Last night was a rare one this season: Three goals scored by the New York Islanders.
At 2.24 goals per game (29.4 shots), the Islanders offense ranks 28th overall in the NHL. Two seasons ago (Scott Gordon's last full season), they managed a 20th-best 2.61 goals per game (30.4 shots). The flip-side: that season they also gave up 3.15 goals per game on 31.9 shots against, the 28th-ranked defense by goals against.
The Islanders' goal prevention since then has made strides, but they're modest ones: At 2.93 goals against per game this season, they're still just 25th overall there (30.2 shots against rank 15th though).
The talk is often of a lack of secondary scoring, and certainly that's part of it. But as the Islanders' top line and special teams have gotten better, the rest of the squad has not matched that progress, from secondary offense to defense to goaltending.
Battle Of New York Post-Game
Recaps and pieces on last night's 4-3 OT loss: LHH | Blueshirt Banter | Hornick's Skinny | Official site | Times | Newsday | Daily News has Torts liking the "way" they've won | Post | ESPN | On the hobbit (who should not be called "Zuke," because this guy is Zuke)
- This mis-shoot by Jarome Igininla was pretty great.
- If the Eastern Conference final is destined to be a black and gold affair, the Penguins took a key preview last night.
- Darren Dreger on the reasoning behind the post-deadline four-callup maximum rule (a rule fans hoping the to see recall of the entire Sound Tigers roster should keep in mind).
- In eight games with the Bruins, Brian Rolston has an assist, a couple of minor penalties, and 13 shots on goal. Mike Mottau has played three games (no stats) but only played 6:52 in the most recent one against the Caps.
Travis Hamonic Post-Game
Not happy about the penalty. Not happy about missing out on the two points. Funny how much The Maven has taken a liking to the youngster.
Jack Capuano Post-Game
Not happy about the special teams: "They were good for a while [this season ... maybe] they're taking it for granted. If we have to change some of the units, we'll think about doing that."
I suppose there's even deeper frustration there for a team that can't get scoring, to finally get three goals in a game, only to have its special teams fail. But them's the breaks. Control more games at 5-on-5, and you'll rely less on special teams being masterful.