The Isles' #1 line also combined for 16 shots on goal for the second straight game…All three were +4 in the game.  It's the 5th time in his career for Tavares, and the first time for Lee and Bailey.  No Islanders has had a better +/- since Dave Scatchard and Jason Wiemer both went +5 on 11/21/2002 in Tampa Bay.

The Isles have won 20 of their first 26 home games for the first time in the post-Cup era; it's their most wins since they were a club-record 21-3-2 to start the 1981-82 season… Travis Hamonic's assist streak ended at four games after a post-game scoring change…The Isles improve to 6-4-0 since the All-Star break and are a season-high by going 19 games over NHL-.500…Three Isles (Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome and Frans Nielsen) reached double digits in goals, giving the Isles 8 players with at least 10 goals.  It was Strome's first goal in 9 games and Nielsen's first goal in 13 games.  The Isles last had eight players with at least 10 goals in 2010-11…The Blue Jackets scored goals at the 19:28 mark of both the first and second period…The Isles are 12-2-1 when scoring the first two goals; in all three games that they did not win, they also led 3-0…The Isles had at least 45 shots for the sixth time this season; they reached the 45-shot mark only five times in the previous 5 seasons…The Isles are 12-1-0 when the opponent plays the night before (6-1-0 when Isles are rested and 6-0-0 when both teams played the night before)..Brandon Dubinsky's goal was his 300th NHL point…The Isles improve to 18-2-0 in divisional games; they have the most wins in their division of any NHL team.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           37-18-1=75 points / 56 games (30 ROW)  Won 6-3 Vs Columbus
·         Pittsburgh     32-15-8=72 points / 55 games (29 ROW) Idle
·         NY Rangers  33-16-5=71 points / 54 games (31 ROW)  Won 5-1 @ Arizona
·         Washington  29-17-10=68 points / 56 games (28 ROW) Lost 3-1 @ Los Angeles

Upcoming Schedule:
·         ISLES:  Monday vs. Rangers, Tuesday @ Carolina, Thursday vs Nashville
·         Pittsburgh: Sunday @ Chicago, Tuesday vs. Washington, Thursday vs. Columbus
·         NY Rangers: Monday @ Islanders, Thursday vs. Vancouver, Friday @ Buffalo
·         Washington: Sunday @ Anaheim, Tuesday @ Pittsburgh, Thursday vs. Winnipeg

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 14 of their 25 home dates this season. The 14 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 17 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 third game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  The Isles are 3-0-0 in this stretch.

What a Season:
The Isles are 37-18-1 thru 56 games, matching the 1981-82 team for most wins through 56 games, which included the first 12 games of their 15-game win streak.  It's the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 37 games in a season.

Most wins in first 56 games:
·         37-18-1 in 2014-15
·         37-13-6 in 1981-82
·         36-10-10 in 1978-79
·         35-12-9 in 1977-78
·         34-14-8 in 1980-81
·         34-20-2 in 1983-84
·         33-15-8 in 1976-77

Most points in first 56 games:
·         82 in 1978-79
·         80 in 1981-82
·         79 in 1977-78
·         76 in 1980-81
·         75 in 2014-15
·         74 in 1976-77
·         70 in 1983-84

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 20-6-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the third time in club history that the Isles have won at least 20 of their first 26 home games (21-3-2 in 1981-82 and 20-2-4 in 1977-78). 

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 5-1-0 in their last 6.

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       17-17-12=46
Columbus 11-7-19=37
The Isles have outshot 24 of their last 27 opponents.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 1,878-1,537 for a +341 shot differential.

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +341 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 2,750 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 37-18-1 overall; 20-6-0 at home and 17-12-1 on the road.  
Columbus is 24-27-3 overall; 12-14-2 at home and 12-13-1 on the road. 

By Division
The Isles are 18-2-0 in Division games and are 19-16-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 4-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-3-0 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 18-2-0 against the Met Division, including 11 straight wins.  They are 11-0-0 at home (outscoring opponents 45-23) and 7-2-0 on the road. The Isles are 7-0 in overtime/shootouts against division foes, going 4-0 at home and 3-0 on the road. 
It's the Isles' longest home winning streak vs. Divisional opponents to start the season since they went a perfect 16-0-0 vs. the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Capitals in the 1981-82 season.
The Isles' next division game will be on Monday vs. the Rangers.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves to improve to 31-11-0 on the season. He is 9-4-1 in his career against Columbus. 
Anton Forsberg made a career-high 40 saves but falls to 0-3-0 on the season and in his NHL career.

