Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday March 28

With only 4 games Wednesday chances were slim for any exellent Former Islander production. The result was a modest 3 assists. Here is a breakdown:

  • The Florida Panthers shocked the Atlanta Thrashers with a 3-2 come from behind SO win at home. Both Olli Jokinen and Juraj Kolnik assisted on the tying goal that forced OT. O-Jok now has 83 points in 77 games and in his current 6 game scoring streak has notched 14 points on 6 goals and 8 assists. Sadly his 5 game goal scoring streak, the longest of his career, came to an end. In a week O-Jok has jumped 2 spots to 14th in the league in points. Kolnik's assist was his 13th of the year and 24th point overall. The assist ended a 3 game pointless streak.
  • Jeff Hamilton continued to build on his spotty yet improved play by tallying an assist on the lone goal in Chicago's 3-1 home loss to Anaheim. Since his 5 point night 2 and a half weeks ago Hamilton only has 3 points, all assists, in his last 7 games. With 17 goals and 19 assists Hamilton's 36 points is an impressive mark for a player who had never played a full season of NHL hockey. What makes Hamilton most intriguing, though, is that a quarter of his points (6 goals and 3 assists) have come in only 2 of his 64 games played.

There are 8 more games on schedule for Thursday night. Keep posted for all your exciting FI news.

Tuesday March 27

With 12 games Tuesday night the league was abuzz with action. In full playoff fever every point seems to count nowadays. Former Islanders tried to do their part by netting 3 goals while adding 3 assists. In goal FIs were 1-1 on the night. Here is a quick look:

  • Olli Jokinen (or as FIW is now calling him O-Jok, pronounced O-Yoke) accounted for a goal and two assists in Florida's 5-2 road win over Tampa Bay. His goal was the decisive one coming with only 59 seconds left in the second period. O-Jok passes the 80 point mark for the second straight season while his overall production improves to 37 goals and 45 assists for 82 points in only 76 games.
  • Zdeno Chara scored the game winner 4:55 into the second period of Boston's 3-2 road win over Ottawa. His 11th of the season it was the third game winner of the year for Chara and only his second goal not scored on the powerplay. He is currently 2 points away from tying his single season high and 3 away from setting a new one.
  • Despite scoring more than 2 goals for the first time in three games the Rangers fell to the hometown Canadiens 6-4. Henrik Lundqvist was chased from net and replaced with Stephen Valiquette who was making only 3rd appearance of the season. Valiquette took the loss surrending 2 goals on 10 shots. In the brief time he has subbed for injured backup and fellow FI Kevin Weekes, Valiquette has gone 1-2-0. Both losses were taken after replacing a pulled Lundqvist. Martin Straka received an assist on the 3rd Ranger goal. The assist ended a 12 game pointless streak. Straka, who has been plagued with injuries, had never had a worse streak, as far as FIW can tell.
  • Eric Brewer scored St. Louis' lone goal in their 4-1 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The tally was Brewer's 6th of the season. He is now 1 point short of tying his career high.
  • Vancouver walked away with a 3-0 win over Colorado in Denver. Roberto Luongo notched his 5th shutout of the year and his 44th win in 70 games started and 71 appearances. He has sandwiched a shootout loss with two shutouts in his last 3 games. Though his season save percentage is an amazing .923 he has even more impressively stopped .961 percent of shots in the last 5 games. Taylor Pyatt recorded an assist on the third goal. Pyatt now has 33 points in 70 games. He currently has three points in his last 2 overall.
  • Jamie Heward assisted on Los Angeles' only goal in their 3-1 loss at San Jose. The assist ended a 4 game pointless streak. With 6 goals and 16 assists Heward now has 22 points, 6 of those in 14 games since being trade to the Kings.

Wednesday action, consisting of only 4 games, would also prove to be fertile for FI action. Check back soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday March 26

With one game on the schedule for Monday night Detroit had the chance to pull with in a virtual dead heat with the Western Conference leading Nashville Predators in their game against Anaheim. They accomplished their tasks with a slim 1-0 home win. Here is a quick look at the brief Former Islander moment of the night:
  • Matheiu Schneider was credited with the secondary assist on the only goal of the night. Schneider moved over the 50 point threshold with his 40th assist and 51st point overall in 63 games played. The point moves him into a tie for 11th in the league in points among defenseman.

The league will return to full tilt action on Tuesday night with 12 games scheduled. Until next time keep your eyes on the scoreboards for all the exciting FI action.

Sunday March 25

Sunday was a moderately slow day around the NHL with 5 games up for grabs. Former Islanders were responsible for 3 goals and 2 assists in just 2 of the games. Here is a look:

  • Roman Hamrlik assisted on the tying goal 48 seconds into the 3rd period and then put the game away with his 6th of the season and only 6:11 remaining for a 3-2 regulation win for the Calgary Flames over the hosting Chicago Blackhawks. In a return to form Hamrlik has 37 points in 68 games this season including a hot stretch of 7 points in his last 7 games. The game winning goal was Hamrlik's first in the pre-lockout era, a total of over 119 games.
  • Roberto Luongo did something rare on Sunday giving up 4 goals in regulation and then losing in SO as the visiting Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-4. He stopped 26 of 30 shots and 1 of 2 in the SO but saw his record "drop" to 43-20-6. Taylor Pyatt made some waves scoring the first and fourth goals for Vancouver, numbers 19 and 20 on the year. Despite having evaporated from the Vancouver scoresheet Pyatt's having a career year with the aforementioned goals he has also added 12 assists for 32 points in 69 games. The tallies ended a 9 game goalless streak. Sadly, Pyatt has been so cold he has only had 4 points, all goals, in his last 17 overall. On the flip side has been Trevor Linden who assisted on the second Vancouver goal. Linden has been on a little tear recently getting points in his last 5 games including 3 goals in 3 games and 2 assists in the next 2 games. He has improved what appeared to be a subpar season by bumping his stats up. With 7 points in his last 9 overall Linden now has 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points.

