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Islanders Bits: On Streaks, the Powerplay, the Hamonic 'Elbow'

It's all in the game, apparently.
It's all in the game, apparently.

The fun thing about playing with streaks and segmented records and "is my team hot or not" (there should really be a site for that) is the broadcaster-friendly ability to turn things on their head based on arbitrary dates, like little arbitrary "Islanders record when" lines in the sand.

On Saturday afternoon you could describe a team that had won four of six, was 4-0-2, or even 4-1-3 with points in seven of its last eight. After Saturday night's loss you could say they've won only two of five, or four of 11, or five of 16. You could also say they are:

  • 4-2-2 since declaring Blake Comeau a rebuild casualty. (Comeau has a goal and 3 assists, +1 in nine games as a Flame. They're 6-2-1 in that span.)
  • 4-2-2 since Al Montoya started every game but the Stars game, where he shut the door in relief.
  • 4-3-3 since recalling David Ullstrom, who's played in every game compiling two goals, an assist and a +1.
  • 4-2-3 since recalling Micheal Haley, who has played in four of those games with between 5-8 minutes of TOI, and they are 2-1-1 in those games.

But the one that makes this December more interesting than last? Through 27 games last year the Islanders were 5-17-5, having just lost to the Thrashers in the "faceoff goal on DP" game and about to be thumped 5-0 in Nashville. Right now they're 9-12-6.

Islanders Reading for a Monday Morn'

On Sunday Arthur Staple in Newsday gave a Nino Niederreiter update ("heavy hit ... feeling surprisingly well") and noted the possibility of another AHL conditioning stint as part of his recovery. He was quoted in German-language media as saying he doesn't remember the hit, so caution, caution, caution.

Today Newsday focuses on the powerplay, which was 6 for 18 during the good run but 1 for 13 during the last two games, an OT loss to Chicago and Saturday's disappointing loss to the Penguins. Jack Capuano's quote about personnel changes is taken as a possible sign the PP will see some alterations.

As Keith laid out in Saturday's recap, the major and ejection of Travis Hamonic was a joke. Hamonic agrees. So does Mark Streit (video below).

The Sound Tigers powerplay has also struggled, though Michael Fornabaio reports it generated chances in yesterday's 5-1 loss. Justin DiBenedetto missed the game and is day-to-day. Anders Nilsson was "average" but only in context of otherwise stellar recent play, Fornabaio says.

Post-Game Video

Mark Streit calls it a joke. (He also admits the Islanders blew the game, got outworked.)

Hamonic, naturally, was equally perplexed by the "terrible call":