The Islanders' fast start can be attributed to a series of positive developments, from the inspiring play of budding superstar John Tavares to standout goaltending of veteran Evgeni Nabokov and the diversity and depth of the team's offensive production.

Or, the Isles' 4-2-1 start can be succinctly broken down this way: brilliant special teams.

The Islanders are first in the NHL on the power play and second on the penalty kill, each surprising considering they were near the bottom in both categories a year ago, don't have a go-to point man on the man advantage and have struggled in their own end at full strength.