Monday night has one game on tap. Keep posted as often as you can for all the current FI news.

Saturday March 24

The action was at near full capacity on Saturday has 24 teams vied for points in 12 games league-wide. Former Islanders finally started producing again accounting for 3 goals and 4 assists in only 3 of those games. Some names that had been absent for a long time made impacts. Here is a quick breakdown:
  • Eric Brewer's assist in St. Louis' 3-2 SO win over host Detroit game him a single season high 22. With 7 games left Brewer is only 2 points short of tying his career high (29) and 3 of surpassing it. After a hot run following the trade deadline Brewer has cooled off. Including Sunday's loss to Columbus Brewer has only 1 point in his last 4 games and 2 assists in just his last 7 overall. Mathieu Schneider added the secondary assist on the goal that forced overtime. The assist, his 39th, rounded his season points total up to 50. For the first time in his career Schneider has scored 50+ points in consecutive seasons. He has accomplished the feat six times in his 18 year career.
  • Looking to not repeat the mistakes of Friday night the Maple Leafs handily defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Saturday in Toronto. Bryan McCabe assists on the bookending goals. The assists, numbers 40 and 41, give McCabe consecutive seasons with 40+ assists.
  • Slumping New Jersey pulled off a 4-3 SO win over host Florida on Saturday. Olli Jokinen scored his 36th not really a big surprise. He is only 2 goals short of tying his career high, last season's 38, while accounting for 79 points in 75 games. The real surprise of the night, though, was the 2 goals by the Devils' Jim Dowd. Dowd twice tied the game up including the tally that forced OT. The goals were only his 2nd and 3rd of the season and his first since November 7th ending a 55 game goalless drought. He now has 7 points in 59 games with New Jersey this season. As far as FIW can tell this was Dowd's first ever 2 goal night.

Keep posted as the Sunday updates will be here soon.

Friday March 23

Friday night was no different than any other this past week. Former Islanders were nearly absent from all four competitions accounting for a lone goal. Here is a quick look:
  • Bryan McCabe scored his 12th of the season on a late first period powerplay goal for Toronto in a 5-4 debacle of a loss to the Buffalo Sabres. McCabe's goal, scored with 1:05 left in the first period, opened up a 4 goal run over the next 24:58 that gave his team a 4-1 advantage. The home team Sabres answered with 4 goals in only 10:20 to defeat the Maple Leafs in regulation severely hurting their playoff hopes. McCabe now has 8 powerplay goals this year, second best on Toronto.

Saturday's recap, which will follow shortly, features FIs finally breaking out of their slump. Until next time.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday March 22: Bertuzzi Returns

It has been a tough week for FIW. With so many games there has been suprisingly little to report. Last night was no exception. With 10 games in contention Former Islanders accounted for 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) and played roles in only 2 games. But the story of the night was the return of Todd Bertuzzi, suiting up for the Redwings for the first time. Here is a quick look:

  • Todd Bertuzzi's short career with the Florida Panthers came to end with a respectable 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 7 games. The trade that brought Bertuzzi to South Florida will go down in infamy as not only the worst in franchise history but truly one of the worst in NHL history. The trade sent another FI, #1 goalie and current league leader in wins Robert Luongo, to Vancouver for a dicey situation, the oft-injured Todd Bertuzzi a player permanently affected by the cloud of contempt hanging over him from the Steve Moore punch. That attack, some would say, has seemed to mark the end of his elite status. But Florida attempted to correct the error of their ways at the trade deadline over 3 weeks ago by shipping Bertuzzi off to the nearest sucker for some draft picks, picks that could maybe one day provide hope. What Florida did, though, was not to recompensate for the worst trade they could have ever made but instead hope to shove off the bad "juju" associated with Bertuzzi. With so much preseason talk about success in Florida hoisted on the shoulders of Bertuzzi there was too much expectation for a player who was seriously injured. He was so injured in fact that one must scratch their heads wondering why Detroit picked him up. Aside from the price tag, trading for a rental player like Bertuzzi, one with a severe post-lockout record (he had MAJOR back surgery, this year!), seemed like a desperate attempt by the Redwings just to block out the other Western Conference bidders. If it works out for the Redwings, who didn't even get any product from their deadline acquisition until almost a month later, then good for them. Right now it seems unlikely. One cannot blame Bertuzzi for being a non-factor in last night's 2-1 SO loss at home to the bottom-dwelling Blue Jackets considering the heft of his recovery. He logged 16:21 in ice time while managing no shots, I repeat NO shots! In fact his only chance to score was in the second frame of the SO where he missed the net altogether. Only the remaining time will tell for Bertuzzi who right now seems like the err of yet another franchise. In other FI news Chris Osgood was saddled with the loss even though he was splendid in stopping 29 of 30 shots in regulation and OT but only 3 of 6 in the SO frame. Receiving plenty of playing time in order to let Dominik Hasek heal as much as he can before the playoffs Osgood has been excellent. He is 9-3-5 with a .904 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average. He hasn't loss in regulation since January 6 going 5-0-4 in that time.
  • Olli Jokinen is a natural scorer, at least with the Florida Panthers. He tallied a goal and an assist in Thursday's 4-2 home loss to the Senators. With playoffs realistically but not officially an afterthought Jokinen can look to keep his team inspired with his fabulous play. The goal, his 35th of the year, makes it 2 straight seasons with 35+ goals. He now has 78 points in 74 games. In his last 3 games alone Jokinen has 9 points including a 3 game goal scoring streak in which he has netted 4. He is currently tied with Evgeni Malkin for 16th in the league in points.

