ISLANDERS 5 (EN) LEAFS 3 Isles keep the ball rolling with 5th win in last 6

 Box/TOI || Highlights || Fancy Stats

Keith Quinn, Islanders Point Blank:

Well, they keep coming.  Maybe they can make a run at this thing after all.

Despite arriving in Toronto at three a.m. (*empirically validated via twitter) and on the tail end of back to backs on the road, the Isles extended their recent run of good resilient play.  They have now taken five of their last six contests and got some balanced scoring along with continued support from the one of the NHL’s hottest lines.

Thomas Vanek extended his career high scoring streak as did Tavares and Okposo (unless you count his absence for the birth of his daughter…which the NHL probably does).  Calvin deHaan also got his first NHL goal off a shot outside the blue line that Dion Phaneuf tipped past Jonathan Bernier.

Jack Capuano also secured his 100th career win behind the bench,  Unfortunately, they are still 8 points out of the wild card and seven points out of third in the division.  The teams they are chasing all have at least one game in hand.  Washington, the third place team in the division, has three.

The Islanders fell behind relatively early and seemed to have some trouble finding their stride in the first.  That could’ve been the schedule, or it could’ve been the fact that really every line was different or new-ish and 2/3 of the D pairs were switched as well.  This spelled on by the return of Okposo and Leaf truculence countermeasures.

Tyler Bozak got things started with a fluky 40 foot fluttering deflection past Kevin Poulin leaving Islander fans to immediately fear that the loss of Evgeni Nabokov to injury could be a killer.  But the resurgent offense chipped away.

Kyle Okposo got his 17th of the season late in the frame on a long range shot estimated at 40-50 feet by Jiggs McDonald after Tavares gained the zone and dished over to the right wing.  Jonathan Bernier got a piece of it with his blocker.  On the play, all four Leaf defenders cheated toward Tavares giving Okposo some space.

In the second period, the penalty floodgates opened with the Isles taking four stick infraction/obstruction penalties.  Immediately following the first penalty kill of the period, Michael Grabner gave the Isles the lead on a wrap around goal. It was made possible when Bernier came out to play a dump in, flubbed it a bit and couldn’t retrieve it outside the trapezoid without taking a penalty.  Grabner swooped in, headed behind the net and Bernier caught himself on the post a bit trying to get across the crease.

The Leafs would tie it at two on a Mason Raymond power play goal.  Poulin had a bit of a bad decision on a goalie handle and put the puck in an awkward position for deHaan.  That led to some extended zone possession for the Leafs, and eventually an point shot from Gardiner and Raymond banging in a rebound.

Somehow, despite the disparity in penalties, the shots were even at 8-8 for the period.

In the third, the Isles scored on their only power play of the game.  With Jeffrey Joffrey Lupul off for goaltender interference, Frans Nielsen gained the Leafs zone, crossed to Tavares, who got the puck to Thomas Vanek.  Vanek ripped a shot that hit Cody Franson and Nielsen snapped the loose puck in.

About three minutes later, Calvin deHaan gave the Isles a two goal lead.

About 10:50 into the period, the Isles led in shots 3-2 effectively clamping down on a lead.  However, at 16:55, Lupul deflected a long distance Nazem Kadri shot past Poulin to make it close.  But from there, the Isles controlled play pretty assertively, held the Leafs to four shots (total) and Cal Clutterbuck added an empty netter.

NOTICINGS:

  • I’m definitely a bit of a Brock Nelson fan, but there’s no denying how good he’s been lately.  His Corsi% is outstanding in his last bunch of games, and his zone starts are pretty tough.
  • The penalty disparity was again strange.  It seemed like physical penalties weren’t called, but stick infractions were called liberally.  And the PK looked pretty good again despite giving up the goal.
  • The fourth line saw minimal ice time tonight (except for Cizikas who was fueled by 5:46 on the PK).  Matt Martin saw 5:57 which has to be his lowest total in a couple of years.  But McLaren/Orr/Holland all saw under 5:30 also.
  • The Isles got killed in the faceoff dot again 38-24
  • Returning from a commercial break, Jiggs quipped “Welcome back to the center of the universe.”  You have to love Jiggs.  He’s officially at the point where he doesn’t care and dammit he’s gonna say it out loud.
  • Phaneuf didn’t concuss anybody, so that’s good.
  • Tavares now has 8 points in his last two games and 16 in his last 7.  He’s good.
  • Ryan Strome has 18 shots in his last 4 games (4.5 per game). That’s a ridiculously high number that if he can continue (he probably can’t because that’s Ovechkin level high), he’s going to start scoring a ton.