31-Win Club
Halak is the 4th goalie in Islander history to win at least 31 games in a season and is now just 1 win away from tying the club record of 32
Player               Wins
Rick DiPietro     32 in 2006-07
Billy Smith        32 in 1981-82
Chris Osgood   32 in 2001-02
Jaroslav Halak  31 in 2014-15
Rick DiPietro     30 in 2005-06

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-4 on the power play, while Columbus was 0-4.  The Isles have allowed at least one power play goal in 9 of the last 13 games.
The power play is 8-38 in the last 13 games (21.1%) but only 4-22 (18.2%) in last 8.
The penalty kill has allowed 13 goals in 35 times short over the last 13 games (62.9%) after killing 27-29 (93.1%) over the prior 12 games.  However, the penalty kill has been a bit better during this 4-game win streak, killing 10 of 12 (83.3%).
The Isles are 19-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-9-1 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-14-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 22-4-1 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 31-5-1 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-13-0 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 22-4-1 in games decided by a single goal including 10-4-0 in regulation. They are 5-0 in games decided in overtime and are 7-1 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 21-11-1 when they score first and are 16-7-0 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 155-138-40 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 333
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 155
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
Josh Bailey: "The way the three of us play seems to mesh. It's been fun. You just want to keep playing hard and I think we'll keep getting results…. I think Anders has done a great job. I think he's put a lot of big goals in there for us. Whatever line he's been on, he's always made that line better and contributed. I feel confident as well and I think the three of us and as a team, we've got to keep going in this direction."
John Tavares: ""The poise and composure we play with this year is just so far ahead from last year…It's unbelievable really. You can just sense that confidence and understand that we're dictating the game. If we just keep the momentum and keep doing those things we'll wear them down and eventually it paid off."

They Tweeted It
@ScottRBrooks #Isles with BLT on the menu tonight.  Bailey, Lee and Tavares.
@AriesBoychik #YESYESYES chants heard loudly at the #Isles post game show with @Shannon_Hogan. I love it! Lets go #Isles! #IslesTwitter
@alanhahn John Tavares showing that next-level game again. Adding to his world class skill is a gritty edge that is turning him into a beast. #Isles
@AnEvanHess Is there really any question about who is the best athlete in NY? #Isles
@IslandersFamily The barn be rocking yet again! Another great win at home. #YesYesYes #Isles

The Coach
"They have some zone time, we defended real well…the focus…the commitment…the passion.  We have to continue winning at home.  Tonight is was great to see (Bailey) shoot the puck…there's some chemistry on that line right now."

Back-to-Backs
The Isles are 7-2-0 in the front-end and 7-2-0 on the back end of back-to-backs this season.  The Isles have swept 5 sets of back-to-back this season and are 1-1-0 in four sets.
The next back-to-back set will be on February 16th vs. the Rangers and February 17th at Carolina.

Leading Ice Men
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles with 20:28 of ice-time; Jack Johnson led Columbus in ice-time with 24:56.

Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-4-0), Travis Hamonic (15-2-1), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-5-0), Thomas Hickey (3-0-0), Nick Leddy (0-3-0), Frans Nielsen (1-0-0), Kyle Okposo (0-1-0) and Calvin deHaan (1-2-0).

