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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, March 14, 2015

The Skinny: Ottawa 2, Isles 1

"The Skinny"  

By Eric Hornick
 
Game 70
Ottawa 2, Isles 1
Andrew Hammond extended his career-starting point streak to 10 games (9-0-1) as Ottawa scored two second period goals and then held on to defeated the Islanders 2-1 before the 21st sellout crowd of the season (16,170 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Isles still trail the Rangers by just 1 point in the Metropolitan Division, but the Rangers once again have four games in hand.

The Scoring:
1st Period
NONE
 
2nd Period
06:32    OTT      Matt Puempel (2) ASST: Mika Zibanejad (21), Patrick Wiercioch (9)          1 - 0 OTT          
18:53    OTT      Kyle Turris (17) ASST: Erik Karlsson (36), Mark Stone (28)           2 - 0 OTT          
 
3rd Period
11:59    NYI       Tyler Kennedy (6) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (11), Nikolay Kulemin (13)    2 - 1 OTT
 
The Skinny
Tyler Kennedy scored his first goal at the Coliseum, and his second as an Islander… John Tavares was held pointless for the second straight game but remains the NHL's leading scorer with 72 points…The Isles have lost three straight at home for the first time this season; since opening the season by going 17-4-0 at home, the Isles are 6-7-0 in their last 13 at home…The Sens are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games…Anders Lee point streak ended at six games…Tyler Kennedy's goal was the Isles' first in 102:24.

1st Times in a Really Long Time (Goaltender edition)
Andrew Hammond, the Sens rookie netminder is now 9-0-1 in his first 10 starts.  He is the first Ottawa goalie to earn a point in his first 10 games, breaking a tie with Ray Emery (who was 8-0-1).  Hammond is the first goalie since Patrick Lalime (with Pittsburgh in 1996-97) to start his career with a 10-game point streak.  Lalime went 13-0-1 in his first 14.  Hammond is also the third goaltender in NHL history, and the first since 1938, to allow two goals or fewer in his first ten career starts. The others: Boston's Frank Brimsek (12 starts, Nov. 3 – Dec. 27, 1938) and Detroit's Clarence Dolson (10 starts, Nov. 15 – Dec. 13, 1928).  (h/t Elias Sports Bureau)

Most Times Scoring the First Goal of a Game as a Rookie (last 25 seasons)
1.     Alex Ovechkin – 12 (2005-06)
2.     Teemu Selanne – 10 (1992-93)
3.     Anders Lee -9 (2014-15)

It's Magic
The Isles magic number for clinching a playoff spot remains 16.  Any combination of points won by the Islanders and/or lost by Ottawa will clinch a playoff spot for the Isles.  Ottawa past Florida for 9th place in the East.

Tired vs. Rested
This was the 22nd time this season that the Isles, their opponent, or both had played the night before.  The Isles suffered only their loss in 17 games against an opponent playing on back-to-back nights (14-3-0; the Isles are 1-4-0 when they are playing on the back-end and their opponents are not.
·         The Isles are 7-1-0 when both teams played the night before. This will also happen on March 29th vs. Detroit and April 11th vs Columbus.
·         The Isles are 7-2-0 when they are rested and their opponents are not. This also will happen on March 21st in New Jersey, March 24th vs. Minnesota, April 4th vs Buffalo
·         The Isles are 1-4-0 when their opponents are rested and the Isles are not. This will happen for the final time this season on Saturday vs. Montreal.

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         NY Rangers  42-17-7=91 points / 66 games (39 ROW)  Idle
·         ISLES           43-23-4=90 points / 70 games (36 ROW)  Lost to Ottawa 2-1
·         Pittsburgh     39-18-10=88 points / 67 games (36 ROW)  Idle
·         Washington  36-23-10=82 points / 69 games (33 ROW)  Lost to Dallas 4-2

Upcoming Schedule:
·         NY Rangers: Saturday @ Buffalo, Sunday vs. Florida, Wednesday vs. Chicago
·         ISLES: Saturday vs. Montreal, Tuesday @ Chicago
·         Pittsburgh: Saturday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. Detroit, Tuesday at New Jersey, Thursday at Dallas
·         Washington: Sunday vs. Boston, Monday at Buffalo, Thursday at Minnesota

Year of the Fan:
The Isles have sold-out 20 of their 34 home dates this season. The 20 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 25 times this season.

