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Goal Differential and Progress (?)

View Poll Results: Did the Islanders make "progress" in 2009-10?
Yes 56 98.25%
No 1 1.75%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
04-05-2010, 04:08 AM
  #1
hgo
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Goal Differential and Progress (?)

The Islanders have improved where it matters most: the standings. They are still technically not eliminated from playoff contention today, whereas their season was long past over by February last season.

But I'd like to dig a little deeper.

A year ago, the Islanders scored 201 goals and allowed 279, for a goal differential of -78.

This year, through 78 games, the Islanders have scored 209 goals. But they have allowed 241, for a goal differential of -32.

Now, I would like to think that this is a result of better team defense. But when you consider that the defensive corps are potentially worse right now than they were at the end of last season, I'm not so sure. I think it speaks to the increased quality of netminding above all else.

What is not a good sign, though, is that the goal-scoring did not not increase that much. Moulson and Tavares effectively replaced the production of Guerin and Comrie (actually slightly eclipsed), which is good, since they're obviously younger.

Bailey and Comeau have put up ever-so-slightly better numbers than last year. Of course, they're much improved in other areas of the game as well, particularly Bailey. Okposo's numbers are higher than last year's as well, although they're at a similar PPG rate.

Streit's numbers dipped. Hunter's numbers dipped. Bergenheim's numbers slightly dipped. Nielsen's numbers are comparable but he has played in more games. Tambellini, interestingly, had as much production in half the games. And obviously Schremp factored into this as well.

This may seem like a list of facts for my own personal amusement. But they do pose a question. We expected "progress" in 2009-10. On the surface (not taking into account play away from the puck and all that **** that isn't measured on a stat sheet), it's a tough sell, beyond better goaltending.

Which is why I pose a question to you. Simply put, do you view 2009-10 as "progress" for the NYI?

The rest of the thread can be used as speculation for "progress" in 2010-11. Do we challenge for a playoff spot next season? (My personal belief.) Will the goal-scoring pick itself up with the personnel we have? Will we continue to see a decrease in goals against?

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04-05-2010, 04:36 AM
  #2
Mikkel
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They have 15 more points at this point. That signals progress to me.

That said, you have some very good points, and the fact that a lot of this can be ascribed to the signing of a 41 year old goalie does have effects in terms of using the progress to predict the future.

On the other hand, while I hate to prioritise the future over the present, a goal by Tavares brings more hope than a goal by Bergenheim which in itself brings more hope than a goal by Guerin. The fact that the Isles' current forward crop are as good (statistically) as last year's and better than the forward crop of 2007-2008 (189 goals!) therefore signals more progress to me than a mere glance at the numbers reflect.

As for next year? I never expected them to challenge for the playoffs this year, but I do expect it out of next year. Not necessarily that they make it in, but that they are a serious (and not just mathematically) challenger towards the end of the season. I pure numbers, I'll predict 15 more goals for and 15 less goals against - that would give a differential of about 0. Also, there is absolutely no point of being -40 in the 3rd period - impoving this would go a long way.

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04-05-2010, 05:29 AM
  #3
Fantom
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I really feel like we are no better then we were last year.
Yes some players have played slightly better but nothing in my eyes that shows true progress.
I think our real difference is the fact that we actually have NHL Goalies this season.
Overall however i do not see much of a difference.

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04-05-2010, 05:52 AM
  #4
Dan-o16
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Ummm... There's been quite a lot of progress. Here's a list of it:

1. Okposo's defensive game.
2. Nielsen's defensive game.
3. Meyer's defensive game.
4. MacDonald's presence.
5. Bailey's game (ie having one at all).
6. Moulsen.
7. Tavares's presence.
8. Comeau's game.

Goaltending this year has been good in stretches, but does not even remotely account for the improvement we've seen. We have at least 8 players we strongly believe will come out and compete well next year (Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, Streit, MacDonald, Moulsen, Comeau, Nielsen). We did *not* have that at the end of '08-'09. Maybe we'll have 12-13 at the end of next year.

Cheers,

Dan-o

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04-05-2010, 06:47 AM
  #5
Moosie
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Tavares, Moulson, the emergence of Comeau.

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04-05-2010, 08:48 AM
  #6
Doug Height
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Well I think our D is better this year IMO, Streit, AMac, Hillen(Sutton half the year) is better than Streit and Gervais. Plus the Witt has been addition by subtraction.

For me to feel we could make the playoffs next year we would need to...

-Add a legit top 4 guy on D and one more dependable guy(doesn't need to be top 4).

-Add another veteran backup goalie, either bring back Biron or sign one of the many UFA goalies.

