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"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick The Isles return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday. Here is a preview- Skinny style. UP NEXT TH...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Skinny: Vancouver 4, Isles 0

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
Game 61
Vancouver 4, Isles 0

Zach Kassian and Radim Vrbata scored power play goals to break open a scoreless tie as the Vancouver Canucks scored three goals in the second period and defeated the Isles 4-0 before a sellout crowd of 16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Eddie Lack, who replaced an injured Ryan Miller shortly after the Kassian goal, earned the "save", stopping 27 shots in just under 39 minutes of play.
It is the Canucks' first-ever shutout on Long Island, and their first over the Isles in over 23 years.  The combined shutout is only the third ever recorded against the Islanders, and the first one caused by injury.
The Islanders lead the Metropolitan Division by two points over the Rangers, three points over the Penguins and four points over the Capitals. 

The Scoring:

1st Period
2nd Period
00:28    VAN     PPG - Zack Kassian (8) ASST: Radim Vrbata (20), Henrik Sedin (41)        1 - 0 VAN         
09:53    VAN     PPG - Radim Vrbata (22) ASST: Daniel Sedin (39), Henrik Sedin (42)       2 - 0 VAN         
13:55    VAN     Bo Horvat (9) ASST: Ronalds Kenins (4), Jannik Hansen (13)       3 - 0 VAN         
3rd Period
19:49    VAN     EN - Yannick Weber (5) ASST: Shawn Matthias (8), Derek Dorsett (12) 4 - 0 VAN

The Skinny
The Isles are 8-6-1 since the All-Star break…It's only the second time in the last ten games that the Isles didn't score first and the first time in the last five home games that the Isles did not score a goal within the first 1:11 of play…The Isles had not allowed a power play goal in six straight games prior to tonight…It was only the second time all season that the Isles trailed by a 3-0 score (lost 5-0 in Colorado in October)…The Isles have allowed at least three goals in a period in 11 of their 20 losses and are 3-11-1 in the 15 games that they have allowed three or more goals in a period…John Tavares' point streak ended at five games (5-6-11)…The Sedin brothers have combined for 14 points on the last 14 Vancouver goals. Each brother has a four game point streak…This was the 5th time in the last five seasons that the Isles played 5 games in a 7-day stretch; it is the only time that the Isles will do so this season…The Isles are 4-4-1in games starting before 7pm local time.

Tired vs. Rested
This was the 18th time that the Isles, their opponent, or both teams are playing on back to back nights.
·         The Isles are 6-1-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This will happen again on Tuesday vs. Arizona.
·         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 5 back-to-back sets remaining; in two of the five their second game opponent will also play the night before.

Combined Shutouts vs. the Isles
·         11/9/1996: Martin Brodeur and Mike Dunham (NJ) – Dunham played only 30 seconds in his third NHL game.  It was one of ten relief appearances that season for Dunham.
·         2/2/2011: Brent Johnson and Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT) – Johnson received a game misconduct with 17 seconds to play following a fight with Rick DiPietro.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         ISLES           39-20-2=80 points / 61 games (32 ROW)  Lost to Vancouver 4-0
·         NY Rangers 36-16-6=78 points / 58 games (33 ROW)  Beat Columbus 4-3 (SO)
·         Pittsburgh     34-17-9=77 points / 60 games (31 ROW)  Beat Florida 5-1
·         Washington  33-18-10=76 points / 61 games (30 ROW) Lost to Philadelphia 3-2

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

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 16 of their 27 home dates this season. The 15 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 19 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 seventh game of a stretch in which the Isles will play 9 of the final 11 February games at home.  The Isles are 5-2-1 in this stretch (4-2-0 at home and 1-0-1 on the road).

What a Season:
The Isles are 39-20-2 thru 61 games.  Only the 1981-82 team had more wins through 60 games.  It's the first time since the 2006-07 season (40-30-12) that the Isles have won at least 39 games in a season.

Most wins in first 61 games:
·         41-14-6 in 1981-82
·         39-19-2 in 2014-15
·         39-12-10 in 1978-79
·         37-13-11 in 1977-78
·         37-22-2 in 1983-84
·         36-16-9 in 1976-77
·         35-16-10 in 1980-81

Most points in first 61 games:
·         88 in 1978-79
·         88 in 1981-82
·         85 in 1977-78
·         81 in 1976-77
·         80 in 2014-15
·         80 in 1980-81
·         76 in 1983-84 & 1975-76

Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 21-8-0 on Coliseum ice; it's only the fourth time in club history that the Isles have won at least 21 of their first 29 home games (24-3-2 in 1981-82, 22-2-5 in 1977-78, and 22-2-5 in 1978-79). 

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 7-3-1 in their last 11.

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            9-9-19 =37
Vancouver  8-10-6=24
The Isles have outshot 28 of their last 32 opponents.
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,060-1,700 for a +360 shot differential.
Biggest Differential, Season
·         +360 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 2,769 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 39-20-2 overall; 21-8-0 at home and 18-12-2 on the road.  
Vancouver is 34-22-3 overall; 16-11-1 at home and 18-11-2 on the road. 
The Isles and Canucks are two of four teams that are tied for the NHL lead in road wins.

By Division
The Isles are 19-3-1 in Division games and are 20-17-1 in games against other divisions. They are 9-8-1 vs. the Atlantic Division, 5-5-0 vs. Central Division, and 6-4-0 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
Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves but falls to 32-13-0 on the season. He is 5-5-1 in his career against the Caps.
Ryan Miller made 10 saves in just over 21 minutes and improves to 28-15-1 on the season. He is 17-9-3 in his career against the Isles.  Eddie Lack stopped 27 shots in relief to preserve the shutout.