Anders Lee led Isles forwards with 17:47 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (20-17-1), 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 65 draws (46%).  Brock Nelson won 7 of 10 for the Isles; Ryan Johansen won 12 of 20 for Columbus. The Isles won 22 of 44 draws in the first two periods but only 8 of 21 in the final 20 minutes. The Isles won 4 of 10 draws on the power play and 3 of 10 on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Columbus 36-29.  Matt Martin led the Islanders with 5 hits.
Travis Hamonic fought Scott Hartnell in the second period. The Isles have been involved in 13 fights this season: Martin (8), Hamonic (3), Lee (1), Strome (1) and 10 of the 13 have been against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Giving Up the Body
The Isles were credited with 20 blocked shots; Johnny Boychuk led the Isles with 6.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 72-71 (including 52-38 in the first two periods). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Lubomir Visnovsky and Anders Lee led the Isles with a +12 even-strength Corsi rating; Visnovsky and Josh Bailey were also on-ice for a team-leading 69% of Corsi For events.  Ryan Johansen and Scott Hartnell (+6 each) led Columbus.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 370 career points; he is 74 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 point 20 times this season and the Isles are 15-5-0 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 25 games over all-time NHL .500 (1442-1417-451 in 3,310 games).   It's the first time since January 5, 2009 that the Isles are 25 games over all-time NHL .500.
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 308 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 109 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Matt Carkner and Eric Boulton are on injured reserve.  Calvin deHaan missed the game due to an injury. Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 205 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         162 goals (13th all-time and 6 behind Ziggy Palffy)
·         208 assists (15th all-time, 41 behind Tomas Jonsson and 51 behind Billy Harris)
·         370 points (13th all-time and 73 behind Billy Harris)
·         406 games played (37th among Islander skaters all-time, 6 behind Wayne Merrick and 17 behind Dave Langevin)
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, 5 behind Frans Nielsen and 8 behind Pierre Turgeon)
·         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 14 behind Josh Bailey)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         95 goals (tied-28th all-time with Mikko Makela and David Volek and 4 behind Trent Hunter)
·         190 assists (17th all-time, 3 behind Pierre Turgeon and 18 behind John Tavares)
·         285 points (23rd all-time, 1 behind Ed Westfall, 5 behind Alexei Yashin and 7 behind Duane Sutter)
·         503 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 6 behind Rich Pilon and 7 behind Mick Vukota)
Michael Grabner has:
·         87 goals (tied-36th all-time with Butch Goring and 5 behind Travis Green)
Josh Bailey has:
·         450 games played (tied-30th among Islander skaters all-time with Scott Lachance and 9 behind Trent Hunter)

Season Series Stats
The Isles lead the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).
The Blue Jackets won their first two games ever at the Coliseum, but the Isles are 5-0-2 in their last seven Long Island match-ups.
The Isles, who defeated the Jackets 5-2 in Columbus on January 10th, will return to Ohio on April 2nd.  Nine days later the Blue Jackets will provide the opposition for the 1,665th (and final) regular season game in Nassau Coliseum history.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 14th

26 years ago tonight (1989) – David Volek scored an unassisted power play goal with 6:53 to play to break a 3-3 tie as the Isles defeated Edmonton 5-3.
Pat LaFontaine had a pair of goals for the Isles, giving him 30 goals on the season.  Brad Dalgarno had the only goal of the first period, while Randy Wood added an insurance goal for the Isles.
It was the rookie Volek's seventh game winner, five of which had come in the third period. That established a team record for rookie game winners, which was later tied by Trent Hunter.  Anders Lee recorded his 6th game-winning goal on Thursday and is just one behind Volek and Hunter.
"Sometimes it's a coincidence," Al Arbour told Newsday's Sherry Ross, regarding certain players' abilities to come up big. "But he's out there every shift, and the harder you work, the luckier you get. You make things happen."
Volek would record only four other game-winning goals in his (regular season) career.  But about 4 years and three months later, Volek would make something else happen – the dethroning of the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.
Also on this date: (1978) – Bryan Trottier scored the winning goal with 9:10 left in the game as the Isles rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Los Angeles 3-2.  Butch Goring had a goal for Los Angeles.
All-time, the Isles have played nine February 14th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 3-4-2 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale. 
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 21-22-5-1 after a 6-3 loss in Providence on Friday and a 5-2 loss in their final visit to Manchester, NH on Saturday.  Bridgeport hosts Hershey on Sunday.

Up Next
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16th— RANGERS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The Isles will look to extend their winning streak to five games as they host the Rangers in the fourth meeting of the long-time rivals this season.  The Isles have won the first three, each by three goal margins (6-3, 3-0 and 4-1). 
The Rangers are the only rival to visit The Barn three times this season; they will return to Long Island for their final regular season visit on March 8th.
Like the Isles, the Rangers will come in with a winning streak, having won the first three games of their four game road trip.  The Isles lead the Rangers by 4 points in the Met, but the Blueshirts do have two games in hand.

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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