I created this fanpost about 2 months ago comparing the rough stretches the islanders went through in November of 2010 and 2011. Since then, the team has showed flashes of progression, but is still in need of strong finish to end up in the 80-90pt range - a finish that I believe would be a definite sign of growth for the franchise. While points alone will not dictate whether or not the Islanders rebuild can be considered on the right track as of 2011-2012, I wanted to take another look at last season vs. this season to gauge what that part of the picture will look like.
My interest in looking forward comes from the Isles finish to last season. From Dec 16 on (54 games), the team had a 25-21-8 record, which is an 88 point pace for a full season. Many fans were optimistic that this was a sign of things to come for this year. Through 44 games, the Isles record is 17-21-6 for a total of 40pts. Through 44 games last season the team was 14-23-7 for a total of 35pts. While currently playing 5 pts ahead of last seasons pace, the team will have to play well down the stretch to maintain this difference.
The graphs below (hope this posted well) (NOTE: just previewed and its a bit small but if you click on it, it should be readable) show the teams point total for 6 game chunks starting from game 20 for both this season and last season. Game 20 seemed like a good starting point as the point totals were almost equal and it was almost the end of the horrible stretch each team went through to start the year. The lower graph includes projections based on the Islanders point percentage this season. While this is likely to change somewhat during the second half of the season, it provides a guideline.
The Islanders are on pace to finish about 2 points ahead of last years mark at this point. This is equivalent to a 15-18-5 record from today till the end of the season. My prediction is they play NHL .500 hockey the rest of the way finishing 17-17-4 for a total of 78pts. A "strong" finish still within reality would be 19-15-4 for 82pts. This would indicate definite progression from last year and something very solid to build on (confidence wise - the personal still needs overhaul to address the inconsistency).
Anyway I really just felt like making this graph for myself and thought I'd share it. Lets go Isles!