4 games are up for grabs Friday night, mostly West Coast affairs. As always, keep posted for all your FI news. Until next time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday March 21

Things can sometimes feel like a repeat even when you know it is brand new. Last night was one of those cases. Wednesday hosted 6 games across the league but just like Tuesday night only one game had any Former Islander implications. Here is the brief recap:
  • The Vancouver Canucks moved within 4 points of the #1 spot in the Western Conference with their 2-0 shutdown of the Nashville Predators, the top team in the West. Trevor Linden keeps his current streak alive with an assist on the insurance goal. He now has points in 4 consecutive games. Roberto Luongo also continues his dominance, this time recording his 4th shutout of the year. The goose-egging was a true accomplishment considering Nashville has the fourth most potent offense in the league and #1 overall in the West. The 31st shutout of his career Luongo improves to 43-20-5. He has 4 straight wins and has walked away with the W in 8 of his last 10. With 8 games left on the season Luongo has an outside chance to get 50 wins this year.

10 games are up for grabs on Thursday night. Until next time I wish you the best hockey watching.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday March 20

With 8 games being fought on Tuesday there was so much potential for Former Islander goodness. Alas that was not the case. FIs played a part in 1 game on the night accounting for 2 goals. Here is a quick look.

  • Olli Jokinen netted his 34th goal of the season and eventual game winner in Florida's 4-1 road win over the meager Philadelphia Flyers. Jokinen now has 76 points in 73 games and is 4 goals away from equalling last year's career high 38. Thanks to his big night Saturday against the Islanders, Jokinen has 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last 2 games. In his last 11 overall he has 17 points. As well, Juraj Kolnik added a bonus goal with 1:07 remaining in the third. The tally was Kolnik's 11th of the year. Since ending a 4 game goalless streak on Saturday night Kolnik has scored in 2 consecutive games. The back-to-back goals are his first since October 18-20, 2005 when he did it against the Devils and Capitals.

6 more games are on schedule for Wednesday night. Keep coming back to FIW for all the pertinent and exciting Former Islander action.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday March 19

Mondays are almost unanimously a slow night for the NHL. This Monday was no exception. Two low-scoring 2-1 games were eked out with little flash and little prowess. One of the those games again saw Former Islanders. One of those teams again was Vancouver. Here is the recap:

  • The reeling Oilers lost 2-1 at home against the Canucks. Raffi Torres opened the scoring for Edmonton with his 14th of the season. With 19 assists Torres now has 33 points on a season that was expected to be his breakout year. The goal ended a 5 game pointless streak and a 10 game goalless streak. Trevor Linden tied the game on his 12th goal of the year, a powerplay tally. Linden is now riding a three game goal scoring streak his first since November 25-29, 2002! Roberto Luongo stopped 36 of 37 to notch his 42nd win of the year. He is now tied with Martin Brodeur for the league lead. With only 3 shutouts this season 1 seems to be the lucky number for Luongo. On a bad night that number climbs to about 2. Pretty impressive for a goalie who didn't even know what .500+ hockey was before the lockout.

8 games on tap tonight. Pick a bottle, pick a friend, pick a team and watch. Until next time.

Monday, March 19, 2007

FI Injury: Martin Straka

New York Rangers center Martin Straka left the first period of his team's 7-0 win Saturday against Boston at Madison Square Garden. His leg was twisted after his skates locked up with Bruin Andrew Ference. He is listed as day-to-day but it appears the injury might be worse than that. In 69 games he has scored 65 points (27 goals, 38 assists) but has been on a cold streak recently going pointless in his last 10 games including the limited 3:25 of ice time he had Saturday.

Sunday March 18

With 6 games played on Sunday there was potential for so much Former Islanders action. Sadly, only one game had any FI implications, but boy was it big. Here is the recap:

  • Alexei Zhitnik scored a powerplay goal and 2 powerplay assists in Atlanta's 4-3 OT win at home against the Buffalo Sabres. Zhitnik assisted on the game's opener, scored the team's third goal and assisted on the winner by Keith Tkachuk with only 38 seconds left in overtime. He now has 12 points in 10 games as a Thrasher and has accomplished in 1/8 of a season what it took him to do in three times the games with either the Islanders or Flyers. Overall, he has 36 points in 71 games. 7 of his 12 points with the Thrashers have come on the powerplay (2 goals, 5 assists). Consider this: as a blueliner he has accounted for 3 more points than the much praised and more expensive Tkachuk has in the same amount of games.

With only 2 games being played tonight see if a hot Pittsburgh can hinder the Rangers playoff hopes or if streaking FI wunderkids Vancouver can take advantage of an icily cold Edmonton team. Until next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday March 17