-Add a top 6 LW.(Ray Whitney please)

-Replace Park and Jackman with some better players.

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04-05-2010, 09:04 AM
  #7
majormet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-o16 View Post
Ummm... There's been quite a lot of progress. Here's a list of it:

1. Okposo's defensive game.
2. Nielsen's defensive game.
3. Meyer's defensive game.
4. MacDonald's presence.
5. Bailey's game (ie having one at all).
6. Moulsen.
7. Tavares's presence.
8. Comeau's game.

Goaltending this year has been good in stretches, but does not even remotely account for the improvement we've seen. We have at least 8 players we strongly believe will come out and compete well next year (Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, Streit, MacDonald, Moulsen, Comeau, Nielsen). We did *not* have that at the end of '08-'09. Maybe we'll have 12-13 at the end of next year.

Cheers,

Dan-o
I agree with this, the differential is also accentuated by 6 blowouts we suffered (Florida, Rangers, Devils, etc)

Other things that contributed to the improvement include

1) Andy Sutton's play in his contract year
2) Jack Hillen's improvement
3) Mark Streit's flawless play in stretches accompanied by leadership
4) Dylan Reese being a surprise (watch him, he is a great outlet passer)

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04-05-2010, 09:06 AM
  #8
Doug Height
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormet View Post
I agree with this, the differential is also accentuated by 6 blowouts we suffered (Florida, Rangers, Devils, etc)

Other things that contributed to the improvement include

1) Andy Sutton's play in his contract year
2) Jack Hillen's improvement
3) Mark Streit's flawless play in stretches accompanied by leadership
4) Dylan Reese being a surprise (watch him, he is a great outlet passer)
No AMac!?


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04-05-2010, 09:07 AM
  #9
majormet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Height View Post
Well I think our D is better this year IMO, Streit, AMac, Hillen(Sutton half the year) is better than Streit and Gervais. Plus the Witt has been addition by subtraction.

For me to feel we could make the playoffs next year we would need to...

-Add a legit top 4 guy on D and one more dependable guy(doesn't need to be top 4).

-Add another veteran backup goalie, either bring back Biron or sign one of the many UFA goalies.

-Add a top 6 LW.(Ray Whitney please)

-Replace Park and Jackman with some better players.
I agree for the most part, Ray Whitney is older and could fade, rather resign Park as the Vet and get Frolov (Plekanec is going to resign this week). Aucoin would be a top 4 and Sutton would be a physical guy that could work. Martin would replace Jackman, you could carry Gillies to play against Philly, Rags, Ottawa, Minnesota and suit Schremp up against Florida, Tampa, Atlanta teams.

There is a rumor that Koskinen might be up next year to backup, rumor was on ESPN rumors yesterday and cited Edmonton paper as the source of all things. Would rather get Biron back.

I don't mind if Sim is brought back, but Malhotra goes a longer way on the 4th line.

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04-05-2010, 09:10 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Height View Post
No AMac!?

ehehheeh, Dan-O mentioned him already, I was already adding to his through list, he mentioned my other 2 guys (Comeau and Frans) as well, I just had to add Reese, but won't get attached to him because he is a fringe guy, although he is better than Gervais.

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04-05-2010, 09:12 AM
  #11
potvin05
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How could you vote "no" to this poll??

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04-05-2010, 09:15 AM
  #12
kasper11
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Yes there has been progress. A lot of progress.

You could look at the stats....they have more wins and points, they're g/g and ga/g have improved...they get about two shots more per game and give up about 2 shots less.

But truthfully, the stats don't matter as much to me as my own eyes. This team is a lot better than the one we saw last year. They are still not a good team, but better than last year for sure, and I see enough glimpses to be excited about the future.

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04-05-2010, 09:17 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzo View Post
The Islanders have improved where it matters most: the standings.
good thread izzo. I think the biggest point you make is with the part above, the standings. In the end, that's really all that matters. The personal stats are FAR LESS important when you're winning games.

What's interesting is how you measure the progress. I know you focused on goals/points in your analysis and you recognize that's not the ONLY measure of progress but the numbers are pretty telling. No player has many any significant leap forward this year, IMO. I was hoping for "breakout" years from players like: Okposo, Nielsen, Comeau Tambellini (less so) and hoping for better seasons from Hunter. I'd say only Comeau (and only in the last 15-20 games) has met those expectations.

I was cautiously optimistic on Tavares and Bailey (I think they're both far too young to expect much from them) but I'm encouraged with what I see.

Moulson has been the biggest surprise. I think he's for real. Not a consistent 30 goal guy but probably a consistent 20-25 goal guy who can play a bottom six role if the team improves. Great find.