214 comments
David Schwartz
David Schwartz

On a bright note JT is finally a + player this year and Vanek is +9 and we now have either 5 or 6 players(not including lubo) in the + category for the first time this year.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

I preferred the old posting system, particularly the e-mail notification when someone responded to your post. Fishing around and trying to follow a string on this format is a pita...

Vicp73
Vicp73

At the game last night, great seats and the team looked solid. Only negative Josh Bailey's play. Guy looks so disinterested out there. Honestly start benching this guy, a message needs to be sent

njersey
njersey

I can't help but wonder, (now that our younger players are stepping up), if we had taken more chances at "growing pains", and just "bit the bullet", from the start of the season with players like, Donovan, DeHaan, Reinhart, Nelson, Strome, where we would be in standings. We were very bad without them, VERY BAD!!! Right ???

shlo
shlo

I forgot already who the goalie coach is. But I think he is not doing a good job with Poulin . I am surprised (not really) that Snow does not see it. If  Patrick Roy says that Poulin has a bright future , he knows what he is talking about, probably better than all of us combined.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

Well,,, I think have once again figured out the nuances of this newfangled technology.  And I now have a new account.  Unfortunately something was leaked but, that will most likely prove to be no concern.  

In the interim, why did Matt Martin only play 5:57 last night???

camb33
camb33

@bubbamac19 Agreed ....this is  disgrace! Having to Sign in every time you want to post or even like someones comment is horrible

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@bubbamac19 

Not to mention how many times I have been erased and had to start over with a new account and name.  I tried using Google, and suddenly it went away.  I have been forced to do something I never wanted to do and join in the social media frenzy.  I had wanted to remain anonymous but now I have a Twitter account.  My foot print is getting bigger, and easier to hack with this new system...

dkdk
dkdk

That's my issue, it isn't the lack of scoring it is the lack of effort. He never seems to be busting it.

Don22
Don22

@njerseyYou can argue that we may not be at least the same, but I'm not sure having all of them up at the same time in the beginning would have been good for them.  4 out of 5 are here now, but if you noticed - they kind of came up staggered and it's only right now that all 4 are on the roster - and even then they don't all suit up.  I think taking them a little slow is OK since it's not like they are going to be a big difference - at least not right now.

As for Reinhart I was initially fine with him staying another year in Juniors.  But then seeing all of the other Dmen from his draft in the NHL now, I wish they did bring him in.  That said, I don't think it's hurting him.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@njersey 

I believe the number is 10,,, as in ten games with a third period lead that was lost, and those games were lost, too.  Add those points into the mix right now and we are in the hunt.  Without them, we are clawing our way from the bottom up and it's still a long climb...

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@shlo 

Our goalie coach is Mike Dunham, who finished his career here in 2007 with a 4-10-3, 889%  3.74 GA.  He's only 41 years young and perhaps Snow is ruminating on the prospects of dressing him in case Poulin or Nilsson come up short.  I certainly hope NOT...

isles23
isles23

Hopefully because Cappy has realized what I have this season. I love Martin and he is a good player to have on your team BUT he is a fourth line banger/energy guy and nothing more. He is not a penalty killer nor is he a guy that warrants getting 12+ min of ice time a night. There should be nights when he gets that time but there should also be nights were he does not. Last night was the latter.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@camb33 I know, right? I have to sign in every time I switch to another article. Definitely a step backwards.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@dkdk

With the idiotic new contract he got from the head idiot Snow, he figures why should he put in an effort, he will still get paid, another reason for them to shovel Snow right out of here.

njersey
njersey

@Don22 @njersey

You are right, and hindsight is always 20/20, but as a fan, you always root for the homegrown, and looking back, we were SO BAD with with the vets, that I can't help and wish that we got the "growing pains" of young players out of the way ... I'm just a typical impatient fan...

njersey
njersey

@REDSpointofview @njersey

Looking back at the first half, that (10) number you mentioned is aweful.... You are right... Just turn half of them into wins, and that is (10) additional points in the standings... Wouldn't that make a huge difference in the Playoff scenario ???

isles23
isles23

@red. Mike Dunham played 12 years in the league and ended his career w/ a .908 save % and a 2.74 gaa. Now clearly not an all-star by any means but he still had a solid career and played in the best league in the world for over a decade. I'd say he's a qualified goaltender coach.

