Here on Oct. 21, the Penguins have played nine games while the Red Wings, Sharks and Devils have played four. So goes October in the funky NHL schedule, where some teams start in Europe and plenty fear football, both pro and semi-pro.
Saturday's Islanders opponent, the Panthers, have a tidy 3-3 record for six points, on the back of a 28.6% powerplay -- two successful 5-on-3's help -- while Florida continues to have the worst 5-on-5 GF/GA (0.36!) by a long shot.
This early stage is fun because of numbers like that, when there are so many moving parts, uncertainties and teams still figuring out who they are. I think we know who the Senators are, but still: Their GA/GP is 4.43! In five games the Islanders have secondary scoring and third-pair defense issues, but we could be discussing something entirely different by the end of the month. Meanwhile, Florida has 8 powerplay goals and just 4 even-strength goals. In October, that's the kind of ratio that can change in one night.
And if you needed that reminder, theScore discusses the myths and irrational thoughts of hot starts.
Islanders News and Links
Fun variety of headlines recapping last night's game:
- Official site: "Lightning show more desperation." Heh.
- Newsday: "Islanders fail to fire." Yep.
- St. Petersburg Times played the headline straight, but have Guy Boucher talking about a "pack mentality" and "suffocating the opponent," both of which describe last night quite well.
- And their columnist gives it the "Welcome back, Lightning" treatment.
- From Eric Hornick's Skinny: That was Ryan Malone's 19th goal in 38 games (!) against the Islanders.
- Our SBN siblings at Raw Charge give their take.
- The QMJHL team that holds Kirill Kabanov's rights needs D before their run at the Memorial Cup (they're hosts this year).
Meanwhile, in Drama
Newsday offers both "Roloson not bothered by" [blog] and "Roloson ignores" [regular story] P.A. Parenteau's comment after the Isles chased Dwayne Roloson in the last game. Roloson took the high road. That latter link also has a small update on the chronicles of Blake Comeau, who was counseled by assistant coach and GM adviser Doug Weight. They have faith, he said.
Islesblogger assesses the Comeau issue.
Islanders Hockey Blog thinks last night's late blender work means more line changes are coming.
But before last night's game, Jack Capuano told the Post that would not happen.
On the More Fun Side of Things
- Islanders’ Top Line Is Earning Points, if Not Yet a Nickname - NYTimes.com
- Video fun: NHL Live - John Tavares Video - NHL VideoCenter
- Trots Time: NHL Oldtimers Bryan Trottier singing Johnny Cash - YouTube (on skates!) | Bryan Trottier moustache shave - YouTube
- Gillies: Clark Gillies Gets Down - YouTube
- Anders Lee on your TV: VERSUS/NBCSN To Televise Two Notre Dame Home Games This Season " Puck The Media
- FIG Update: If you join our First Islander Goal game (it's not too late to start), Mike (ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles) has an update on the standings at the bottom of last night's FIG thread.
And a Little Bit of NHL This and That
- Good news for our Euro friends? (Depends.) NHL seals international TV mega-deal - SportsWatch
Kerry Fraser's take on what happened when the Bruins
went crazyjust did old-time Bruins-or-Flyers hockey the other night.
- The Fransie Awards: Gorgeous Backhand Shelf Goals | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com
- Pretty wild proposals here that are fun to think about but will never happen: Hockey Prospectus | From Daigle To Datsyuk: Changing The Development System, Part 2 (Here is Part 1.)
Finally, for iPhone users: The v. 1.1 of the SBN iPhone app is on its way. Expect an Android app by the end of the year.