- (RECORD) 4-7-2 9 pts in 13 games. .69 PPG, they will probably need 96 (or 1.17PPG) to make the playoffs.
- (Goals For) 25. 1.92/gm Horrible. Lack of offensive support from the middle six forwards was a killer for this team. But more than that, the reason behind this is probably the horrible defense. Their inability to move the puck out of the defensive zone contributed greatly to their inability to score.
- (Goals Against) 46. 3.53/gm. This stat is actually swayed by two goaltenders. Rick Dipietro gave up 15 goals (16 if you include an EN) in 4 games and Anders Nilsson (in an emergency start) gave up 5 in one. The rest of the team let up 25 in 8 games which is acceptable unless you’re only scoring 2 goals per game. They need to cut down on defensive zone time and shots from inside the perimeter.
- (Goal Diff) -21 Absolutely horrendous. In October they were a respectable 18/22 (-4 in 9 games). This is the most important stat in a transitional season. I personally blame the lack of defensive depth for the reasons stated above. Coming into the season the team looked as though it would benefit from a fourth line upgrade, and the return of 3 defensemen that missed most of 2010-11. Only Streit has made a positive impact on defense, and the fourth line upgrade, Marty Reasoner is -14 (-13 in November).
- PP 4/39 (10.3%) FIRE DOUG WEIGHT. You can’t get blood from a turnip, but you might be able to get some turnip juice. The issues on the Islanders defense have definitely affected the PP, but their insistence on keeping Brian Rolston on the first unit point is insane. Rolston has a cannon, but it’s a cannon with wobbly wheels. Brian Rolston has 44 SOG in 22 games as the main shooter on the first unit PP. That’s as many as Matt Martin (a fourth line physical presence) has. WHY is he there… ask DOUG WEIGHT!
- PK 33/43 (76.7%) This was a strong point (30/35-85.7%) in October. What changed? One start for RDP in October…where he gave up 2 PPG in 4 opportunities. Three starts for him in November where the team was 9 for 12 (75%) in those starts. Your best penalty killer is your goaltender. There are other factors, I’m sure. MacHamonic (especially Mac) is wearing down from over-exposure. Mottau has been forced into PK situations… and eaton is injured.
THIS YEAR Vs LAST YEAR (NOVEMBER)
+ (Record) 4-7-2(09) v 1-7-3(04) (+5 PTS)
+ (PP) 4/39 (10.3%) v 3/41 (7.3%)
- (PK) 33/43 (76.7%) v 34/41 (82.9%)
+ (AVG ATT) 13369 (7GMS) v 9962 (5GMS)
+ Al Montoya has clearly established himself as the number one goaltender of the NY Islanders. In 4 November starts Al was 2-1-1 2.00 .939 (123/131)
- Rick Dipietro is just not getting it done. 1-2-1 in four starts isn’t going to get you a spot in the press box, but two or three softies… especially very early ones can sink a team… and a HOME crowd. All of Rick’s starts have all been at home. He’s been frequently booed, and has shown great frustration in his own inability to turn things around. Worst of all, he still just doesn’t get the whole KISS principle. Two of his "softies" were because of clearing whiffs. He may be an adequate back up going forward, but not much else. I really would try to get him a more starts in Bridgeport to help find himself as soon as they have Nabokov available to do so.
+ Evgeni Nabokov 1-2-1, but @BOS, @VAN, NYR and MON. he gave up 14 goals (plus 3EN) on 131 shots but his performance in all of those games was adequate to above average. If he is back in the next two weeks he should be the #2, and Rick should get some time in BPT not to waste the roster spot.
- John Tavares (8-8-16/-4)(1-4-5/-3) After a terrific October (7G) his productivity has tailed off. His play hasn’t, but he is not finding the net nearly as much, or when needed. This is only a minus, though, because he is not putting up the numbers that he should. The PP has been horrible and this is a chicken/egg thing. He will need to find the net more in December if they are going to make the playoffs. 8 goals in 22 games has him on a 30 goal pace… but that isn’t really enough for a 21 year old with his talent.
+ Matt Moulson (8-5-13/0)(6-2-8/+1) After a slow October, Matt has actually picked it up in November. The club has gone through a bit of an IDENTITY clarification, and Matt has kept himself immune by making the best of his ability to FINISH opportunities. He had a 5 game scoring streak and a 3 game goal streak in November. His 8 goals also keeps him on a 30 goal pace. 3 seasons ina row would be quite an accomplishment for a guy picked up as an AHL depth signing.
+ Michael Grabner (7-4-11/-3)(4-4-8/-1) Grabs should have 12-15 goals by now given the number of break aways he’s had. His inability to finish those may be somewhat amusing, but it has cost a team scoring less than 2 goals per game way too often. He had a decent November, but more is needed from Grabner. His PP time has been a bust. Last year he had very little PP time and EXPLODED by being a 5-on-5 scoring machine. His line will benefit with lowered offensive expectations, and greater defensive responsibilities. They have become the default "second" line, but they should have their minutes managed to be more effective PKers. His 7 goals keeps him on a ~30G pace, but his single SHG and failure on breakaways is discouraging.