Saturday was busy around the NHL. 22 teams were in heated contention in 11 games. Former Islanders were huge players in many of those games accounting for 14 points on 7 goals and 7 assists. 6 of those points alone came off the sticks of Florida Panthers as Olli Jokinen had a huge 5 point night and Juraj Kolnik scored a goal as Florida downed none other than the Islanders themselves. Here is a quick look at the Saturday happenings:
  • Bryan McCabe followed up his performance on Friday night with another assist in Toronto's 3-2 SO loss on the road to Montreal. The assist on the Leafs first goal of the night was point number 50 on the year for McCabe. He now has three straight 50+ point seasons.
  • Brad Isbister assisted on the Rangers' final goal of the night in their 7-0 St. Patty's blowout of the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden. In 12 games Isbister has posted 3 points for the Rangers including 2 assists in his last 3 games.
  • As mentioned earlier the Panthers beat the Islanders on Saturday with an impressively offensive 8-5 home win. Essentially a 6-5 game before the empty netters, Jokinen was given the chance to pad his already point heavy night with a couple of extra assists with the open goal. He finished the game with 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points, including the game winner. His second best season keeps getting better as Jokinen has 74 points in 72 games including 7 points in his last 4 games overall. As well, Jokinen passed 40 assists for the second straight season. Adding a little more offense was the 10th of the season from Juraj Kolnik. Kolnik now has 22 points on the year.
  • Edmonton cannot win without Smyth and Saturday was no exception. They did get a point but lost in OT to St. Louis 3-2 at home. The game winner came from Eric Brewer, his 5th of the season, only 2:04 into the OT frame. Brewer has 5 points in his last 6 games and has officially made 2006-07 his second best season with 26 points. With his recently flurry this could become his best year as he is only 3 points behind his 2002-03 numbers.
  • Vancouver and a resurging Minnesota are battling it out for the top spot in the Northeast division. On Saturday night Vancouver held onto their slim lead with a 4-1 crushing of Detroit at home. Four, count them, four FIs made major impacts in this game. Mathieu Schneider posted an assist on Detroit's game opening goal. The assist ended a four game drought and moved him within 1 point of his 6th career 50+ point season. Bryan Smolinski netted his 16th of the year and first goal of the game for Vancouver. He also ended a four game drought. Only his second goal with Vancouver, he now has 5 points in 10 games since the trade. Trevor Linden sealed the game with an empty netter, his 11th goal of the year. He has scored in back-to-back games for the first time since December 16-19. Roberto Luongo is probably the best tender in the game. Saturday he again proved why stopping 32 of 33 shots (.970 save percentage) and pushed his single season win number higher. He is now 41-20-5 on the year and has to be the foremost contender for the Vezina Trophy. FIW stands behind this next controversial comment: NO goalie means more to their team than Roberto Luongo (not even Martin Brodeur).
  • It is probably easy to overlook the little trades between the lowly teams of the NHL but Los Angeles' addition of Jamie Heward seems to be paying off so far. Heward netted his 6th of the season and added an assist in the Kings' 5-3 home win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Heward now has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 9 games since joining LA. With the goal Heward has established his third 20+ point season.

Six more games will be played on Sunday. When you're not watching the NCAA tourney take some time and check on the scores around the NHL. Until next time.

Friday March 16

6 games were played Friday with strong results from Former Islanders. With playoff fever everywhere the intensity level has really been turned up for FIs. In those games FIs have accounted for 1 goal and 5 assists. Here is a quick look:
  • Bryan McCabe posted assist number 38 making the 2006-07 his second best assist season after scoring 49 in 2005-06. The point came on Toronto's only goal in their 5-1 road loss to the Washington Capitals.
  • Pittsburgh handily defeated Montreal 6-3 at home on Friday night moving within 4 points of the Atlantic Division lead with a game in hand over New Jersey. But the real story for FIW was the continued offensive exertion of Alain Nasreddine. In the first 59 games of his career Nasreddine had accounted for a lone goal and a loan assist. In the last three games Nasreddine has three assists including the secondary on Pittsburgh's game winner Friday night. All of this while filling in for injured FI blueliner Eric Cairns.
  • Alexei Zhitnik tallied the game winning powerplay goal in OT for Atlanta in their 2-1 home win over the Rangers on Friday. His first goal since coming to the Thrashers, and 6th of the season, could not have come at a better time. Zhitnik's career is seemingly revived since joining his third team of the season. He now has 1 goal and 8 assists for 9 points in only 9 games with Atlanta.
  • We need to give credit when credit is due and Chicago's Jeff Hamilton has made a real name for himself this year. Anaheim defeated the Blackhawks 5-2 at the Honda Center on Friday but Hamilton tallied 2 assists and FI teammate Adrian Aucoin accounted for another assist. In only 60 games Hamilton has 35 points on 17 goals and 18 assists. In the last 5 games alone he has accounted for 9 points. Aucoin's assist, his 12th of the year, is part of a markedly improved season from last year's injury riddled debut with Chicago. In 51 games Aucoin has 16 points. Overall, though, Aucoin has struggled to regain his post-lockout form even though he wear's the C nightly for the Hawks.

That is it for Friday night. Check in shortly for Saturday's recap.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday March 15