What a Season:
The Isles are 43-23-4 thru 70 games, representing their most wins since 1983-84 (50). 

The Isles have won more than 43 games only six times in their history:
·         1981-82           54
·         1978-79           51
·         1983-84           50
·         1980-81           48
·         1977-78           48
·         1976-77           47
·         2014-15           43
 
Home Sweet Home
The Isles are 23-11-0 on Coliseum ice, representing their most home win since 2010 (when they finished 23-14-4).
The Isles have lost three straight, all in regulation, on home ice for the first time, since March 1 – 14th, 2014.

Road Warriors
The Isles are 20-12-4 on the road and have earned at least a point in 7 straight road games (4-0-3).  The franchise record for consecutive road games with a point is 8, which the Isles will attempt to equal next Tuesday in Chicago.

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, 1-4-0, 6-1-0 and 4-2-3 before losing their last two.

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        6-22-7=35
Ottawa    9-10-9=28
 
The Isles have outshot 35 of their last 41 opponents and 52 of their 70 opponents this season.
 
On the season, the Isles have outshot their opponents 2,361-1,955 for a +406 shot differential.  

Biggest Differential, Season
·         +406 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 2,766 shots this year.

Home and Road
The Islanders are 43-23-4 overall; 23-11-0 at home and 20-12-4 on the road.  
Ottawa is 32-24-11 overall, 16-11-5 at home and 16-13-6 on the road.

By Division
The Isles are 19-5-1 in Division games and are 24-18-3 in games against other divisions. They are 10-9-2 vs. the Atlantic Division, 6-5-1 vs. Central Division, and 8-4-0 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 19-5-1 against the Met Division, and are 12-3-1 in their last 16 division matchups.  They are 11-3-0 at home (outscoring opponents 54-36) 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 March 21st in New Jersey.

In the Nets
Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves but falls to 34-15-1 on the season. He is 5-6-2 in his career against the Rangers.
Andrew Hammond made 34 saves to improve to 9-0-1 on the season. He is 1-0-0 in his career against the Isles. 

Power Plays
The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play, while Ottawa was 0-1.
The power play is 3-17 (17.6%) in the last 5 games.  The Isles have not scored 2 PP goals in a game since January 4th.
The penalty kill has killed 39 of 43 (90.7%) in the last 16 games; the Isles allowed two goals to Vancouver on February 22nd and two goals to Carolina on February 28th but blanked their other 14 opponents. In their last 7 road games, the Isles have killed all 17 opponent power plays.
The Isles are 24-9-1 when they score at least one power play goal and 19-14-3 when they do not.  The Isles are 15-16-0 when they allow at least one power play goal and 28-7-4 when they do not. 

Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 36-7-2 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 7-16-2 when they do not. 

One Goal Games
The Isles are 25-7-4 in games decided by a single goal including 12-7-0 in regulation. They are 6-1 in games decided in overtime and are 7-3 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 25 wins are a new franchise record – in 2007-08, 23 of Isles' 35 wins were by 1 goal.

First Goal (and Second Goal)
The Isles are 26-14-3 when they score first and are 17-9-1 when they allow the opening goal.  However, the Isles are 13-0-1 when they allow the opening goal but score the second goal.  The Isles have rebounded from 2-0 deficits to win four times this season (New Jersey on December 15th (SO), Pittsburgh on January 16th, Philadelphia on February 5th and Toronto on March 9th)

Second to The One
Jack Capuano is the 2nd winningest coach in Islander history. Capuano is 161-143-43 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 347
3.     Mike Milbury 191
4.     Terry Simpson 187
5.     Scott Gordon 181
 
Most wins by Islander coaches:
1.     Al Arbour 740
2.     Jack Capuano 161
3.     Terry Simpson 81
4.     Peter Laviolette 77
5.     Ted Nolan 74

They Said It
John Tavares: "It's a couple of tight games, these last two.  We have to find a way to get to the middle and get more opportunities. We just have to play through it. We're not far off."
Jaroslav Halak:  We did some good things out there, some things we need to improve on; tomorrow is gonna be a tough game --we all know that.

