Isles

Five stats about the Islanders for people who haven’t been paying attention

16 Comments

The New York Islanders still have work to do in order to make the playoffs. Their last five games are all on the road, starting tonight in Toronto.

But their chances are good — 84.5%, according to Sports Club Stats.

So how are they doing it? Is it just John Tavares being really good?

It is not. (Though he is quite important.)

Here are five stats that may surprise people who haven’t been watching the Isles all year:

1. Brad Boyes has 31 points in 43 games. The 31-year-old who fell on hard times in Buffalo signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Isles in the summer. He’s since enjoyed an offensive resurgence. Granted, playing with Tavares and Matt Moulson has helped, but that’s still great value for the money he’s getting. Only 28 NHLers have more assists than Boyes (23).

2. Andrew MacDonald leads the team in average ice time (23:31). The 26-year-old defenseman is another bargain, with a cap hit of just $550,000. MacDonald is also out there against the opposition’s best players, according to Behind The Net. The Isles drafted him 160th overall in 2006.

3. The Isles don’t drop the gloves much anymore (now that Zenon Konopka has moved on). They’ve only got 15 fighting majors, tied for third fewest in the NHL. (Toronto leads, with 41.) Matt Martin has the most fights on the Isles, with seven.

4. The Isles have four defensemen with 10 points or more. Actually, they’ve got three d-men with exactly 10 points (MacDonald, Travis Hamonic, Lubomir Visnovsky), and then Mark Streit, who has 25 points. Hamonic’s another bargain, by the way. The 22-year-old has a cap hit of $875,000 and plays 22:41 per game, often paired with MacDonald.

5. Only five NHL goalies have faced more shots than Evgeni Nabokov (1,036). The 37-year-old (fourth-oldest goalie in the league) has a modest .911 save percentage, but there’s something to be said for a guy being able to stay healthy and play that much at his age.

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Leave a comment

Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

 

 

PHT Morning Skate: It’s not like they robbed a bank

2 Comments

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”

Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)

Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)

What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)

What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)

Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)

On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

2 Comments

The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

25 Comments

The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.