Sadly, when everyone's frantic about their brackets during March Madness the real race is overshadowed: the end-of-the-season battle for playoff position in the NHL. With the regular season grinding down to its last few weeks it seems every game counts for something. Last night 10 games were played with every one of them deeply affecting the playoff aspirations or conniving spoiler hopes of the teams involved. Former Islanders were making big plays and accounted for 3 goals and 5 assists (8 points) while FI goalies were 1-1. Here is the breakdown:
  • Boston walked away with a 4-3 SO at home against a reeling Washington team on Thursday. The impressive come from behind win, following a 3-0 deficit, was capped off by Patrice Bergeron's tying goal on which FI star Zdeno Chara received his 30th assist of the season. With 10 goals and the aforementioned assists Chara now has 40 points for his third straight season.
  • Roman Hamrlik is a force unto himself. He assisted on Calgary's opening goal Thursday night for his 11th point in as many games. Calgary dropped the game 4-2 in Dallas but not for any lack of effort on the part of Hamrlik. It was his 30th assist of the year and 35th point. More impressively he has 5 points in just his last 3 games. Also, goaltender Jamie McLennan made a rare start for Calgary stopping 23 of 26 shots. He took the loss, though, and dropped to 3-4-1 on the year with a respectably .904 save percentage and a moderate 3.30 goals against average. The start was his first since February 26.
  • On one hand, Edmonton might wish they could take back the Ryan Smyth trade. As much as he has seemed to struggle with the Islanders, the Oilers are even worse going winless without him. Thursday night was no exception. Minnesota took away a close 2-1 road win in Edmonton. FI Mark Parrish opened the scoring 11:28 into the first period for his 17th goal of the year. The tally ended a 12 game goalless drought. On the other hand, they might not, as newest FI Robert Nilsson scored his first goal of the season in his first game with his new team. Nilsson, received with Ryan O'Marra and a 1st round pick, wasted no time scoring for the Oilers. The goal was the 7th of Nilsson young career in only 54 games.
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: Vancouver is an FI mecca. On Thursday three Former Islanders made their way into the box score in the Canucks' 3-2 OT home win over St. Louis. Brent Sopel received an assist on the opening goal of the game, his 22nd of the season. Since joining Vancouver at the trade deadline Sopel has 4 points in 9 games. Trevor Linden scored his 10th of the season and the Canucks' second of the game. It was the 16th time on his career that Linden has had a double-digit goal-scoring season. Even more impressively it was the 850th point of Linden's career in 1312 games. Roberto Luongo keeps pushing that single season win number higher and higher recording his 40th win in only his 65th start. He is second only behind Martin Brodeur in wins this year and has a 40-20-5 record.
  • Adrian Aucoin assisted on Chicago's second goal of the night in the Blackhawks' 4-3 SO win over Los Angeles at the Staples Center. It was oft-injured Aucoin's 15th point in 50 games this year. Defenseman Jamie Heward notched his 3rd point in 8 games since joining the Kings. He received the secondary assist on Los Angeles' third goal of the night.

The action is intense and six more high profile games will be fought on Friday night. Keep posted for all the exciting action here at FIW.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday March 14: Hamrlik 500th Point

Wednesday night was another slow evening in the NHL. With four games on tap Former Islanders did the best they could accounting for 3 assists. The story of the night, though, was Roman Hamrlik. Here is the notable FI moments:

  • Alain Nasreddine had an assist on Pittsburgh's second goal in the Penguins' 3-0 win in New Jersey. For the first time in his NHL career Nasreddine had points in back-to-back games. He has played 46 games on his career with the Islanders and Pittsburgh.
  • Roman Hamrlik has been on a tear recently with 9 points in his last 9 games and topped it off last night with two assists. Hamrlik helped on both Calgary goals in the Flames' 3-2 road loss to Colorado. The first assist was Hamrlik's 500th career point and the second put him over that threshold. Hamrlik accomplished the feat in only 987 games. As well, he now has 34 points in 63 games on the season.

Ten games are in contention on Thursday night with the battle for positioning happening everywhere. Keep posted until the next FIW. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday March 13

9 games were played on Tuesday and for the second straight night Former Islanders were hard to find. Accounting for 2 points and a 1-0-1 in net here is how the night unfolded for FIs:

  • Brad Isbister accounted for the primary assist on the Rangers' second goal in their 3-2 loss in Ottawa. For Isbister it was his first assist in 10 games this season with the Rangers and only his second point.
  • Alain Nasreddine notched an assist on Pittsburgh's second of the night in their 5-4 home SO win over Buffalo. Seemingly a mainstay at Pittsburgh's blue line following the injury of fellow FI Eric Cairns it was only his second assist of the year and third point overall in 36 games played.
  • Backstopping the Central Division battle of the night Chris Osgood brought Detroit within a point of the league leading Nashville Predators. Detroit took the game 5-2 in Nashville largely on the strength of Osgood's play. He stopped 29 of 31 shots and improved 9-3-4 with a .900 save percentage and a meager 2.63 goals against average.
  • Robert Luongo is trying to find win number 40. He fell short in OT as the Canucks lost at home to the Wild 3-2. Though he stopped 26 of 29 shots against him his team couldn't bail him out in the extra frame. His record drops to 39-20-5 while his impressive save percentage hovers around .920 and his goals against average is a paltry 2.35. Amazingly for all the great play Luongo only has 3 shutouts on the year.

4 games on Wednesday night. Until next time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday March 12

4 games were battled on Monday night to little avail for Former Islanders. Here is the one happening of the night:

  • Roman Hamrlik posted a two assist night for the Flames in Calgary's 5-4 SO home win over St. Louis. With 5 goals and 27 assists Hamrlik is having his best season since he logged 41 points for the Isles in the 2002-03 season. He is also one point short of 500 on his career. Very impressive for a defenseman who has yet to play in his 1,000th game. After starting the season on a slump with 9 points in his first 26 played he has turned his season around with 23 points in his next 36 competitions including 7 points in his last 8.

9 games are slated for Tuesday night. Action is getting tenser as we near the end of the season. Keep your eyes on the FIs.

Monday, March 12, 2007

FI Injury: John Erskine

Capital's defenseman John Erskine will miss the rest of the regular season after dislocating his thumb in Washington's 3-0 loss on Friday night to the Carolina Hurricanes. Injuries plagued Erskine coming into the season and in 29 games he accounted for 1 goal, 6 assists and 7 points while racking up 69 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -13. He averaged 18:03 of ice time on the year. Though 7 points might not sound like much it was a single season high for Erskine who has only 12 total NHL points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 170 career games with Dallas, the Islanders and Washington.

