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Islanders Bits: Better Living through Chemistry?

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Peek-a-boo.
Peek-a-boo.

"All the guys are going, all the lines, and we're playing way better defensively. We score goals, the (power play) works well, the (penalty kill) works well. It's a combination of things."

>>Mark Streit, quoted at nhl.com after the 4-0-1 run (and before the second Hawks game)

Discuss.

Since the four-game road swing began, after which the Islanders are 4-0-2 (including 1-0-1 at home), the Islanders powerplay is 5 for 24. (21%). The penalty kill is 17 for 19 (89%). These are incredibly small samples -- and I always wished there was a nice way to account for blown 5-on-3s -- but it certainly is true that good PK work and a few timely powerplay goals has helped this run of games. Especially considering at even strength their scoring (16 goals for, 15 goals against) reflects the closeness of all but one of these six games.

Sorry for the quiet today. News tidbits and links after the jump.

Reading for Making Friday Night Get Here Already

  • "Light" practice today. Islanders report Nino Niederreiter skated with 15 teammates for the first 25 minutes of practice. They called it a maintenance day for Streit, P.A. Parenteau, Steve Staios, Milan Jurcina, Al Montoya, Frans Nielsen, and John Tavares.
  • They also said Kevin Poulin and Evgeni Nabokov were the goalies.
  • In the Post recap of last night, Parenteau noted the Hawks' depth and why the Islanders needed to avoid trying to match them skill for skill.
  • Newsday's recap also had players talking about being disappointed by the first period.
  • Eric Hornick notes Nino Niederreiter, who is still 19, was not listed on the Swiss WJC invite list.
  • The Sound Tigers have signed Tyler Ruegsgegger to a PTO. A forward and another Brent Thompson Alaska connection. Michael Fornabaio said he's a friend of Rhett Rakhshani and Matt Donovan's from DU days and is up as 13th-forward depth for the weekend. Heavens, don't make poor Butchie ever have to announce, "Nice feed from Ruegsgegger to Rakhshani there, with Niedermeister finishing..."
  • If you visit The Checking Line, they now have a dedicated Islanders page where several bloggers are now together under one roof. Their posts are in our feed on the left. Do check them out.
  • Chris Pronger's pile of injuries now includes concussion-like symptoms. (Previously a virus, then a knee, and now Flyers fans are back to guessing the best way to escape his 35+ contract once his body no longer holds.)
  • Tomas Kaberle traded. So Montreal is where all bad contracts go to die? Do you think they need a goa-- never mind.

Capuano Post-Game

MSG coverage from last night's OT loss, if you missed it:


Someone asked "was it frustrating to see Rolston missing the net on that 5-on-3?" Heh. Capuano also thought the team looked fatigued at times last night, which could explain the "light" practice today with the Penguins up Saturday night.

And here's Steve Staios and Travis Hamonic:


Staios was asked about the hit on his delay of game penalty, and he did think he was checked from behind on the play. Sounds like everyone is disappointed, but pleased that they got a point out of it after coming out flat in the first period.