On defense, I didn't expect anyone to improve significantly over last year. Only Hillen has (to my surprise) and MacDonald has been really impressive this year.

Roloson and Biron have been, as you said, the biggest improvement.

Whether they're younger or not is almost irrelevant, except that the theory is that if they are younger, they CAN/WILL get better. That's the part I'm unsure of.

I think Tavares, Okposo, Bailey WILL get better...they have the talent and have shown a high skill-set and output throughout their careers (before the NHL).

I'm not sure many others will improve much. Nielsen's solid but may not score any more than he does. Yes, he's useful in other ways but still limited given his size.

Schremp, although encouraging, may not be good enough to be a #1 or #2 centre on this team so if we're looking at improving the team, we need to add TWO top six forwards and TWO top 4 defensemen.

Let's not forget that this team is NOT A GOOD TEAM, even though they are encouraging in some ways. When a team is FOUR KEY PLAYERS (arguably) away from the playoffs it really means there isn't much there (except hope).

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04-05-2010, 09:19 AM
  #14
Doug Height
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormet View Post
I agree for the most part, Ray Whitney is older and could fade, rather resign Park as the Vet and get Frolov (Plekanec is going to resign this week). Aucoin would be a top 4 and Sutton would be a physical guy that could work. Martin would replace Jackman, you could carry Gillies to play against Philly, Rags, Ottawa, Minnesota and suit Schremp up against Florida, Tampa, Atlanta teams.

There is a rumor that Koskinen might be up next year to backup, rumor was on ESPN rumors yesterday and cited Edmonton paper as the source of all things. Would rather get Biron back.

I don't mind if Sim is brought back, but Malhotra goes a longer way on the 4th line.
I'll take any top 6'er at this point lol. I'm just a fan of Whitney, I think he would be a good fit on JT's left side.

Aucoin would work, he may be a little to injury prone though IMO. Kubina would be a nice addition, or a guy like Gonchar.

I would be ok with keeping Sim on the 4th line, then add Malhotra and Shawn Thornton.

As far as Koskinen goes, I think he would be best off being Bridgeport's starter, backing up Rollie would not be the best for his development. He has only played like 5 games in the AHL. Hopefully that rumor does not come true.

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04-05-2010, 09:21 AM
  #15
potvin05
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A guy no one's mentioned, but deserves it....Scott Gordon. He may not be the most pleasant looking guy, he rarely smiles, but give him his due. Guys like Comeau, Nielsen, Bailey, etc. have all significantly improved their overall play. Goal scoring and points only tell a small story, especially when you're in the bottom 10 of the league. The blown 3rd period leads can be a little disturbing, but remember, he's just finishing his second year in the league. He's going to learn when to cut these guys a little slack, and let's face it, these guys obviously like playing for him. He's a young guy's coach, and very rarely (with the exception of the Rags game) are they unprepared. This isn't exactly a roster stacked with current all-stars, and they compete pretty much night in-night out. IMO, Scott Gordon, take a bow.

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04-05-2010, 09:42 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potvin05 View Post
A guy no one's mentioned, but deserves it....Scott Gordon. He may not be the most pleasant looking guy, he rarely smiles, but give him his due. Guys like Comeau, Nielsen, Bailey, etc. have all significantly improved their overall play. Goal scoring and points only tell a small story, especially when you're in the bottom 10 of the league. The blown 3rd period leads can be a little disturbing, but remember, he's just finishing his second year in the league. He's going to learn when to cut these guys a little slack, and let's face it, these guys obviously like playing for him. He's a young guy's coach, and very rarely (with the exception of the Rags game) are they unprepared. This isn't exactly a roster stacked with current all-stars, and they compete pretty much night in-night out. IMO, Scott Gordon, take a bow.
I'm a big stock holder in the Gordon system, this is the proper guy for this team.

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04-05-2010, 09:44 AM
  #17
Renbarg
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I think all of the young guys except for Tambo took a step forward that is progress in itself.

What exceeded my expectations was the emergence of HIllen and MacDonald.

Next year will be the third year of Scott Gordon and essentially the same cast of characters you cannot factor out the fact that playing three years + with the same guys is a pretty big deal.

We also blew a ton of third goal leads with can be attributed partly to youth and partly to rotten luck.

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04-05-2010, 09:57 AM
  #18
Chapin Landvogt
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The team will likely finish with a 10-15 point improvement over last season.

Each of our most vital kids took a step forward (Tavares, Bailey, Okposo).

Several others have started showing that they can play a role in the future (Comeau, Hillen, Nielsen, MacDonald).

