30 Islanders Thoughts: Enjoying Turkey and the Slaying of November

These kids can play. - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the Season to be jolly. Here are 30 Islanders Thoughts from pennst92.

1-Ryan Strome's 17 points thus far is one shy of his 18 total from last season. What's even more impressive? He leads the team in defensive zone starts.

2-Oh, he's also 2nd among forwards with 18 PIM.

3-Also among the team leaders in defensive zone starts: Anders Lee.

4-It has been noted by sports sages that teams are defined by how well they handle adversity. It will be interesting to see how this team handles their recent success.

5-Six games...Nine days...Ten points. Mission accomplished.

6-Fatigue seemed to play a factor from the first Washington game through the end of the Devils game.

7-The Islanders are doing the nostalgia nights at the Coliseum the right way so far. The former greats are spending time with the team early on game day and their interviews are pretty organic and unscripted.

8-Much as I enjoyed Billy Smith's return, having Denis Potvin around again was pretty cool too. It can't be understated how great he truly second or third best defenseman all time great.

9-Think the curse of November is dead yet?

10-At what point does admitting that Capuano is doing a good job leave out the ‘but'?

11-Organizational depth is critical and this year's Islanders are reminiscent of some of the best organizations of the past 20 years. Quality top to bottom throughout the organization.

12-To the above point: Snow's pushed all the right buttons the past offseason, but the Isles rise did not happen in a vacuum. It was a slow, careful rebuild that has gotten them to this point. If he remains patient, it's not hard to envision the Isles and Tampa Bay being the east's version of Chicago and LA for the next several years.

13-That said, I think Snow learned a valuable but difficult lesson last year with some of the moves he did and did not make.

14-The team's goal differential is +12. A solid, but not spectacular number (Pit & Chc both +26) that speaks to a lot of close games and a lot of overtime/shootout wins.

15-This may mean some regression as the year goes on, but how it plays out in the post-season is anyone's guess.

16-December schedule provides some interesting matchups. Detroit's always a good watch, and two games against the Blues should be interesting. Also, Nashville's a bit of a surprise: Peter Laviolette has them playing very well.

17-Despite 13 games, December offers only one back-to-back and far less travel than November.

18-Hey, Matt Donovan's looked pretty good in limited games this season. Still think he's traded, but closer to the deadline when, ostensibly, he'll have more value.

19-Isle's 77 team goals for trail only Pit & TB in the east, and Calgary in the west.

20-In trying to pinpoint this team's weaknesses, letting up with a one or two goal lead still tops the list for me - we get outplayed in the 3rd period with a lead too often.

21-An observation: In reading/listening to Islanders fans, I find they critique on a very tough curve.

22-With that comes a high level of intelligent discourse, not just regarding the team, but also regarding hockey in general.

23-To the prior points, all discourse seems to come with tempered expectations given the past twenty seasons of futility. Its time for the paradigm to shift: We CAN have nice things, dammit!

24-Interesting to watch Philly and the Devils creep closer to irrelevancy as 2014 draws to a close.

25-Speaking of rivals, the Rangers sitting in 8th place right now. Krom, I do not pray to you often. I have no tongue for it...

26-Will be interesting to see how the team performs against Ottawa.

27-Does anyone else think Tavares is due to break out? Well, break out from a point/game pace I mean.

28-Speaking of the top line, I'm struck again by the play of Kulemin. There's a real synergy between him and Tavares and Okposo that could grow into something special by year's end.

29-I'm not a big fan of all star games (see: Rick Depietro), but have to think that at least half-dozen players have earned consideration. My guess is two Islanders get picked for the eastern squad: Tavares and Halak.

30-I was going to close with ‘Just Win, Baby!', but how pathetic are the Raiders, really? 52-0 is just brutal. If I was the City of Oakland, I would've had the buses lined up this morning to take them to whatever rumored destination wants them.

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