By the Numbers: Islanders 2008-09

Though the playoffs, draft and free agency will capture the attention of this blog from now through the summer, we'll sprinkle retrospective posts here and there, too.

Sure, 2008-09 was ugly, but it doesn't hurt to look back now and then. I'll always view it as Year One of the rebuild that Garth Snow was authorized to begin in earnest in Summer 2008. We'll see how important Year One was in a few years, when we can judge if it was the start of something big ... or just another restart.

In a sense, though, it was easy: While going back to square one with this franchise tested our patience, it was also the simplest step ("Destroy everything. Replace from within. Accept losses for the sake of youth evaluation."). The truly difficult decisions begin now.

On that note, our first look back is the easy one: by the numbers. (Admittedly, part of the purpose of this particular post is to create a place where I can lazily refer to these without digging them up again...):

582 (unofficial count) -- Number of man-games lost to injury. From Rick DiPietro's lost season to 28-year-old rookie Kurtis McLean's cup of coffee cut short by a pre-game soccer warmup achilles injury, the Islanders were in triage all season long. No regular escaped the injury list, and only two players managed 70 games played.

1-6-1 -- The Islanders' record when team MVP and summer free agent coup Mark Streit was out of the lineup.

74 -- Number of games played by Streit, the highest total on the team.

59 -- Games played by defenseman Thomas "the Mole" Pock, a preseason waiver claim from the {gasp!} Rangers. He logged 22:25 in his 2nd game, and 7:05 in his 2nd-to-last appearance. He is an unrestricted free agent.

18 -- Goals by top goalscorer Kyle Okposo, in 65 games played.

198 -- Goals scored by the Isles, above only Colorado's 190. Remarkably, 198 was an improvement over 2007-08, when the team managed 189 (30th). The franchise-low is 170, during the expansion season (78 games) in 1972-73. While a sub-200 season is a rarity, the Islanders scored only 185 as recently as 2000-01, during the 52-point season.

61 -- Standings points, including consolation points from 5 SO losses, 3 OT losses, and bonus points from 3 SO wins.

274 -- Goals allowed (8 empty-netters), ahead of only Atlanta (279) and Toronto (286). A 34-goal increase over last season's 240 (23rd).

-34 -- Brendan Witt's plus/minus, which, um, "stabilized" at Game 51, when Witt hit -29 in the 3-2 loss to Florida Feb. 5. Witt is signed through 2010-11 at $3M per.

45.7% -- Faceoff win pct., ahead of only Phoenix (44.8%). In the seven games of his injury-wrecked season, Mike Sillinger still took 122 faceoffs and won 58.2% of them.

7 -- Number of Islanders to score in double-digits -- 8 if you count Bill Guerin, who had 16 when he was traded for what became Pittsburgh's 3rd-round pick.

5 -- Number of game-winning goals by Sean Bergenheim (out of 15 total for Bergie), which led the team. If Bergie doesn't hit 20 goals next year, it will be due to injury or other calamity. He's signed through next year, when he'll become an RFA.

21 -- Players who played for both AHL Bridgeport and the Islanders this year. (Thanks to Tom of The Tiger Track for the correction in comments.)

4 -- Goalies used by the Islanders, including Joey MacDonald (49 GP) and Yann Danis (31), who each got their first NHL shutouts, and Peter Mannino, who stopped 40 Blackhawk shots in his first NHL win.

.903 -- Team save percentage, which ranked 24th in the league.

1 -- Where the Islanders finished in their most important contest of the season: the NHL Draft Lottery.

That's all for now. We might add to this post as the summer goes on. Have more numbers? Find an error? Have a "yes, but that's misleading" explanation? Leave those and other retrospective thoughts in comments.

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