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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Skinny on Back-to-Backs (and bellies-to-bellies)!

The Isles are off to a great start in back-to-backs this season. The Isles have played five sets of back-to-backs so far, and have gone 9-1-0 in the 10 games.  The loss came in the front-end of the first back-to-back (in Anaheim on October 17).  They have won all five back-ends and have swept the last four back-to-backs.

Sweeping Back-to-Backs
The Isles have swept four back-to-backs for only the 2nd time in franchise history and the 1st time EVER in a single season.

The Stanley Cup Champion Islanders won four straight in 1981:
  • Apr 4/5, 1981  (Washington 4-1, @ Buffalo 7-3)
  • Oct 14/15, 1981 (@ Pittsburgh 4-1, Vancouver 4-1)
  • Oct 23/24, 1981 (@ Washington 4-2, Washington 6-4)
  • Nov 10/11, 1981 (@ Winnipeg 5-3, @ Toronto 4-3)
[in the midst of this stretch Butch Goring won a Conn Smythe Award]

Back Ends
It has been more than a decade since the Isles won the back-end of (at least) five straight back-to-backs--and they did that over two seasons, winning the last two of the 2007-08 season and the first four of the 2008-09 campaign.

The last time the won the back-end of (at least) five straight back-to-backs in a single season was in 2006-07, when the Isles won the first six back-ends.  Like this season, the Isles had a new Jack Adams Award-winning coach behind their bench: Ted Nolan.

The club record for consecutive back-end wins is 8, and that has been done twice:
  • January 22-March 14, 1976
  • March 26- November 22, 1978 (over two seasons)
Like this season, those teams had a coach who now has 782 career wins behind their bench: Al Arbour.

The next back-to-back is on January 12th vs. the Rangers and January 13th vs. Tampa Bay, with both games in Brooklyn. While the Isles/Rangers game is a 1pm start, Tampa Bay will play at 7pm on January 12th in Buffalo.

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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