Sunday March 11

As any given week winds down in hockey some days feel like the games were left on a simmer. Sunday night was one of those nights. Not much was happening in the NHL on Sunday where 6 games were being played. Even less was happening for the Former Islanders. Here's the brief breakdown:

  • Mark Parrish assisted on the opening goal in Minnesota's 3-2 OT win against Colorado at the Xcel Energy Center. The assist was Parrish's 20th of the year. He currently has 36 points in 65 games this year for the Wild.
  • Trevor Linden notched an assist last night in Vancouver's 4-2 loss in Anaheim. He now has 10 assists on the year and a whopping 19 points in 67 competitions. Sopel contributed his fifth goal of the season last night. Since joining the Canucks he has 3 points in his 7 games. The goal was Sopel's first with his new team. Also of note was the loss by Luongo. He stopped 20 of 24 shots but lost for only the 20th time this year in 63 starts. Currently he is 10 below his career high in games started with only 13 games left on the season.

Only four games are to be played on Monday night but as always keep your eyes on the scoreboards.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday March 10

10 games were played on Saturday with Former Islanders accounting for 12 points on 4 goals and 8 assists. The story of the night was Jeff Hamilton's 5 point effort for Chicago. He is currently the front runner for most improved FI in this years FI awards. The night broke down like this:

  • Jim Dowd received an assist on New Jersey's game winning goal in their 3-2 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. Dowd's 5th point of the season ended a 34 game pointless streak! The last time Dowd's name made it on the scoresheet was on Dember 14 of last year.
  • Bryan McCabe accounted for an assist in Toronto's 4-3 OT home win over Ottawa in yet another Battle of Ontario tilt. McCabe now has 48 points on the season and has landed 7 points in his last 8 games.
  • Alexei Zhitnik assisted on both Atlanta goals in their 3-2 road loss at Florida. He has a whopping 8 points in 6 games since joining Atlanta. Olli Jokinen had a goal and assisted on the game winner. He received the game's First Star and now has 69 points in 69 games. More impressively, he has rallied as of late for 10 points in his last 7 games.
  • Eric Brewer recorded another assist for St. Louis in their 4-3 road lost to Montreal. Brewer now has 7 points in his last 6 matches.
  • Jeff Hamilton had a huge night in Chicago's 7-5 score-a-thon over the Coyotes in Phoenix. He banged home a hat trick and added two assists for a 5 point night, his second hatty of the season and best ever single night work. He was so instrumental in the win that he score the eventually game winner and the the tally to ice the game. This was the most points he had scored since his 4 point night on December 2 in Nashville. He now has 7 points in his last 2 games and has 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points on the season in only 57 games played.

Excitement keeps building as even teams currently out of the playoff picture are putting up interesting numbers. The Chicago/Phoenix game is a case in point and most interestingly the FIs always find their ways to get their names of the scoresheets. Keeps aware. Until next time.

Friday March 9

Slow night for FIW as 6 games were played with Former Islanders accounting for no points. In fact there was only one noteworthy FI event of the night and that was:

  • Roberto Luongo stopped 25 of 26 shots in Vancouver's 2-1 road win over San Jose in OT. Luongo is now the Canucks' single season wins leader with 39 (and counting). If the season ended on Friday, Luongo would finish 20 games over .500 (39-19-4), 15 wins better than his 35-30-9 record from last year.

Saturday should be an action packed night so let us catch up next time.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Thursday March 8

I think Thursday night was a lesson for players around the league. 9 games were played but no moment was more scary than Chris Simon's whack at Ryan Hollweg. The moral: Don't board Chris Simon and expect to walk away with your face in one piece. Seemingly Simon's actions will be met with disciplinary measures, and yes, his clothesline of Hollweg helped the Isles drop one of the most important games of the season, but don't mess with him. In other action Former Islanders accounted for 1 goal, 7 assists and 8 points on the night. Here is the news:

  • I am starting to wonder if Alexei Zhitnik reads FIW because his name keeps coming up an awful lot. Zhitnik tallied 2 assists Thursday to improve his season best streak to 6 points in his first 5 games with Atlanta. Atlanta won 6-2 at home over Montreal and are now on fire after suffering a potentially season damaging cold streak before the trade deadline. He, more than any other player traded around the deadline, seems to be the biggest pickup in the league.
  • Mike York tallied an assist on Philadelphia's only goal of the night in their 2-1 home loss to Florida. This was his 20th point of the year but only his 7th in 26 games since being traded to the Flyers.
  • Eric Brewer keeps his play high on Thursday with the opening goal and an assist in St. Louis' 5-3 home win over Dallas. With 6 points in his last 5 games Brewer has hit his stride. At his current pace he would tie his career best season with 29 points.
  • Vancouver is the hotbed for Former Islanders. No team currently has more FIs playing on a regular basis than the Canucks and for them it seems to work. Last night they beat the Coyotes 4-2 in Phoenix. Their two newest FIs, Brent Sopel and Bryan Smolinski, are at it again. Sopel had an assist on the second goal of the game, Smoke had one on the game winner and Trevor Linden added an assist on Vancouver's final goal of the night. The assist for Sopel was his 2nd in 5 games since being trade from LA to the Pacific Northwest at the deadline. The assist also helped him notch his 5th straight 25+ point season. Smolinski now has 4 points in 5 games with the Canucks. Linden improves to 9 goals and 9 assists on the year and is looking for his first 20 point season since before the lockout.

It is a kind of slow night on Friday for Hockeyland. 6 games are on tap but as always there is plenty of FI action to watch out for. Until tomorrow keep your eyes aware and as always, don't mess with Chris Simon.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wednesday March 7

4 games were played last night with a couple of inter-conference matchings facing off. All in all a quiet night for FIW as Former Islanders accounted for a goal and an assist. Here's the news:

  • Jamie Heward scored his 5th of the season in Los Angeles' 3-2 OT loss to Columbus at the Nationwide Arena. The powerplay goal that made it 2-1 was his 3rd such goal of the season and first since being traded from the Capitals to the Kings at last week's deadline.
  • Raffi Torres had an assist on Edmonton's lone goal in the Oilers' 3-1 home loss to Tampa Bay. His 32 points is a seeming disappointment for an Edmonton team that was expecting to rely much heavier on players like Joffrey Lupul and him. This was Torres' first point in his last 5 games.

