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Bits: Islanders Shuffle Lines; Wonky NHL Stat Sheets

The Islanders have shuffled lines at today's practice (more below), but before we get to that, one more thing about last night:

Jack Capuano blamed the Islanders 3-0 loss to the Rangers on "dumb decisions" with the puck, citing 11 turnovers in the first period alone. Of course, the stat sheet lists just six giveaways by the Islanders for the whole game, and just 9 takeaways by the Rangers.

Counterpart John Tortorella, praising Brian Boyle's jumping on the grenade act at the end of the second, griped: "The league stats are ridiculous. Brian Boyle probably blocked four or five shots, he's down for one. They shouldn't even give us those sheets."

What's funny is Madison Square Garden's stats -- long the "bane" of NHL shot analysis -- are notoriously off from even league norms, which themselves are suspect in a lot of these categories. Tortorella may not need to look at the league; it might be his own building.

Regardless, no doubt Capuano and staff have their own internal view of which plays were turnovers, one more expansive than the giveaway/takeaway sheet churned out by the magic box at MSG. So who irked Capuano last night? And how will Brian Rolston fix that?

No single Islander was "credited" with more than one giveaway in the game, but the play by play sheet cites giveaways by Josh Bailey, Frans Nielsen, P.A. Parenteau and John Tavares during last night's first period. I doubt those are the players "not competing at the high level" Capuano lamented ... or are they?

Or is it their teammates who leave them more prone to giveaways by not working to get open? Did you have any turnover-happy, non-competin' passengers on your list from last night?

New Lines?

Here are the lines posted by the Islanders from practice today:

Grabner-Bailey-Niederreiter, Pandolfo;

Whether or not people "competed" well enough last night, this strikes me as a move you might well make simply after getting shut out for the seventh time before January.


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Assorted Links

Last night's loss: Through our eyes (with post-game video added) | Eric Hornick's Skinny, with notes on Nabby, Martin, Haley | Newsday | Daily News | NY Sports Day - Lundqvist stole Christmas | Blueshirt Banter

As mentioned at the end of our recap (so the following links are the same): Ryan Strome put up 1 goal, 3 assists in Canada's 8-1 win over Finland, Johan Sundstrom tallied an assist in Sweden's big 9-4 win over Latvia. [CP] The U.S. also smashed Denmark 11-3 -- Frans will be angry -- as Charlie Coyle, the big prospect piece in that Brent Burns trade who recently bailed on BU, scored a hat trick.

Garth Snow will answer fan questions during one of those GM Show deals with Chris King like they did last season. "You can send your questions in via Facebook, twitter, or email us at You can submit questions until 10:00 a.m. on the 28th." It will air Wednesday the 28th at 1:30 p.m. EST.

Bridgeport Chat: Michael Fornabaio has a few notes on the Sound Tigers win last night in front of a big crowd. He's chatting there at 1:30 p.m. today.

Here's a shock: ESPN The Television Channel ignored hockey tragedies in its year in review. Aww, good riddance. The only thing I miss about that place is the NHL 2night theme song.

Here's a shock, II: ESPN The Website with City Hubs does a "top 5" stories for NY-area NHL hockey and, well,, you know, it has three Smurfs stories and a bone for the other two teams. Is "debacle" used? Yes, yes it is.

The NHL standings without the Bettman Bonus Point are ... remarkably similar, as usual, although there are always a few interesting changes. (This version eliminates the shootout -- and makes them ties -- and treats OTLs as regular losses.)

Found the following quote interesting, from a National Post piece on Ron Wilson's contract extension, from Brian Burke:

"There are visible signs when it’s time to change your coach," Burke said. "You have agents calling you, complaining that the players don’t like the coach and aren’t going to play for him. You have what we call snipers, unnamed players taking shots."

Burke is obviously a longtime Wilson fan, but it will be interesting to see what happens if they miss the playoffs again and their perpetually awful PK doesn't improve.