shlo
shlo

@REDSpointofview  Haha  .Yes, I remember now, Snow's buddy, no wonder. Another SAFE JOB in Islanders country.  Made my day.

shlo
shlo

@isles23100% right. They did not take too many liberties if any at all ,so let him conserve the energy, it's a long stretch.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@isles23 

Boulton got more ice time than Martin last night.  I find that hard to understand.  And, Martin did kill penalties with some success until this year...

dzruggie
dzruggie

@bubbamac19 @camb33 I don't have that issue per se.  I used SNY and it will prompt for a new sign in when I change but I notice if I just hit enter it does post with my name....I think lol.  That may have been a dream too lol 

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@bubbamac19 @camb33 I don't have that issue I think it's cause I signed up via facebook so I never have to sign back in, but I do miss the notifications when people respond to my comments.

dkdk
dkdk

You know I am right you there jepliberty

orange2327
orange2327

Wonder if snow could have dealt him last off season for a semi decent dman/goalie???

orange2327
orange2327

And the thing is as the games dwindle down in number the more of these three pt games you get!! You'll see more games inside the division like devils/flyers rags/cbj!! Teams will do anything to protect the one point!!

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@isles23 

I do believe the last goalie coach was a guy named Sudsy Maharaj.  Now, even with a Google search, I find it difficult to locate any history on the guy.  The one thing I do get, is with a name like Sudsy, the image of someone in a clown suit between the pipes comes to mind.  I mean, it's really hard to take someone named Sudsy seriously.  There lies a joke...     

isles23
isles23

@red. I got the tongue and cheek part of it but I thought you were trying to say he is a joke as a coach. Get more where you are at now

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@isles23 

I really wasn't trying to discredit him.  That was the last year he played in the NHL and we all know that athletes tend to fade to black with advanced age.  

I think the bigger point i was shooting for was the fact that since he's already here, he could be the one that Snow goes to if Poulin and Nilsson come up short.  And even that was typed with tongue firmly in cheek...

isles23
isles23

@red. What's the point of using his stats from his one season w/ the isles them if your not trying to discredit him? I'm sick of this thought that the isles have no good hockey people or ex-isles in their organization. Frankly its bogus, if we didn't have good hockey people than the penguins must be even worse because they hired their head coach from the isles, but we all know that's not the case.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@isles23 

I did not say he wasn't.  I just gave his statistics from the year he played with us.  Yes, his body of work qualifies him as a goal tender coach, especially on a team with a goal tender GM...

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@camb33 @REDSpointofview @shlo 

That certainly would appear to be the primary reason to keep your job with this organization.  I have said it time and time again,,, in Wang's world, it's good to be king...

Don22
Don22

@isles23I got to see Clutter up close for the first time the other night at the Stars game.  He has a great motor.  He was flying around the ice.  I think he only has one gear and that's flying.  Martin is a nice player and has his role as a checker and fighter when needed.  Clutter is a little more than that.  I never had an issue with having Clutter AND Martin on the same team.  It's not like they are both goons and can only fight.  The are both able to contribute. 

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@shlo @isles23 

Clutterbuck has a scoring touch that Martin lacks.  For that reason, right now, if Bailey is going to play on Nielsen's wing, Clutterbuck should be with Strome and Nelson...

shlo
shlo

@isles23I loved Clutterbuck when I saw him play in Minni, he had a rough start with us,  we need him.

isles23
isles23

@shlo, yup. I said it when we traded for Clutterbuck and a lot of responses were, why do we need another Martin, well Clutterbuck IS what we hope Martin becomes.

isles23
isles23

@red. I get ya but maybe it was like shlo said and they were almost giving him a bit of rest. Its just one game though, if it happens again then we will have more to go on.

REDSpointofview
REDSpointofview

@isles23 

No, I can agree on his removal from the PK rotation, and his physical presence is necessary every night but, I just have that problem with Boulton getting more ice time than he did.  I find that confusing, that a constant scratch gets put into a game just for his physical play and then plays more than the one guy we have out there every night just for his physical play...

isles23
isles23

@red. It is weird and there might have been something nagging him, not sure, but the fact remains the same his ice time needed to be cut from what he was getting early in the year. The PK has been substantially better since Clutterbuck started killing and the return of Strait. I don't see those two things as coincidences