Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nino-less Islanders Win-less

You can file this under 'C' for coincidence as I'm sure most people will but the record of the New York Islanders since sending their Swiss star is dramatically worse than before. Was cutting him loose akin to the Mariner who killed the albatross, cursing the crew of his ship?

I don't know if he was their lucky rabbit's foot or not but there is no denying that Long Island's fortunes have turned for the worse since he left the team.

Nino Niederreiter was taken 5th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Isles who gave him a long look up close from August, through training camp and into the regular season.

With Niederreiter, the Islanders first nine games of the year were unremarkable. The team won just four times and by the Swiss forward's final outing in the NHL this year, New York had compiled a 4-3-1-1 record. Niederreiter only managed 2 points in that span and on October 29th while the Islanders squared off against Montréal, he and the Portland Winterhawks hosted the Kelowna Rockets.

What is interesting is that since October 27th, the record of the New York Islanders is: 0-9-2-1

In 9 games with Niederreiter the Isles earned 10 of a possible 18 points and without him, they have managed to pick up just 3 of a possible 24.

"C" for coincidence or "H" for.... Hmmmmmm?

Now I am not trying to suggest that the Isles did the wrong thing by sending him back to the WHL because I don't; I thought they rushed Josh Bailey and I wondered if they'd do the same with Niederreiter but they didn't. I'm just pointing out a curious stat and am wondering if there is any chance their record has anything to do with Niederreiter's reassignment to Portland.

It's also interesting to note yesterday's development that saw the Islanders send Bailey to the AHL. Is the organization having a second thoughts now about the way they handled him? Do they wish now that they'd returned him to Windsor where he would have led a young Spitfires team to the Memorial Cup win in 2009?

The Swiss forward is now continuing to develop surrounded by a powerful lineup in Portland and will once again lead his Nation's entry to the World Junior Championship not to mention what will likely be a long WHL playoff and potentially the Memorial Cup.

All the things Bailey could of had two years ago.

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