After a 14-6-1 stretch to start 2010, the New York Islanders appear to be poised to continue their unbroken string of post-season appearances. In an uncharacteristic display of confidence, Coach Larry Robinson said "Although anything can happen, the reality is that our squad is going to the playoffs."
Only the Hurricanes, Thrashers and Rangers have scored more goals this season than the Isles. Mike Modano is a plus 16. Rookie defenseman Nathan Oystrick is a solid plus 12 with 6 goals and 17 assists.
In another achievement, The Isles are the only team with ten players in double figure goal totals after 65 games. Pittsburgh GM Brent Bellio has called the Islanders production the 'miracle' offense but Coach Larry Robinson attributes it to hard work. "Our team comes to play every night. Every player on this team knows that they are a part of the key to success."
Physically challenged Rick Dipietro leads the entire league with 6 shutout performances. Only the Minnesota Wild allow fewer shots on goal per game than the Isles.
Ilya Kovalchuk is 3rd in the league in shooting percentage at 21.5% and only Gaborik and Ovechkin have more goals
Not surprisingly, Big Z (Zdeno Chara) again leads the league in hits.
This week, new acquisition Richard Park slipped in comfortably at left wing, tallying the winning Overtime goal in his second game. He also had an assist and finished with a plus 2 rating.
GM Steve Reisman summed it up in one sentence when he said "This team deserves more respect than it gets." When asked to elaborate, he added, "Kiss my ass!"