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Isles need more goals, fewer penalties

Wednesday, 09.03.2008 / 3:15 PM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Advantage Margin            -45

The Islanders pared their deficit by more than half from 2006-07, when they surrendered a mind-boggling 95 more power plays than they received. Even in their glory years, they almost always had to kill more power plays than they got.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -26

No Islander had more points than Mike Comrie’s 49, and only Bill Guerin and Trent Hunter had as many as 30 even-strength points.
Special Teams Goal Margin        -25

No team’s power play was worse than the Islanders, who scored just 48 times with the man advantage and allowed 15 shorthanded goals. The Isles were 29th overall with the man advantage and dead last at home at 12.5 percent.

Goals by defensemen            25

The Isles’ highest-scoring defenseman finished the season in Anaheim after being voted off the Island at the trade deadline. Marc-Andre Bergeron scored nine times (eight times on the power play) before being traded.


Category Rank (Conference)
2007-08 Points 79
(13th east/26th NHL)
Change from 2006-07 -13
Home Points 41
(15th east/28th NHL)
Away Points 38
(13th east/25th NHL)
Overtime Record     Total: 10-6-3  |  OT: 5-6  |  SO: 5-3

Luckily for the Islanders, they’ve been proficient at shootouts over the years — they’ve had a winning record all three seasons the penalty-shot competition has been used. The Isles also improved in OT after going 2-7 in 2005-06.
Times Scored First     38  |  Record  26-6-6

The Islanders got the first goal at home just 17 times, one more than Phoenix, which was last in the League. Their .684 winning percentage when scoring first was middle of the pack.

Best 07-08 Number             23-8-9

Islanders’ record in one-goal games, much of which was due to the superb pre-injury performance by All-Star goaltender Rick DiPietro — who was never the same after hurting his hip during the Skills Competition.

Worst 07-08 Number          44       

Goals scored by the Islanders in the first period, by far the fewest by any team in any period last season. They were also 27th with only 68 goals scored in the third period.

As usual, the Isles open on the road — they’ve started the season at the Nassau Coliseum just four times since entering the NHL in 1972. They also have a nasty stretch in November and December during which they play 11 of 15 on the road. The Isles have a six-game homestand that begins in late February, followed immediately by a six-game road trip.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres