Our New York Islanders are now 27th in the league, last in the Metropolitan division and the Eastern conference with 22 pts and a 9-10-4 record. The Isles have collected points in 4 OT or SO loses and those have made somewhat of a difference at this point, keeping them close enough to be dangerous. And while a lot has gone wrong, (goal scoring struggles, holding leads, lack of physicality on the check, missing PP with an up and down PK) afew good things have been happening amidst the things continue to plague the team. They have definitely started to trend towards the positive, like a 3 game winning streak which included an OT win vs Calgary, a comeback win vs the Stanley Cup Champion Pens (scored twice in 3 seconds tying NHL record) and a blowout 3rd period, good for a 3-0 shutout of the Caps last night. It was Jaroslav Halak’s (4-6-4, 2.86gaa & .911 Sv%) 40th career shutout. Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera have started to contribute more on the score-sheet and the team’s recent flurry of scoring big goals, very late in games (twice in last 3) is a trend we would love to see continue.
The recent surge has certainly given ownership a reason to stay behind GM, Garth Snow and Head Coach, Jack Capuano despite bad press throughout the NHL media pool and even fan petitions to encourage change behind the bench. The Islanders are playing better offensively and making a difference on the fore and back check, and that is translating on the ice. Eric Hornick mentioned that the Islanders have scored 1st in the last 4 games (3-1) and have won 3 straight for the first time this season, putting them 1 game out from an NHL .500 record. He has also pointed out for quite some time that the Isles magic number is 3. When they score 3 goals, they win games. They are 8-1-1 when doing so this season (37-4-2 last season) and can dictate the flow of a game, bringing more consistent play instead of struggling to stay in the mix.
While rumors abound on the team looking to find a top winger to play with franchise player and Captain, John Tavares, recent line tweaking has yielded some results. The Nelson-Tavares, Bailey line and opened some space and started to give the Islanders a little more bite. With Tavares, Nelson and Bailey all leading the team in points (18,15 & 14), it was definitely worth a try. Defensively, the Isles are enjoying an impact from their D joining the rush and playing well as a unit. They have contributed 47 points and Scott Mayfield has 2 of those points in 2 games played. Ryan Pullock and Adam Pelech look comfortable on the ice and the team has several players that have value on the trade market. They are a tight-knit group that spoke up on behalf of their coach, so we will have to wait and see what happens in the next few games as chemistry may continue to develop.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are enjoying a 13-6-0 record and will play Binghamton on Saturday night at 7pm. Eric Hornick, “Bracken Kearns continues to lead the Sound Tigers in scoring (6-11-17), while Steve Bernier leads the team in goals with eight goals. Toews is tied for the AHL rookie assist lead with those 12 helpers. Christopher Gibson, who hasn't played since an injury November 5th, remains the team leader in victories (6-0-0) while McAdam is now 5-0-0.”
On Saturday, December 3rd, the Islanders major AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers will host a Star Wars night to benefit the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation. The team will be raising money and auctioning off special Star Wars themed jerseys for this great cause. The Sound Tigers have asked different organizations to support them on the night and my wife and I felt a duty to respond. A few members of my international Star Wars charity group will be there, in costume with me to help bring some spirit and smiles to the night. I’ll be the one dressed as a 181st Tie Pilot, please stop by and say hello!
Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings will be the first time the Islanders see Frans Nielsen as a member of the opposition, since leaving the team as a free agent this summer.
12/1 Seidenberg off IR, Pelech (upper) on IR.
Per Eric Hornick, “JF Berube dressed as the back-up goalie for the sixth straight game.” Berube has yet to play for the Islanders this season. Thomas Greiss is 5-4-0 with a 2.47gaa and a .919Sv%.
Per Brendan Burke, “PK this season: First 6 games: 95.4% Next 8 games: 61.5% Last 8 games: 91.7% I offer no reason nor explanation, just numbers.”
Per IPB, “The Islanders are said to have a team value of $385 million, which is good for the 18th spot in the NHL, according to Forbes.
Forbes calculated the value of the team to have increased 18 percent from last year.
New team owners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, paid $485 million to become majority owners, replacing Charles Wang, who is now a minority investor in the team.”
Per Daniel Friedman, “@forbes also suggests team will leave Barclays after 2017-18 season.”
Thomas Hickey scored another O.T. game winner against Calgary on Monday to give the Islanders a 2-1 win. Per Eric Hornick, “Thomas Hickey became the first defenseman in Islander history to score four regular season overtime goals.”
D, Adam Pelech left Monday night's 2-1 overtime win over the Calgary Flames with an upper-body injury. Scott Mayfield in for Pelech against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, 11/30.
On 11/28 IN 1979: Billy Smith of the @NYIslanders became first goalie in NHL history to be credited with a goal.
11/23 The Islanders beat the Ducks in a bizarre 14 round shoot out. Thomas hickey scores a controversial goal in 12 round to keep NY alive until Nick Leddy scored the winning goal.
Sound Tigers Notes:
11/29 The @NYIslanders have activated Ryan Pulock (D) off the team's IR list and loaned him to the #SoundTigers.
Per Brian Compton, “Pulock needs a couple of games to get back into game shape. Injury kept him off the ice for a bit.”
11/16 D, Jesse Graham and goaltender Eamon McAdam have been reassigned to the team by the New York Islanders from the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL). In addition, goaltender Josh Robinson has been released from his PTO and returned to Missouri.
NBC to televise 2017 Honda @NHL All Star Game - orig. scheduled for @NBCSN, first time on net TV since '04.