Yesterday's Isles news bits had a bit about the season-long ailment known as the penalty kill. Today is no different.
I still maintain, as I have since the fall (back when there was still "maybe this is just a small sample" hope), the problem is structural: The Islanders take a weird clog-the-slot but (belatedly) chase-the-point approach that leaves points with too much time and space, and PK forwards stepping over each other in the top of the slot. Opponents exploit it easily. Make it stop.
Of an Island of Sorts
- As stat man Eric Hornick explains, the PK is currently historically bad. That's, like, not good. When you name drop the expansion Senators, you've got 0.99 problems and the PK is the (rounded) one. [NYI Skinny]
- Among the IPB podcast topics was, yes, the PK. No former Senators were harmed in the recording of this program. [IPB]
- The IslesBlog podcast, however, has an extensive discussion with Jiggs McDonald on his career (including the Mets, and the time Bill Torrey presented him with a Stanley Cup ring). [Part 1 | Part 2]
- Yesterday in practice Anders Lee was on the top line with John Tavares. [@NYIslanders]
- But could Ryan Strome -- who appeared there after a mid-game switch in the Detroit game -- be the answer (which has been speculated since the day he was drafted)? [E$PN In$ider$]
- John Tavares was named NHL 2nd star for January, because he's too humble to take number one. [LHH] He discussed the honor, and the Super Bowl party, on NHL Live.
- Brock Nelson isn't worried about his scoring slump, and neither is Jack Capuano, who says he doesn't want to add undue outside-the-norm pressure on the young kids. [Newsday] I bet Nelson has a good, level sense of the ebb and flow of things in a game where he can open the season with two goals off his knee.
- Dan's latest "Last Call in Nassau" is Episode 4 in the series, and it recounts when a bunch of guys who keep an Islanders blog running met up for the MLK Day matinee. We came from many walks of life. I brought illness from the Midwest. [LHH]
- The Road Not Traveled: A reflection on what might've been if Garth Snow's first choices for the offseason all panned out. [Altar of Bossy]
- Bob McKenzie shared childhood memories of Stan Mikita and Al Arbour, who both were unfortunately in "dementia news" this week. [TSN]
- More about that family who suffered the double-homicide, with the U. of PEI team rallying around them to help send them to the Isles-Bruins game. [CTV News]
- Are you in or around Albany and up for a meetup for the Feb. 12 game? This was in yesterday's bits, but it's gotten good response in comments so far. [LHH FanPost]
- The ECHL Stockton Thunder have been good the last several years, but this season...no. They just ended an 11-game losing streak. [Thunder]
- Tonight's FIG Picks: Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight over in this here corner.
What Warmup Do You Favor?
Remember what they'll wear tonight in warmups:
From the Beyond
- The Blues have been rolling 11 games without a loss, but that may be tested now that Kevin Shattenkirk joins a growing injury list. [stltoday]
- The Panthers come in to Nassau having lost on Short Island last night. [NHL] At the end of the game, Henrik Lundqvist demonstrated he has magic cheater pants. [SB Nation]
- This power ranking is more about the laughs, post-Super Bowl style. [NHL Numbers]
- This power ranking is more about the rankings, and pretty colors. [SB Nation]
- These goalie projections from garik are more about the Marcels, yo, and make some interesting points about Steve Mason and Brian Elliott very probably overcoming horrid early career starts. [Hockey-graphs] Honestly, both Mason and Elliott have become fascinating cases.
- Watching Justin Schultz used to be funny but now it's just sad. [Copper & Blue] (Aside: Remember when people used to cry when each summer's hot NCAA free agents eluded the Isles' grasp? Here Gilroy, there Schultz, everywhere a Hanson...)
- Meanwhile, in "What's ailing Oilers fans today?" Dallas Eakins discussed analytics, Nail Yakupov, and the (mostly media) hatred for Tyler Dellow. [TSN via C&B]