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The Skinny on the Playoff Race

Updating for all of Saturday's results: Saturday's Games Rangers 3, Isles 2 (SO) Philadelphia 1, New Jersey 0 Washington 4, Tampa Ba...

Friday, March 29, 2024

The (First) Skinny : Washington 6, Isles 1 (October 8, 2003)

Following Saturday's game in Tampa I will publish the 1,000th consecutive edition of The Skinny.  It has been published after every regular season and playoff game for well over a decade. It actually debuted in the 2003-04 season, with the first game the Isles played after Peter Laviolette left the Isles.  (It's gotten longer, and hopefully better, since then)  Here's a look at it.


"The Skinny" 

By Eric Hornick

Long-time Islander fans may remember a post-game segment on Islander telecasts in the mid-90's called "The Skinny"… it was filled with information you might not find anywhere else.  A decade later, we've moved "The Skinny" to newyorkislanders.com

Game 1
Capitals 6, Islanders 1

For Openers:
The Isles drop to 8-16-8 on Opening Night, losing their 2nd straight opener and falling to 2-7-3 in their last dozen openers. The Isles are now 2-7-2 when they open on a Thursday. The six goals allowed are the most in an Opener in 14 years [10/5/89 Isles 5 @ Minnesota 6]. It's the most lopsided Opening Night loss since a 7-2 defeat in New Jersey in 1984.

Never in Washington:
The Isles remain winless at the MCI Center, falling to 0-10-2-1 in 13 visits. They are 1-23-3-1 in their last 28 overall vs. Washington. 

Inauspicious Debut:
Steve Stirling lost his debut as an NHL coach.  Overall, Islander coaches are 5-7-2 in coaching debuts including 2-4-2 when the game is a season opener.

Results of First Game as Islander Coach
Phil Goyette 10/07/72 * L 3-2 Atlanta
Earl Ingarfeld 01/31/73 L 5-3 @ Toronto
Al Arbour 10/10/73 * T 1-1 @ Atlanta
Terry Simpson 10/09/86 * L 3-2 @ Chicago
Al Arbour II 12/09/89 L 6-5 @ New Jersey
Lorne Henning 01/21/94 * W 2-1 Florida
Mike Milbury 10/07/95 * T 4-4 @ Boston
Rick Bowness 01/24/97 W 5-2 @ Hartford
Mike Milbury II 03/12/98 L 2-1 Washington
Bill Stewart 01/21/99 W5-2 @ Pittsburgh
Butch Goring 10/02/99 * L 4-2 @ Tampa Bay
Lorne Henning II 03/04/01 W 5-2 @ New York Rangers
Peter Laviolette 10/05/01 * W 3-2 @ Tampa Bay
Steve Stirling 10/09/03 * L 6-1@Washington
* Season Opener

Jagr, for Openers
Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist, and now has 23 points in Season Openers, seven points shy of Ray Bourque's NHL record.  He now has 507 career goals, tying Jean Beliveau for 30th all-time.

1 + 2 = 3
Since 1993-94, Jaromir Jagr has scored more goals than anyone in the NHL: 414, including one in this game.  Peter Bondra, who scored twice, now 376, which ranks second in this span.

Super Bowl to NHL Goal:
John Gruden, the namesake of the Buccaneer coach, scored the 2nd goal for the Capitals – it was his first NHL point since 1999 and his first career NHL goal. He played for the Berlin [Germany] Polar Bears last season. Gruden debuted as a Bruin in the 1993-94 season; this was his 82nd  NHL game. Gruden, who turned 33 in June, is the oldest player to score his first NHL goal since Helmut Balderis did it in 1989 at age 37.

13.64?
Garth Snow allowed all six goals, and was pulled just 26:24 into the contest.  Snow's GAA is 13.64. 

Perfect in Relief
Rick DiPietro stopped all 11 shots he faced after replacing Snow. In last year's opener, Snow stopped the only shot he faced over the final 20 minutes after replacing Chris Osgood.

Mariusz' Back
Mariusz Czerkawski made his return to the Isles and scored his 121st Islander goal, tying Duane Sutter for 15th place on the Isles' all-time goal scoring list.

It's a Start
Two players, both drafted in the first round in 2002, made their NHL debuts:  Boyd Gordon for the Capitals and Sean Bergenheim for the Islanders.  Gordon, who was picked 17th in 2002 [five picks before Bergenheim] played for Brent Sutter at Red Deer. Alexander Semin, also a 2002 first rounder, was a scratch for Washington.

Somebody Has to Sit
Opening Night scratches for the Isles: Justin Papineau, Trent Hunter and Sven Butenschon.

Up Next
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11TH  -- ISLANDERS AT BUFFALO 7:00PM
[Metro (pre-game at 6:30pm); Disney-1560 (pre-game at 6:50pm)]

It's the Sabres' Home Opener, as they look to score their first goal under new owner Tom Golisano. Buffalo was blanked 2-0 by the Flyers in their opener.

It's the first of four meetings on the season with the Sabres.  The Isles, who defeated Buffalo twice in overtime last season, won the 2002-03 series six points to four.  The Isles won the final three games last season after dropping the season opener 5-1 and now own a three-game win streak over Buffalo for the first time since 1995-96.

Jason Blake scored two overtime goals for the Isles against Buffalo last season, marking the first time an Islander player has ever scored two overtime goals in one regular season against the same opponent.

The Isles are 4-7-2-1 in 14 all-time visits to the HSBC Arena.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.



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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