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The Current Reality: Tough opponents, rough early road for Islanders

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During a recent trip for a fantastic, relaxing weekend on a Minnesota lake, a friend of my wife -- who was back home -- called me up to rib me late at night. I was staring at a starry sky on a cool Minnesota night, kicking back with a beer, and this is what she said: "Just wanted to let you know the current reality: Your wife and three of her friends are in your kitchen, in our underwear, about to get in the hot tub. That's the current reality. Hope you're having fun in Minnesota."

In hockey terms, that call could have gone like this: "Hey Dominik, just wanted to let you know the Islanders are 0-3-3 and the Rangers are 7-1-0. That's the current reality. Have fun watching John Tavares."

Watching Tavares (and Kyle Okposo and Matt Moulson, for that matter) has been stellar, a shining light in Rebuild, Year 2. But I confess it's just a tad painful to know that the Rangers have seven wins before the Isles have gotten one. (Of course, the contrast was something similar at this time last season, wasn't it? How did that all turn out again?)

After the jump, a quick look at some Islanders team stats and where they rank after six games.

Isles in 6 GP
Stat Raw Rank
5-on-5 .47 28th
GF/gm 2.17 23th (t)
GA/gm 3.5 24th (t)
PP% 24.0 10th (t)
PK% 81.0 14th
ShtF/gm 31.8 5th (t)
ShtA/gm 30.8 20th
FO% 48.4 21st (t)


Anything stand out or surprise? For me, the sore thumb is again the ratio of goals for/goals against at 5-on-5. It's early, but that's often a big indicator that the team just isn't good or at least isn't taking the right approach at even strength.

Also notable is the high volume of shots -- both for and against -- in Islanders games. Hey, no one can say they're boring.

Six games in, that's the current reality. At least the Islanders have compiled these numbers against a very formidable list of opponents. Sure, it's the NHL -- you need to be able to play anyone -- but it's nice when you get to face a struggling team every once in a while. As the season grows, we'll check in on these from time to time to see how things have progressed. (They will "progress," won't they?)