There are 9 games on tap for Thursday. It should be an interesting night and don't forget it's game 2 of the Isles-Rangers home-and-home at 7:30 pm. Until next time...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tuesday March 6

With 10 games played on Tuesday night there was a lot of happenings for FIW. Former Islanders accounting for 4 goals and 8 assists for a total of 12 points. Here is the breakdown:

  • Bryan McCabe notched an assist Tuesday night on the second goal in the Maple Leafs' dominating 3-0 home win over the Capitals. With 47 points on the season McCabe is closing in on his third straight 50+ point year.
  • Brad Lukowich is a Devil? Lukowich scored the goal to force OT in New Jersey's 5-4 OT loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia. The goal, his 4th of the season, came with only 5:35 left in regulation. This was Luko's first point in his last 7 games and his first goal in 15 matches.
  • Alexei Zhitnik likes being a Thrasher it seems. At least a lot better than he liked being a Flyer. He had two assists Tuesday, including the secondary on the game winner in Atlanta's 4-2 home win over the Florida Panthers. Since the trade Zhitnik has 4 points in 4 games. Also of note was the goal by Juraj Kolnik that knotted the game at 2, albeit temporarily. The 9th goal of the season, Kolnik has been on a little bit of a tear tallying 6 points in his last 6 games.
  • Eric Brewer, on the other hand, seems to appreciate not being traded. (Though I think most players would rather be on a contender.) Brewer is the defensive leader of the Blues and Tuesday he received another assist. Since the deadline he has 4 assists in the last 4 games. But it was not the Blues' night and Calgary walked away with the 4-2 come-from-behind road win. For the Flames Roman Hamrlik has been very productive. He supplied an assist on Calgary's first goal and now has 5 points in his last 5 games.
  • Redwing Mathieu Schneider is on fire. With a goal and a powerplay assist in Tuesday's 4-3 SO win over the Predators Schneider has scored 16 points in his last 11 games. Chris Osgood, filling in for an injured Dominik Hasek, improved his record to 8-3-4 while stopping 24 of 27 shots in the first 65 minutes and stopping 3 of 4 in the shootout frame.
  • Jeff Hamilton had 2 assists on Tuesday including one on the game winner in Chicago's 3-0 home win over Los Angeles. His breakout year keeps getting better as he has matched his 14 goals with 14 assists for 28 points in on 56 games played.
  • And finally the cross-conference matchup of the night: Tampa Bay v. Vancouver. Though it was close for the first half of play but the Canucks eventually thumped the Lightning 5-1 at home. Roberto Luongo, arguably the best backstopper in the game, had an easy night fending off 16 of the 17 shots tossed at him. He also keeps extending his season his wins, now at 38. Byran Smolinski has been a boon to Vancouver it seems playing alongside the Sedin twins but it was on the penalty kill that he did damage last night. Smoke tallied his first shorthanded goal of the season and 15th overall. He now has 3 points in his first 4 games with the Canucks.

There are 4 mostly Western Conference games last night but action should be tense as teams everywhere are battling for ground, especially in those top 8s. Until next time, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Monday March 5

1 game was played last night in Hockeyland: a hardfought 2-1 SO victory by the Rangers over the Islanders. But while Rick DiPietro was making franchise save records while 56 of the 57 shots thrown at him the Former Islanders for the Rangers were doing essentially nothing. Not like the score really allowed for much anyway.

  • Where was Martin Straka? He played a meager 18:05 with only 1 shot on goal.
  • Why is Brad Isbister in the NHL? Sure he had 3 shots and attempted to score on a lunging end-to-end rally, but really what asset does he bring to a team like the Rangers?

That was it for the FIs last night. Full play resumes tonight with 10, count em, 10 games on tap. Lots of potential action. Until next time.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sunday March 4

8 games in the NHL yesterday yielded only a handful of Former Islander action, much of it in the form of shootout excitement. Here is the breakdown:

  • In Vancouver a 4-3 SO victory was buzzing with FI noteworthies. Roberto Luongo stretched his season high win total to 37 as he stopped 28 of 31 shots. He also stopped 4 of 6 in the shootout frame. Bryan Smolinski tallied his second assist in as many games with the Canucks and contributed one of the three SO goals for Vancouver. Another Canuck SO goal came from an FI who has to be nearing retirement, Trevor Linden.
  • In Detroit a third period comeback turned into a loss as Colorado beat the Redwings 4-3 in the OT frame. Mathieu Schneider contributed 2 assists including the secondary on the tying goal. Schneider now has 14 points in his last 10 games. Also of note was the so-so play of Chris Osgood who stopped 23 of 27 shots. In the wake of Hasek's thigh injury Osgood's time should increase. He is currently 7-3-4 for the Redwings this season.
  • Mike York had a rare night as he scored the opening goal for the Flyers in Philadelphia's 4-3 SO loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Since his trade to the Flyers from the Islanders York has managed only 3 goals in 24 games. At his current pace he will fall almost 30 points short of his prior season total of 52.
  • Jeff Hamilton gets no official credit for his SO goal last night but his help was huge for the Blackhawks. His last ditch effort goal extended the frame and allowed for the capper in Chicago's 4-3 SO victory over Ottawa at the United Center. After being rejected by the Islanders last offseason Hamilton's having a bit of a career rebirth with 26 points in 55 games on the season. Soon enough though he might be missing his recently traded partner and fellow FI Smolinski.

