It's been an awfully quiet 48 hours since Tuesday night's loss to Tampa Bay. No changes, no news. Sort of a calm before the storm of Rangers and Islanders doing battle tomorrow night. It'll be the first of four meetings between the teams over the next five weeks. They'll play Friday then three times in January, one of which is of course the out door game.Here are your afternoon links and stories:
- At Lighthouse Hockey, Garik takes a look at the Islanders' neutral zone play both defensive and offensively. Here's a partial spoiler; Brock Nelson and Travis Hamonic are doing quite well. Despite his goal-scoring prowess, Eric Boulton is not doing so well by these metrics.
- How bad are the Islanders at coughing up leads in the third period? This bad. SBNation's Adam Gretz takes a look at just how epically bad the Islanders have been at holding leads. The league average win percentage with a lead heading into the final period is .835. The Islanders, this year, are at .444. Oof.
- Newsday asks the Islanders about the five-car pile up in front of the net the other night. "I can't really explain it," Capuano said, "and I don't think any of them could either. We didn't take the right course of action there. It's not something we teach."
- CBS thinks Ray Emery would have helped the Islanders because... Well, he would have beaten the snot out of an opponent's goalie, at least. I opined about Ben Bishop yeseterday, so maybe I am not one to judge. The article also makes the argument for Mark Streit. In hindsight, Mark Striet would certainly have helped the Islanders deficient defense, especially in Lubomir Visnovsky's absence. That's certainly true. Other side of the coin is that we'd all still probably be complaining about his defense, which was the case for the past season or two.
- An interesting argument that goalies don't improve (they just get worse as time goes on). "If you take the last 30 years or so of NHL save-percentage data, and just figure out everybody’s save percentage by age, you’ll be surprised by the early peak. Collectively, goalies seem to max out between the ages of 21 and 23 and then drop off more or less monotonically."
- Chris Botta says there's still time for the Isles because the East is a mess.