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Isles must turn minuses into pluses

by John Kreiser


Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 61
(15th eAst/30TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 -18
Home Points 40
(13th eAst/27th NHL)
Away Points 21
(15th eAst/30th NHL)
Advantage Margin            -41
Nor surprisingly for a team that rarely had the puck, the Islanders spent a lot more time killing penalties than they did on the power play. They actually had a bigger deficit at home (21) than on the road (20).

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -64
Most amazing stat of the season: On a team that had the worst even-strength goal differential in the NHL, defenseman Mark Streit was plus-6 while averaging 25:13 of ice time in 74 games.

Special Teams Goal Margin        -12
Both the power play and the penalty killing ranked in the bottom third of the League, though the penalty-killers did generate 12 shorthanded goals, tied for third in the NHL.

Goals by Defensemen            39

The blue-line crew had its best offensive season in years, largely due to the addition of free agent Streit (16 goals, team-high 56 points), one of the few bright spots for the Isles.

Overtime Record
Total: 6-4-5 (OT: 3-4, SO: 3-5)

With Rick DiPietro, one of the NHL's best shootout goalies (16-9, .745 save percentage), on the sidelines for most of the season, Islanders netminders stopped just 11 of 20 attempts while losing five times in eight shootouts.

Times Scored First
37 (Record: 20-15-2)

The Isles' .541 winning percentage when scoring first was next-to-last in the NHL behind Tampa Bay -- but their .133 percentage when they didn't score first (6-32-7) was by far the worst in the League.

Best 08-09 Number            4-2-0

The Islanders' record against Central Division teams -- their best by far against any division. Amazingly, the Islanders beat all four of the division's playoff qualifiers, including road wins at Chicago (4-2) and Detroit (2-0).

Worst 08-09 Number          45.7
The Islanders' winning percentage on faceoffs, last in the Eastern Conference and 29th in the League. It's an indication of how much the Isles missed Mike Sillinger, one of the NHL's best faceoff men who played only a handful of games due to injury. With Sillinger in 2007-08, the Isles were 10th in the NHL on draws at 51.0 percent.

For only the fifth time in their history, the Islanders will open the season at home (vs. Pittsburgh on Oct. 3). Their biggest test is a 14-of-17 stretch of road games in November and December that includes trips of seven and five games.

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