They Tweeted It
@JBuono611 "It Happened At The Coliseum Parking Lot" I can't find my car. #Isles
@AlexSieger Big save made by Halak keeps #Isles in the game.
@Nina__Ribeiro My dad doing the #YesYesYes chant has to be the best moment of life 😂😂 #Isles
@GMillerTSN Say what you want about the Coliseum, when it's full the atmosphere is old-school amazing.  I will miss it when it's gone.
@freelancehack A wicked slapshot and a nice deflection/ #Isles aren't out of this yet.

The Coach
"If you can't score, you can't win. We have to stay the course and grind it out.. Just gotta stay with it …stay the course… obviously, certain parts of our game have to be better"

Back-to-Backs
Including tonight, the Isles are 9-4-1 in the front-end and 8-5-0 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 seven sets and are 0-1-1 in one set.
This back-to-back set will conclude Saturday vs. Montreal.

Leading Ice Men
Travis Hamonic led all Isles with 24:15 of ice-time; Erik Karlsson led Ottawa in ice-time with 22:21. 
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Johnny Boychuk (13-5-1), Travis Hamonic (20-5-2), Lubomir Visnovsky (2-1-0) John Tavares (2-6-1), 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).
Josh Bailey led Isles forwards with 21:56. Isles record by Forward ice-time leaders: John Tavares (26-21-4), 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 (0-2-0). 

In the Circle
The Islanders won 44 of 70 draws (63%).  Casey Cizikas won 12 of 17 for the Isles; No Senator won more than he lost.  The Isles won the face-off battle in every period, in every zone, and in every manpower situation. The Isles won 4 of 5 draws on the power play and 2 of 3 draws on the penalty kill.
The 44 wins are the most that the Isles have had since winning 45 of 72 vs. Dallas on January 6, 2014. That is also the only other game in the last two seasons in which the Isles won 18 more draws than their opponents.

Heavy Hitters
The Isles out-hit Ottawa 29-23.  Michael Grabner led the Islanders with 6.
Matt Martin leads the NHL with 341 hits while Cal Clutterbuck is 2nd with 287.  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 20 blocked shots; Travis Hamonic led the Isles with 5.

For the Corsi Crowd
The Isles finished with a total Corsi advantage of 64-58 (including 31-19 in the 2nd period). The Corsi stat measures shots attempted, both for and against (including blocks).
Calvin deHaan led the Isles with a +6 even-strength Corsi rating; deHaan was also on-ice for a team-leading 65% of Corsi For events.  Mike Zibanejad led Ottawa with a +4 rating.

Head of the Class
Islander Captain John Tavares has 387 career points; he is 81 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 23 times this season and the Isles are 15-8-1 in those games.  Prior to this season the Isles were 40-89-22 in the 151 games in which Tavares was scoreless. (Thanks hockey-reference.com)

All-time Winners
The Islanders fall to 26 games over all-time NHL .500 (1448-1422-454 in 3,324 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
Nikolay Kulemin and Brock Nelson are the Islanders' reigning ironmen.  Kulemin has played 138 consecutive games (68 for Toronto and 70 for the Isles) while Nelson has played 123 consecutive Islander games. Only two other Islanders have played every game this season.  Ryan Strome played in his 92nd consecutive game while John Tavares' streak is now 70 games.

Missing Men
Mikhail Grabovski and Nick Leddy missed the game with injuries; Frans Nielsen missed his first game of the season with a "maintenance day". Michael Grabner replaced Nielsen in the lineup. Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, and Matt Donovan were scratched.
The Isles have lost 252 games this season due to injury/illness.

