30 New York Islanders Thoughts: November Reign

"I got one!" - Bruce Bennett

‘We've been through this such a long long time just tryin' to kill the pain…’

1- Remember when we were worried about November? Um, yeah…4-1.

2- On that note, some may recall when I said I couldn’t wait for a complete 60-minute effort. Last night against Colorado qualifies.

3- Hard to believe the Avs are playing this poorly – they’ve got some nice players. Their defense is pretty porous, however. In their two meetings, the Isles outshot them 86:43.

4- How cool is it to listen to Jiggs doing broadcasts? I enjoy Howie Rose, but Jiggs’s voice is timeless and just brings back so many great memories.

5- The Isles depth will continue to play a crucial role for the remainder of the year.

6- Following the Avs game in Colorado, the Isles have put together their best string of games of the season. The key: excellent team defense.

7- Speaking of the Avs – our 6-0 trumps your 5-0.

8- I like that Cappy’s fostering an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. Recently asked about November, he rebuffed the question with a terse, "I don’t want to talk about that." The same has been parroted by the players.

9- Some notable shifts to in-game management over the last several games include quicker line changes, better line combinations, more aggressive penalty kill.

10- The resurgence has predictably quieted concerns about Cappy’s ability to take this team to the next level. The good feelings will last, at least until the next slump.

11- Right now it almost seems like the Isles are playing at even strength when they’re a man down. Nice change of pace from earlier in the year.

12- Still love the Halak/Johnson combo in net. Can’t be understated how much better they are than the three headed monster from last season.

13- The "Halak" chants in the 3rd period of last night’s game gave me goose bumps.

14- MSG got something right with the Words for Butch promo. They don’t usually show a penchant for humor, but this has the makings of a pretty funny segment.

15- Always more fun to talk hockey when the Isles win, don’t ya think?

16- Kulemin has been outstanding thus far on the 1st line (SSS alert).

17- On the Boychuk hit: interesting route Clifford took. The way his legs were spread make it seem like it was intentional – not sure how that didn’t at least warrant a tripping or interference penalty, though a knee on knee should’ve been called.

18- After going 0-2 to start the west coast swing, I sure didn’t think they’d turn things around in such a fine fashion.

19- Isle’s sit a point behind Pittsburg in the Metro, and tied for 4th w/ Boston in the east. A bit early to be counting chickens, but what a difference a week makes.

20- Cal Clutterbuck having a bit of an unsung season thus far. Knows his job, does it in workmanlike fashion and isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice.

21- Does it seem strange that the Isles went to Jaro Halak’s personal coach instead of Mike Dunham during the west coast trip?

22- Thought the recent quote to Elliotte Friedman from a GM was interesting when asked if they need help on defense, "Everybody needs help on defense."

23- Which leads me to: the Matt Donovan watch continues. My guess, he’s moved when Garth gets the price he wants.

24- An observation on Calvin de Haan: His play seems effortless, he doesn’t get rattled and he moves the puck up ice seamlessly.

25- As good as winning the last three on the road was, it was nice to see the Isles reward the faithful at the Gloriously Unsponsored NVMC.

26- Ryan Strome has played pretty well early this season, active on special teams and notching a bushel full of assists…but it was still nice to see him pot a goal.

27- Florida is next on the docket. Despite several moves during the offseason to upgrade the roster, and a recent win vs. San Jose, the Panthers sit in 7th place in the Atlantic Division with 14 points.

28- Isles follow that tilt with a home & home against the Lightning. Tampa Bay most recently lost in a shootout to Chicago, but have fared much better than their cross-state rivals (using that term loosely), w/ 24 points. That’s good for 1st place in the Atlantic, one point ahead of the Habs.

29- A good sign is the Isles’ scoring 6 goals, and JT doesn’t have at least one of them.

30- Happy thought for the day: the Rangers are in 11th place.

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