Two other mid-twenties guys showed they could be parts of the puzzle in the near future (Schremp, Moulson).

Definitely steps forward taken this year.

The next step will be much harder though...

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04-05-2010, 10:06 AM
  #19
Dan-o16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CIsle View Post
The team will likely finish with a 10-15 point improvement over last season.
We're already at 15 with 4 to play. I'd like to see 19. 80 pts would be great. Another 20 pt improvement, and we'd be battling for the division!

Cheers,

Dan-o

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04-05-2010, 10:43 AM
  #20
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AWESOME thread especially after feeling the brunt of losing a playoff battle, it's good to feel the reassurance of progress.

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04-05-2010, 11:00 AM
  #21
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Things were looking pretty bleak there for awhile, but they've really picked up their play in recent weeks. The skill is there from the players you'd hope to have it, but the consistency is lacking... this of course is something that should improve with experience.

It's encouraging that the playoffs are still (barely) in reach even after a good deal of miserable play, though that speaks more to the weakness of the East's lower-end playoff teams and the artificial "parity" created by the NHL point system than the Isles being a real playoff threat. Just my opinion, but you should never be just a few points in either direction from being a playoff team or a lottery team. Anyhow, I feel that if GMG does the right thing and snags a few key free agents - particularly on defense - the Isles will almost certainly be a playoff team next year.

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04-05-2010, 11:17 AM
  #22
majormet
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Originally Posted by Doug Height View Post
I'll take any top 6'er at this point lol. I'm just a fan of Whitney, I think he would be a good fit on JT's left side.

Aucoin would work, he may be a little to injury prone though IMO. Kubina would be a nice addition, or a guy like Gonchar.

I would be ok with keeping Sim on the 4th line, then add Malhotra and Shawn Thornton.

As far as Koskinen goes, I think he would be best off being Bridgeport's starter, backing up Rollie would not be the best for his development. He has only played like 5 games in the AHL. Hopefully that rumor does not come true.
I like Whitney too, and the general path of Carolina and St Louis vets end up here, LOL..... Maybe since the Island is a lateral move from the aforementioned, whereas LA to Long Island is unlikely unless you are a Moulson.

Kubina always bugs me, not sure why that is, he has looked awful against us this year, but who knows. I did not want to type in the Alberts word again, I don't want him for sure.

I hope the Koskinen rumors are very false, and that Biron will be brought back.

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04-05-2010, 11:20 AM
  #23
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[QUOTE=Doug Height;24936137]I'll take any top 6'er at this point lol. I'm just a fan of Whitney, I think he would be a good fit on JT's left side.

Aucoin would work, he may be a little to injury prone though IMO. Kubina would be a nice addition, or a guy like Gonchar.

I would be ok with keeping Sim on the 4th line, then add Malhotra and Shawn Thornton.

As far as Koskinen goes, I think he would be best off being Bridgeport's starter, backing up Rollie would not be the best for his development. He has only played like 5 games in the AHL. Hopefully that rumor does not come true.[/QUOTE]

what rumor?

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04-05-2010, 11:22 AM
  #24
majormet
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[QUOTE=Brunomics;24937794]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Height View Post
I'll take any top 6'er at this point lol. I'm just a fan of Whitney, I think he would be a good fit on JT's left side.

Aucoin would work, he may be a little to injury prone though IMO. Kubina would be a nice addition, or a guy like Gonchar.

I would be ok with keeping Sim on the 4th line, then add Malhotra and Shawn Thornton.

As far as Koskinen goes, I think he would be best off being Bridgeport's starter, backing up Rollie would not be the best for his development. He has only played like 5 games in the AHL. Hopefully that rumor does not come true.[/QUOTE]

what rumor?
ESPN Rumors from Yesterday via an Edmonton newspaper saying that Koskinen might be in the NHL next year. heheheh maybe going to Edmonton for Dustin Penner in a perfect world.

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04-05-2010, 11:52 AM
  #25
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Considering they didn't get much veteran help last summer, and some of the vets they had missed lots of time (Weight, Witt, Martinek shockingly), their improvements in points and goal differential is impressive. Moreso that it was done on the backs of kids. As mentioned, we're realizing we may just have a coach to boot (don't overlook the Olympics and WC selections). And, the development of prospects was pretty positive too.

I'll go a step further: if Roloson had continued as the #1 all year without the Dipietro attempted comeback, I think they'd be challenging for a playoff spot right now. That's not intended to start a Dipietro bashfest (I like the guy - he bleeds orange and blue), but I think it made a 4-8 point difference which means a lot right now.

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