Isles Among Lowest in Man Games Lost
For the last few years, the Islanders have had the most, or among the most, man games lost due to injury in the league. Last season, the Isles were third in the league through 57 games. In 2010-11, they rang up a ridiculous 512 man games lost through 74 games.
Each year, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail compiles these numbers which aren’t released publicly. As Mirtle notes, an injury to Sidney Crosby counts as much as an injury to a fourth liner but these numbers still provide a pretty good picture as to which teams are falling victim to injuries.
This year, it’s been a different story for the Islanders. The majority of their most important players haven’t been injured. In fact, John Tavares, Matt Moulson, Brad Boyes, Frans Nielsen, Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo, Travis Hamonic, Andrew MacDonald and Matt Martin have played in all 33 games thus far (and another three have played in 30).
For this season, Mirtle has the Islanders ranked 22nd in the league in man games lost through 33 games, well behind the Isles’ pace of the last two years. The one caveat here is that these numbers don’t appear to include injured players the Islanders suspended (Mirtle wasn’t sure when I asked him).
Doing some rough estimates, I have the following numbers for the Islanders: Grabner – 3, Ullstrom – 6, Carkner – 20, Strait – 18, Martinek – 7. That adds up to 54, pretty close to Mirtle’s 56. If you add in Visnovsky – 12, Bailey – 10 and Joensuu – 33, it changes the picture a bit (and I know Visnovsky wasn’t injured, so it’s debatable if he should be counted).
But nonetheless, the Islanders have been on the good side of the injury bug this year after a few years where it seemed like everyone was hurt at some point. So this season, injuries are one excuse that’s not valid — or one hurdle that won’t hold them back.