+ Matt Martin has taken a step forward in 2011-12. He was easily the most physical forward in the first two months (97 Hits), but it’s his 46 SOG (2.09/gm) should blow by his total for last year (60) by the middle of December. Matt also understand the re-identification of the NY Islanders. He is probably the most pleasant surprise of the young season.
+ PA Parentau (3-13-16/-6)(2-6-8/-5) Pierre Alexander has been another pleasant surprise. Not that he wasn’t one of the better forwards last year, but I don’t think anybody expected him to be earning his top line assignment again this year. He has not only earned it, but he has shown he belongs as a top six forward in the league. He has done everything the team has asked and will probably earn the Matt Moulson extension before the end of the year.
- Blake Comeau has been released. There wasn’t much protest, even from those of us who supported him. He was the poster child for apathy in the face of what seems to be where Jack Capuano wants to take this team. His inability to adjust to his natural wing is now becoming evident as the cause for some lack of productivity from a line that should have benefitted from a consistent third. (Rolston is no gretzky, but he is better than Jesse Joensu and the host of others shuffled on and off that line) The COZO will be missed, but his consistent inability to stand up for himself will not. The less Blake Comeau’s you have the less Trevor Gillies’ you need. And if he’s not hitting the net, or tape, he had better be hitting something. Now he’s calgary’s enigma to deal with. I wish him well.
- Marty Reasoner was brought in as the replacement for Zenon Konopka. I liked Zeke, but I had visions of four lines that could bring offensive pressure… what we got was a fourth line center that has no goals, one assist, is -14 and 50% on face-offs. In an off season that brought very little "extra" to the team, this is a HUGE disappointment. Marty has a healthy scratch for 3 games, and is probably only playing now because he was brought back with Nino… who is a -5 in 4 games on his line. Maybe he didn’t expect to be playing on the fourth line with Jay Pandolfo and Matt Martin, but both of those guys have outplayed him. In October they were actually one of the bright spots. -13 in November is not good!
+ MacHamonic… but this is not a HUGE PLUS like it would have been in any month they were in the NHL last season. The lack of depth has really taken a toll on this young pairing. They are the number one pair, but they shouldn’t be asked to be. This is the biggest problem on the NY Islanders right now.
+ Streit/Staios… they have gotten more than I expected from this pairing. Streit has contributed on the PP (what little there is to the PP is due to Streit’s QBing it), and Staios has given him adequate support. But this is not a top minute NHL pairing, and Streit should be on a top minute pairing. Streit is getting 23 minutes, and Staios about 18. In contrast, both macdonald and harmonic are responsible for 22+ minutes… and few PP minutes.
- Mike Mottau… I’m not even going to list a pairing because whoever he is paired with is a minus and it’s just not fair. Both Mark eaton and Milan Jurcina have carried him this season and it’s time he was waived. Mottau has 18 hits in 22 games… and no points… and he is getting paid why? The last player he hit was Frans Nielsen. Mike Mottau can not be off the Islanders soon enough for me.
+ Well.. at least it wasn’t November of 2010.
+ Capuano has had a couple of pressers that define what this team needs as a coach right now. As Dom has pointed out here, this is still a transitional team. Jack seems to be trying to root out the bad play, and create an identity for this team. Unfortunately the pickings are still rather thin. It was an OK October but the thin D and lack of roster flexibility (3 goalies, AAAA Nino) did not help his ability to manage the team. That seems to be changing and messages have been sent. They ended the month on a high note, and if 2010-11 was any indication this is about the time the turn-around should happen.
+ November held some brutal schedule twists for the islanders. They faced a very hot BOS and Ranger team at the peak of winning streaks. They also had PIT on the night that SYD returned to action. A little on the odd side is that they used 4 goalies in November… as if 3 wasn’t bad enough. I see this as a positive because they got through negative situations and showed better play AFTERWARDS.
+ People are starting to come back to watch. This is an opportunity that should not be lost. If they turn things around in December they might have a very good 2012.
- The playoff outlook is BLEAK.
What to look for in December
They now have 18 points in 22 games. They will probably need 95 to make the playoffs. That’s 1.15 points per game. To get back on that pace by the end of December (14 games) they will need 41 points (23 more). That means a record looking very close to 10-1-3. If they can put together a 8-4-2 record it would give us hope going into 2012.
The PP has got to change.
More BPT call ups. Reese has already been called up to replace an injured Macdonald. I’d expect to see either Wishart or deHaan in December as well. A Gillies or Rakhshani sighting might not be far off depending on needs as well.