*They may be the lowest scoring team in the league. They may not have scored more than two goals in regulation in their last ten games. And their captain may not have scored a point in eleven games. But the Islanders (13-8-1), led by the steady netminding of Rick DiPietro and a team commitment to defense, have kept themselves within striking distance of first place with games at hand.
*Adding to the Isles offensive woes, the defense has failed to contribute a goal in the whole month of November. It’s no coincidence that the powerplay has gone 4-for-51 (7.8%) in that span. The Isles are now ranked 15th in the league with an 18% conversion rate after opening the season with one of the hottest units in the NHL.
*On a lighter note, it was good to see Shawn Bates back on the ice after a ten month absence. In limited ice time (5:25) in the win over Ottawa, Bates looked like he hadn’t missed a beat following his conditioning stint in Bridgeport.
Rick DiPietro (11-7-1,2.31 GAA,.911 S%) Let’s just say if it wasn’t for DiPietro these past ten games, the Isles would be sitting in the Atlantic Division basement.
Mike Sillinger (3-5=8,-3) has points in three of his last four games (2-1=3) and a +1 rating in that span. The Sillinger line has looked good of late and is poised for a breakout.
Josef Vasicek (8-3=11,+3) broke a four game mini goal scoring drought Wednesday. Prior to that, Vasicek had points in ten of twelve games.
Richard Park (3-5=8,+3) had goals in consecutive games vs. Boston and Dallas and was rewarded in the game against Ottawa with 16:08 of ice time and a third period/overtime spot on the Guerin/Comrie line.
Chris Simon (1-1=2,+/-E) may not be putting up the points just yet, but he has been spending significant time on a line with Mike Comrie and Bill Guerin. It’s only a matter of time before he puts his offensive skills to use. No better time than Thursday at The Garden.
Mike Comrie (7-11=18,-8) has lost his edge along with the rest of the "Leftover Line". Comrie is pointless with four shots and a –1 rating in his last four games.
Ruslan Fedotenko (6-7=13,-5) has just a goal and two assists to go along with a –4 rating in his last ten games.
Bill Guerin (5-6=11,-4) is pointless with a –4 rating in his last eleven games. His shootout goal Wednesday may be the beginning of the end of that.
Miroslav Satan (6-7=13,+5) is beginning to warm with points in consecutive games after a six game dry spell.
Trent Hunter (4-4=8,-8) is pointless and –2 in his last seven games, but looked good with Sillinger Wednesday.
Bryan Berard (2-3=5,-5) has just one assist and a –4 rating in his last eight games, and was scratched in favor of M.A. Bergeron Wednesday night.
Chris Campoli (2-9=11,-4) is pointless with a –3 rating in his last nine games.
M.A. Bergeron (2-5=7,-2) hasn’t scored a goal in a month and is frequently a healthy scratch. He has been unable to duplicate his pace on the Island last year. More importantly, he has lost the confidence of the coaching staff and himself. But, on the bright side, Bergeron has an assist and a +2 rating in his last three games.
On the mend:
*F/D Aaron Johnson (knee) is expected to miss six weeks, retroactive 11/5.
*F Jon Sim (knee) is out for the season.
Thu. 11/29 @ Rangers
Sat. 12/1 vs. Atlanta
Mon. 12/3 vs. Boston
Wed. 12/5 @ Atlanta
Fri. 12/7 @ Florida
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