Move over Billy, Ozzy and DiPi
Halak remains tied for 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 0-5 on the power play, while Vancouver was 2-3. 
The power play is but only 6-38 (15.9%) in the last 13 games.
The penalty kill has killed 15 of 17(88.2%) in the last 7 games.
The Isles are 21-9-0 when they score at least one power play goal and 18-11-2 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-15-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 25-4-2 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 33-6-1 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 23-12-2 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 157-140-41 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 338
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 157
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "You have to put in your opportunities when you get them and we didn't, and they did more often than not. We weren't able to get that first one and put the pressure on."

They Tweeted It
@supersport75 Luck was on Lack's side tonight and some skill no doubt #isles
@Netminder39 Lack has the #Isles number tonight.  Good game by him.
@mtrico That was very much a "schedule loss" for the #Isles  5 in 7 and back  to back with travel, but they need to get the win Tuesday against AZ.
@phantomveggie Why do I feel like this is the first time we've been shut out this season? #isles (It's actually the third, but the Isles won one of them in a shootout)

The Coach
"At the end of the day, we have to do a better job on special teams. As you move forward, and in the playoffs, that is what it's going to come down to."

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
John Tavares led all Isles with 25:47 of ice-time; it was the most time an Islander forward played in a game that ended in regulation since Ryan Smyth played 26:07 on March 24, 2007. Dan Hamhuis led Vancouver in ice-time with 26:00. 
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-0), Travis Hamonic (16-2-2), 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 21:12 of ice-time. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (22-19-2), 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 29 of 54 draws (54%).  John Tavares won 14 of 24 for the Isles; Bo Horvat won 9 of 14 for Vancouver. The Isles won only 7 of 17 draws in the first period but won 22 of 37 in the final 40 minutes. The Isles won 7 of 11 draws on the power play and 4 of 8 draws on the penalty kill.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Washington 41-29.  Cal Clutterbuck led the Islanders with 6 hits while Matt Martin and Anders Lee added five each.
Martin leads the NHL with 303 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 256.  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 just 5 blocked shots; Nick Leddy led the Isles with 2.

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 +16 even-strength Corsi rating; Michael Grabner was on-ice for a team-leading 86% of Corsi For events.  No Canuck had a positive rating; however, the analytics folks would caution about interpreting Corsi ratings in games in which the score is one-sided.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 377 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 fall to 25 games over all-time NHL .500 (1444-1419-451 in 3,314 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.

Nick Leddy and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Leddy has played 313 consecutive regular season NHL games, while Nelson has played 114 consecutive regular season Islander games.

Missing Men
Kyle Okposo, Casey Cizikas, Eric Boulton and Mikhail Grabovski are on injured reserve.  Lubomir Visnovsky replaced Calvin deHaan in the lineup. Matt Donovan was scratched.
The Isles have lost 223 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)
·         212 assists (15th all-time, 37 behind Tomas Jonsson and 47 behind Billy Harris)
·         377 points (13th all-time and 66 behind Billy Harris)
·         411 games played (tied-36th among Islander skaters all-time with Wayne Merrick ,11 behind Dave Langevin, 14 behind Greg Gilbert and 15 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 19 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)
·         507 games played (24th among Islander skaters all-time, 1 behind Rich Pilon, 2 behind Mick Vukota and 6 behind Dave Lewis)
Josh Bailey has:
·         129 assists (34th all-time, 1 behind Trent Hunter and 2 behind Jason Blake)
·         207 points (39th all-time, 4 behind Anders Kallur and 6 behind Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt)
·         455 games played (30th among Islander skaters, 4 behind Trent Hunter and 15 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 Canucks win the season series 2 games to 0 (and 4 points to 0).
It was only Vancouver's second regulation win in their last 10 trips to Long Island (4-2-2 with 2 ties).

It Happened at the Coliseum … on FEBRUARY 22nd  
38 years ago tonight (1977) – Dave Lewis scored with 2:40 to play as the Isles avoided an embarrassing defeat with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
The Isles dominated the entire game, but trailed 1-0 into the third period on a goal by the Rockies' Danny Gruen just 3:25 into play.
Garry Howatt tied the game at 5:29 of the third and the Isles kept pouring it on from there, finally beating Michel Plasse for the winning goal.
The Isles outshot Colorado 51-13, including 25-3 in the third period.  The 25 shots on goal set a club record (since beaten).
Denis Potvin recorded his 200th career assist on a rare goal by the defensive-minded Lewis.  Lewis told Newsday's Pat Calabria "My wife said, "Score a Goal." And she didn't say anything else. Not even goodbye."  Lewis' slapshot through a screen made him an obedient husband, and pleased his wife, who was overdue with their first child at the time.
Also on this date: (2007) – Randy Robitaille scored the only goal of the shootout as the Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit on a pair of Trent Hunter goals for a 3-2 win over Toronto.
All-time, the Isles have played eightFebruary 22nd games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 6-1-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.  
On The Farm
The Sound Tigers allowed a last-minute power play goal to Max Friburg and fell to 21-25-5-1 with a 3-2 loss to Norfolk.  Bridgeport has lost six straight games.

Up Next
[MSG (Isles Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]
The homestand continues on Tuesday as the Isles play their third game in four days and sixth day in nine days as they host the Arizona Coyotes.
The Isles blanked the Coyotes 1-0 in Glendale in November as Frans Nielsen scored the only goal and Jaroslav Halak recorded the shutout.
The Isles are 3-0-1 in their last four home games against the Coyotes.
Note that this game will air on MSG Network, not MSG+.

And Finally…
Happy birthday to the biggest Islander fan I know: my son Evan.  He celebrated his 15th birthday today, watching HIS team play in Nassau County, NY, just 15 minutes from home.
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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