FanPost

The Middle Half - update 4 (almost done)

The first 20 games of this NHL season put the Isles in a deep, dark hole. Since then, though, how does this team stack up against the rest of the league?



Please note that not all teams have hit 60 games yet. That won't happen until Feb 25. Below, though, are the current standings as of 8:00 AM 2/25.

#  Team GP  W  L OT PTS     #  Team GP  W  L OT PTS
 1 NYR  39 26 10  3  55      1 VCR  40 28  7  5  61
 2 BOS  39 23 13  3  49      2 DET  40 29 10  1  59
 3 WPG  40 20 17  3  43      3 SJS  39 19 14  6  44
 4 NJD  40 24 13  3  51      4 STL  40 26  9  5  57
 5 PIT  40 23 15  2  48      5 NSH  40 25 13  2  52
 6 PHI  40 22 14  4  48      6 CGY  40 20 12  8  48
 7 OTT  40 20 13  7  47      7 CHI  40 20 16  4  44
 8 NYI  40 20 16  4  44      8 ANA  40 19 15  6  44 (17 reg wins)
-----------------------     -----------------------
 9 CAR  40 17 15  8  42      9 PHX  40 19 15  6  44 (15 reg wins)
10 TOR  40 18 17  5  41     10 COL  40 20 17  3  43
11 FLA  39 16 14  9  41     11 LAK  40 17 14  9  43
12 TBL  40 18 18  4  40     12 DAL  40 18 18  4  40
13 WSH  40 17 19  4  38     13 MIN  40 15 19  6  36
14 MTL  40 15 18  7  37     14 EDM  40 14 22  4  32
15 BUF  40 14 19  7  35     15 CBJ  40 13 22  5  31

And what do the next 21 games hold for the Isles?

2/26 @ (7) OTT
2/28 @ (13) WSH / 3/1 @ (6) PHI
3/3 @ (2) BOS / 3/4 vs (4) NJD
3/8 @ (4) NJD / 3/10 vs (4) NJD
3/11 @ (1) NYR / 3/13 vs (13) WSH
3/15 vs (6) PHI / 3/17 @ (14) MTL
3/20 @ (10) TOR / 3/24 @ (12) TBL
3/25 @ (11) FLA / 3/27 @ (5) PIT
3/29 vs (5) PIT / 3/31 vs (2) BOS
4/1 vs (7) OTT / 4/3 @ (4) NJD
4/5 vs (3) WPG / 4/7 @ CBJ

No matter what we do the rest of February, the first 2 weeks of March are brutal. By most accounts, we have about 7-9 losses that we can suffer the rest of the way. Chances are we burn through at least 5 of those by 3/15.

For games 1 - 20, we were 5-11-4 14, 29th in the league. Of our 21 remaining games, 14 are against teams who have played better than we have the past 40 games. 6 are against teams we're ahead of, and 1 is out of conference against a team in shambles.

If you feel generous and give us 6-6-2 against the teams above us, and 5-1-1 against the others, that puts the final record at 37-34-11 85, which will fall short.

In that projection for the final 21, we'd need to either sweep the teams below us, or play much better than .500 hockey against the teams above us. Possible, yes. Probable? If you think so, I have some real estate in a Florida swamp in which you may be interested.

There'll be one last update Sunday morning.

But now, on to the numbers...

Scoring

In thoae 40 games, the Islanders were credited with 102 goals (2.55 GPG), about 7 below the league average, tied for 17th best in the NHL. Vancouver racked up 137 goals, Detroit got 132 and Boston 129 to lead the way. The Kings had only 80 to bring up the rear. 9 teams scored less than 100 over the 40 games.

Defense

On the flip side, we were knocked for 111 goals (2.78 GPG), just over the league average, and 15th in the league. Tampa Bay allowed 136, Edmonton 131 and Columbus 130 on the most generous side. St. Louis gave up only 77. The Rangers have given up 80 with 1 game to go to complete the set. 6 teams gave up fewer than 100 goals.

Penalties

The Isles were hit with 327 PIM in 40 games, only Nashville took less at 286. The league average was 431. Philadelphia spent the most time in the box, 647 minutes. The next closest was Boston at 550 (with 1 game to go).

Power Play

In games 21-60, the Isles converted on 24 of 111 chances (21.6%), tied for 2nd in the NHL with Edmonton (29/134). Only Nashville converted at a better rate (31/125 24.8%). The league average was 17.5%. Phoenix was the most anemic, getting only 14 goals on 116 chances (12.1%), The Islanders 111 opportunities was tied for 4th fewest in the NHL with San Jose. The Rangers and Avalanche had 108 each and Winnipeg only 107. Philadelphia had 163 chances.

Penalty Kill

Up until games 59 & 60, the Isles were hanging with the league leaders. They finished the set in 6th place (87/101 86.1%). The Kings led the league at 89.5% (128/143). Buffalo was last at 75.2% (100/133). The Islanders were short 101 times, which was good for 4th fewest. San Jose was short only 92 times, the Rangers and Hurricanes 99 times each. Philadelphia was short 152 times on the other end.

Special Teams Index

STI accounts for SHG for and against by subtracting SHGA from PPG scored and subtracting SHGF from PPGA, then refiguring the new PP and PK percentages and adding them together.
The Isles scored 24 PP goals and gave up 4 SHGA in 111 chances. They gave up 14 PPGA but scored 3 SHG on 101 chances. That results in an STI of 107.1%, which trailed only Boston (108.4%), Pittsburgh (108.2%) and the Rangers (107.9%). Tampa was worst on this scale, at 88.5%. Buffalo was close behind at 88.9%.

Hitting

8 teams racked up more than 1k hits in 40 games. The Isles weren't one of them. 967 hits was good for a tie for 11th with Winnipeg. The Kings threw 1,179 hits to tlead the way. The Rangers were second with 1,132 (with 1 game to play). The 'softest' teams are San Jose (664 with 1 game to play) and Boston (679 w/ 1 game to go). The league average is 905.

Speed of Schedule

The Isles and Red Wings each completed this set of 40 games in 88 days, the fastest in the league. The average was 92.3 days. Florida had 96 days to play 40, while 8 teams had 94 days to make it through.

Update 1 - Helluva game today. I listened to 95 seconds of it at work, and then turned it off and went back to work.

Update 3 - added the western conference into the mix.

Update 4 - not much changes, and it finishes up today with the last of the teams hitting 40 games.

<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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