All-time Islander Leader Board:
John Tavares has:
·         169 goals (12th all-time and 15 behind Billy Harris)
·         218 assists (15th all-time, 31 behind Tomas Jonsson and 41 behind Billy Harris)
·         387 points (13th all-time and 56 behind Billy Harris)
·         420 games played (36th among Islander skaters all-time, 2 behind Dave Langevin, 5 behind Greg Gilbert and 6 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 11 behind Frans Nielsen)
·         298 points (18th all-time, 33 behind Ziggy Palffy and 35 behind Tomas Jonsson)
·         438 games played (32nd among Islander skaters all-time, 12 behind Scott Lachance and 21 behind Trent Hunter)
Frans Nielsen has:
·         97 goals (29th all-time, 2 behind Trent Hunter and 4 behind Anders Kallur)
·         196 assists (16th all-time and 21 behind John Tavares)
·         293 points (20th all-time, 2 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 5 behind Kyle Okposo)
·         516 games played (21st among Islander skaters all-time, 14 behind Pat LaFontaine and 16 behind Tomas Jonsson)
 Josh Bailey has:
·         133 assists (32nd all-time, 5 behind Greg Gilbert, 6 behind Mark Streit, and 7 behind Steve Thomas)
·         213 points (tied-36th all-time with Jean Potvin & Garry Howatt and 1 behind Mark Parrish)
·         464 games played (29th among Islander skaters , 6 behind Mariusz Czerkawski and 13 behind Gerry Hart)
Michael Grabner has:
·         89 goals (36th all-time, 3  behind Travis Green and 4 behind Garry Howatt & Greg Gilbert)

Season Series Stats
The Isles win the season series 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 3).  They fail to sweep a season series from Ottawa for the first time.
The Isles swept a home-and-home series in December between the teams (one game in OT) and are 5-3-0 in their last eight vs. the Sens, but only two of their wins in that span have come in regulation.

It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 13th
36 years ago tonight (1979) – Mike Bossy scored three goals for his fourth hat trick of the season, raising his total to 57 goals and Bryan Trottier added four assists as the Islanders pounded the Boston Bruins 7-2, moving the Isles within two points of Montreal for the NHL lead.

Prior to the game, Original Islander Ed Westfall announced his retirement.  Following a 4-minute standing ovation, Westfall commented: "You get out there and you want to say the right things, all the things you thought of during the day and wanted to remember.  Then you're out there and you forget."

It took nearly 33 years, but "18" was inducted into the Islander Hall of Fame in 2011.
Bossy had a big fan in the Boston locker room: Bruin coach Don Cherry.  When Cherry was asked "Want to know what I think of Mike Bossy", he directed reporters back to Bossy to ask the Islander star what Cherry had told him two weeks ago.  The embarrassed Bossy, upon pressed, said that Cherry told him "You're the greatest scorer I've ever seen".  Bossy was chosen with the 15th overall pick in 1977; Boston picked 16th and selected Dwight Foster.

Also on this date: (2010) - Jon Sim and Mark Streit scored 50 seconds apart in the second period as the Isles broke open a tied game and went on to defeat the Devils 4-2.  Ilya Kovalachuk blew one past Dwayne Roloson to get the Devils within one goal early in the third period, but it was a mistake by Kovalchuk that led to a Sean Bergenheim shorthanded goal that produced the final margin.

All-time, the Isles have played five March 13th games at the Coliseum and have compiled a 2-2-1 record on this date at 1255 Hempstead Turnpike in Uniondale.

On The Farm
The Sound Tigers are 22-29-6-1 following a 4-1 loss to Worcester on Wednesday.  Bridgeport hosts Lehigh Valley on Saturday and Syracuse on Sunday (3pm).

Up Next
SATURDAY, MARCH 14th— MONTREAL AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[NBSCSN (Pre-game at 6:30), 88.7 WRHU-FM, 103.9 WRCN]

The back-end of this back-to-back is on Saturday, as the Islanders celebrate Pi Day by entertaining the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs are the only Eastern Conference team that the Isles have not beaten this season, as Montreal won 3-1 at the Coliseum just before Christmas and 6-4 in Montreal the weekend before the All-Star Break in January.
The Isles are 1-4-1 in their last six games vs. Montreal, and have been outscored 19-11 in that span.
As for Pi Day, Saturday is 3-14, but this year it's 3-14-15, and at 9:26:53 (AM and PM) the first ten digits of Pi will appear in order.  Now that's Skinny!
Note that Saturday's game will air exclusively in the US on NBCSN.  Howie, Butch and Shannon get the night off – Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will call the national telecast.

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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