*The Isles have followed a five-game losing streak with two wins and two losses. Even still, they are only seven points behind the Atlantic Division-leading Devils with two games at hand.
*The good news is the team has begun to score with some regularity. They have scored three goals in three of their last four games. The last time the Isles scored more than three goals was November 1 when they beat Tampa Bay 4-0 on Coliseum ice.
*The powerplay unit has also turned it up a notch, scoring a goal in six of the last seven games. The Isles are now ranked 17th in the league with a 16.9% conversion rate.
*Chris Simon has done it again, but don’t expect the NHL to be so "lenient" this time. With about six minutes to go in a one-goal game against the Penguins, Simon decided to take out Jarkko Ruutu’s legs and stomp on his ankle, which begs the question, what the hell was Chris Simon doing on the ice when the Isles are pressing to tie the game? That may be tougher to answer than "What was Simon thinking?" Simon had just one goal and three points in 26 games this season.
Rick DiPietro (14-12,2 SO,2.49 GAA,.913 S%) gives his team a chance to win every night. There’s not much else to say. Just take a look at his stats.
Miroslav Satan (8-11=19,+/-E) has a goal and two assists in his last three games after going five games with just an assist. Satan has always been a streaky player, but the Isles are going to need more out of him if they plan to do any damage in the East.
Bill Guerin (8-8=16,-6) has finally rediscovered his scoring touch. Guerin has three goals and an assist in his last four games.
Mike Sillinger (7-6=13,-6) has three goals and an assist in his last six games as he finally begins to turn up the offense.
Richard Park (5-5=10,+1) has goals in two of his last three and has been the Isles most consistent forward this season. Ted Nolan has rewarded Park with additional ice time and the occasional shift on a scoring line.
Trent Hunter (5-9=14,-11) has points in four of his last six games, but just can’t seem to put the puck in the net with any regularity. In fact, Hunter has scored once since November 10, a span of 19 games.
M.A. Bergeron (3-7=10,-5) has points in three of his last five, but has a –3 rating in that span.
Mike Comrie (9-16=25,-13) may have three assists in his last two games, but hasn’t shown the passion he had in the first week of the season despite leading the team with 25 points. He often seems disinterested and rarely uses his speed and puckhandling skills that he dazzled with in his first couple of games as an Islander. His –13 rating is also worst on the team and a cause for concern.
Josef Vasicek (10-4=14,+2) leads the team with ten goals despite having just a goal and an assist in his last nine games.
Ruslan Fedotenko (6-9=15,-5) has just one assist in seven games and has not scored since November 19 at Madison Square Garden.
Bryan Berard (2-3=5,-8) has just one assist and a dismal –7 rating in his last 14 games. Berard has also been scratched a number of times, more so recently.
On the mend:
*F Chris Simon (suspension) is out indefinitely pending an NHL hearing. Don’t be surprised if Simon’s given the boot for the season.
*F Shawn Bates (hip) played just two games before succumbing to another injury. There’s no timetable for his return.
*F/D Aaron Johnson (knee) is expected to miss six weeks, retroactive 11/5.
*F Jon Sim (knee) is out for the season.
Wed. 12/19 vs. Buffalo
Fri. 12/21 @ Pittsburgh
Sat. 12/22 vs. Washington
Wed. 12/26 vs. Toronto
Thu. 12/27 @ Ottawa
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