Starting on Oct. 12, the New York Islanders began a historic 17-game point streak during a shoot-out against the Florida Panthers at home.
A point streak indicates how many consecutive games are finished without a loss in regulation, as any games won or lost in overtime reward the team with points. The Islanders’ record for the streak was 15-0-2 – 15 wins, 0 losses and two overtime losses. For each regular, overtime or shootout win, the team is awarded two points, and with every overtime or shootout loss, they are awarded one point.
Back in their 1982 season, however, overtime losses were considered as ties, thus no points were awarded. Although, with a 15-0-1 record for their most previous point streak the team still eventually did go on to win their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup.
This point streak set a franchise record as the 16th consecutive game where they earned a point on Nov. 21 with an overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This allowed the streak to continue into the 17th game on Nov. 23 against the San Jose Sharks, where the Islanders gained a point in an overtime loss. Sadly, the point-streak ended on Nov. 25 against the Anaheim Ducks during a 0-3 shutout loss. This gave the Islanders a 12-3-2 record.
The Islanders played against a total of 12 teams, however their key opponents were the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers. Against the Penguins in their three games starting Nov. 7, the Islanders went 2-0-1, but Pittsburgh ended the Islanders 10-game winning streak in the process. Against the Maple Leafs, the Islanders went on to defeat former captain John Tavares with a 5-4 win at home.
The Islanders held a 2-0 record against the Flyers, with a 4-3 shootout comeback win. The Islanders were down by three goals but came back scoring to tie the game in the last eight minutes of regulation.
During the point-streak, the Islanders only lost two games in overtime. This happened in a blown 3-goal lead against the Penguins on Nov. 7 and in a 2-1 overtime loss against San Jose on Nov. 23. Typically, in hockey a 3-goal lead is considered dangerous, as anything can happen.
The top leaders of this point-streak included Mat Barzal, Brock Nelson and Derick Brassard. Barzal went 9-7-16 +15 for goals, assists and points in 17 games. Everytime a player is in the offensive zone for a team goal, they get a plus, but everytime they are in the defensive zone, and let a goal in, they get a minus. Barzal is the Islanders’ best player, a former Calder Trophy Winner in 2017-18 and led the Islanders in scoring for the past two seasons.
Nelson, center for the Islanders, went 6-10-16 +3 in 17 games. Nelson scored back-to-back overtime game-winning goals on Nov. 19 and 21, both against the Penguins. Brassard, who started the season in center but has since moved right wing, went 6-9-15 +6 in 17 games. While on the wing with Nelson and Beauvillier, Brassard went on to a 5-game goal streak from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.
Thomas Greiss, goalie for the Islanders, posted a 1.96 goals against average (GAA) and a .944 save percentage (SV%) during his starts in the 17-game point streak. Goals against average refer to the amount of goals allowed by a goalie within 60 minutes, and should be low, while save percentage is how many goals are compared to the shots allowed, and should be high. For reference on Greiss’ impact on the point-streak, a 2.50 GAA is good and a .910-.915SV% is also good, proving Greiss is excelling in his season.
Funny enough, during the point-streak, crosstown rival New York Rangers were 8-9-2 for 18 points and are currently 20th in the league while the Islanders are fourth. The Rangers made a hashtag on Twitter at the start of the season saying #PlayLikeANewYorker, but at the end of the day, which team would you rather play for?