Islanders Bits: Nabokov Rests; LeBrun Digs You

Good talk.

From The Skinny for last night's game:

Last 5 Islanders with 10+ Game Point Streaks
• Pierre Turgeon (1993-94) 13 games
• Ziggy Palffy (1997-98) 13 games
• Mariusz Czerkawski (1999-2000) 13 games
Mark Parrish (2001-02) 12 games
John Tavares (2011-12) 11 games

Wow, that's some interesting company.

So many links and snippets to discuss, we better get to this.

Islanders Links and News

From practice today, Evgeni Nabokov gets a well earned rest day. Lines remained unchanged, obviously.

Nabokov's quote in the notes after last night's win I think are insightful from a goalie who watches these things:

"In the beginning of the year, we spent a lot of time in our own end. It’s always tough to play hockey when you’re chasing the opponent. We had too many turnovers in our game and that resulted in defensive zone time. Now we play in their end. We have a lot of skill up front, they can cycle the puck and we create scoring chances. We break other teams down. I thought that the forwards are going a great job of getting the pucks deep and forechecking them, and defensively we’ve played well, as well. The special teams, have played well too, and that’s the key to success."

Again, I don't think the Islanders have turned a major corner or suddenly become a great possession team. Even over the past month and a half, they're basically a .500 team. But they have improved -- obviously John Tavares' breakout helps immensely -- and they're playing more intelligently given their overall talent limitations. Some of the areas Nabokov opined on are areas discussed in last night's recap.

Dylan Reese discusses his fight with Claude Giroux last night both in that game notes link and in this IPB post.

Giroux's line, by the way, has been struggling and that didn't change against the Isles.

In ESPN's "Daily Debate" -- which excludes Scott Burnside, depriving the longtime Thrashers advocate of a chance to bash the Islanders in five words or less -- Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun discuss the Islanders' play of late. I agree with LeBrun 100% here [emphasis mine]:

This is the Islanders team I thought we’d see from the get-go this season. I do believe this is indeed the evolution of a young and talented team that will make the playoffs ... next season. The Isles dug too big a hole for themselves this season, much to the chagrin of their loyal and maligned fan base. I respect few fans more than I do Islanders fans. To stick with this team this long after what they’ve been through, that’s true loyalty. I agree with Katie [Strang] on Tavares; in fact, I’d argue he found another level in his game in October compared to last season and now has raised his game yet another notch in January.

When I say agree with all of it, I mean that -- including this is "the team I thought we'd see from the get-go." Not a playoff team, mind you, but one that was in every game and playing at a competitive enough pace to keep playoff dreams alive most of the season.

But we'll see how it goes.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat [$5 please]:

The Nassau County Legislature will hold a hearing next month on plans to develop the 77-acre Hub property.

The Economic and Community Development and Labor Committee will hear from county officials and regional planners on Feb. 14.

This ... all ... sounds ... so ... familiar.

Hockey General

Digging into Obscure Playoff Chances

Finally, with the eighth seed now several counties instead of three states away, people are checking themselves against reality, to remind just how unlikely a playoff push is. Mark turned to SportsClubStats for some figures:

According to SportsClubStats.com the Islanders have an overall 1.8% chance of making the playoffs. Fortunately though, the Islanders still control their own destiny. If the Islanders can get to 97 points or better, they would make the playoffs. But to get to 97 points though they would need to go on a 25-7-5 run to finish off the season. They'd still have a good chance of making the playoffs if they got between 93 points (88.6% chance) and 96 points (99.6% chance). Even 93 points is a bit of a reach, as the team would have to go 23-9-5.

And 92 points, which is considered the normal playoff cutoff, would require a 23-10-4 run. That would give the Isles a 75% chance of making the playoffs, according to the site.

After that though, the Islanders chances drop precipitously:

  • 91 points (22-10-5) gives them a 59% chance
  • 90 points (22-11-4) gives them a 42% chance
  • 89 points (21-11-5) gives them a 25% chance
  • 88 points (21-12-4) would give them a 14% chance

The rest are really far shots, with the last gasp being a .1% chance the team can make the playoffs at 83 points (18-14-5). With 37 games remaining the Islanders would have to win at above a 70% clip (depending on OTL/SOLs) to stay at or below the 10-loss (regulation) minimum.

That doesn't mean we can't have fun watching though.

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