Islanders/Rangers tonight at 7:00 from Madison Square Garden. Watch it if you can. Otherwise the rest of the NHL lays fallow tonight. Until next time keep yours eyes on the boxscores.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Saturday March 3

Considering 8 games were played last night not much was happening around the league for Former Islanders. Of those 8 games FIs played roles in only 3. Here's the breakdown.

  • One-time goaltending prospect Stephen Valiquette won his first game of the season for the New York Rangers in their 3-2 SO win over the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden. Awarded the Second Star of the Game Valiquette made 25 saves on 27 shots and stopped 2 of 4 in the shootout. Not too many goaltenders will win with only 50% of shots stopped in the shootout frame but Valiquette's teammates pulled off the win. This is only the 4th career win for Valiquette in four seasons spanning a meager 11 games played and 5 starts.
  • The Panthers' Olli Jokinen just keeps rolling with his 30th goal of the season. In fact this is his second straight 30+ goal season and third in his last four years. At his current pace he would fall one goal short of his career high of 38. In fact, Jokinen's 130 goals in the last 4 seasons is tops among FIs.
  • In Edmonton things are falling apart and fast. An already depleted team is coping with the exile of "Captain Canada" Ryan Smyth while the team ups its losing streak to 4 games. This comes at the benefit of the Calgary and two FIs playing roles in last night's 4-2 win for the Flames at the Rexall Center. Toughman Eric Godard tallied his first assist and point of the season on a goal by Stephane Yelle. In fifteen games this year Godard's 1 point almost exceeds expectation for a player who averages over 51 penalty minutes for ever goal or assist he scores. As well, Roman Hamrlik had an assist on the final goal of the night. With 29 points he is second among defenseman on the Flames and has 4 assists in his last 4 games.

Another 8 games are going to be played today so keep your eyes open for all the Former Islander talent working hard as the season begins its frantic and exciting culmination.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Friday March 2

There were 7 games played on Friday March 2. It was a relatively slow night for Former Islanders. The recap is as such:

  • Mathieu Schneider recorded his 10th goal of the season in Detroit's 6-2 thumping of Chicago at Joe Louis Arena.
  • Alexei Zhitnik keeps making a good impression with Atlanta tallying an assist on the final goal in the Thrashers' 4-2 win at home over Ottawa. This was his second assist in only his second game with his new team.

Keep your eyes open on a very busy Saturday night. That's it for this edition.

Friday, March 2, 2007

First Night Recap at FIW

Last night was the first for FIW. Sadly it saw the crushing collapse of the Islanders on Ryan Smyth's first night with the team. A night in which he recorded a wonderful assist on Mike Sillinger's opening powerplay tally. On an interesting note Former Isle Eric Brewer received the first assist on the powerplay winner in OT for the Blues.

In total 9 games were played last night with Former Isles accounting for 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points. Here's a quick recap of what went down:

  • Mike York had an assist for the Flyers and Zdeno Chara netted the tying PP goal for Boston in Philly's 4-3 OT win over the Bruins.
  • A big night for big man Olli Jokinen in Florida's 2-1 OT winner over Dallas. Jokinen scored a PP goal and added a PP assist playing an essential role in the only two Panthers goals.
  • The before mentioned PP assist in OT for Blues' defenseman Eric Brewer.
  • Adrian Aucoin, finally healthy again after early season injuries, got an assist on the only Chicago goal in the Blackhawks 6-1 loss to the Avalanche.
  • Minnesota native Mark Parrish assisted on a goal in the Wild's 5-0 route of a depleted Edmonton team.
  • A busy night in Vancouver as Goalie Roberto Luongo assisted on the opening goal in the Canucks' 4-3 win over the Coyotes. Newly acquired Brent Sopel and Bryan Smolinski added assists on the game winner.
  • Finally, out West, the Kings' Jamie Heward tallied an assist on overtime forcing goal in LA's 4-3 win at the Staples Center.

A productive night for FIW and we urge you to keep your eyes on the scoreboards.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Welcome to Former Islander Watch

This is the first posting for Former Islander Watch (FIW) a site devoted to the continued progress and proliferation of one-time New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). What makes FIW so interesting is that unlike other sports websites nd blogs that are devoted to league-wide coverage and blogs devoted to any issue of a specific franchise this site instead wishes to focus on the post-team impact of players.

Why the Islanders? Aside from the favored team here at FIW the Islanders are a famous for years of continued ineptitude in terms of preaning and keeping talent. This is larger due to the teardown of the team in the mid-1990s (see 1994 playoffs versus the rival New York Rangers), the turnover of ownership (see John Spano) and the reign of the now removed worst General Manager in professional sports (Mike Milbury). "Mad" Mike Milbury's impact as GM of the Islanders was so harmful in fact that every truly talented player that once called the Coliseum home are now sprinkled out throughout the league in many cases serving the cornerstone roles of those franchises.

This site will analyze the stats, look at the successes and failings of former Islanders and wax philosophical about the role this once-great franchise has played in spreading talent throughout the league. Since yesterday was the trading deadline and a renewed fervor has spread throughout Long Island with the acquisition of All-Star Ryan Smyth hopes are high for this franchise to once again vault to success, largely due it seems to the continued work of Ted Nolan and a surprisingly daring GM Garth Snow.

Some names (and bodies) bandied about yesterday that are just a few of the players the Isles once possessed include: Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Smolinski, Eric Brewer, Brent Sopel, Adrian Aucoin, Alexei Zhitnik and Bryan Berard. Other names of note in the pantheon of Isles history include: Roberto Luongo, Olli Jokinen, Zdeno Chara, Roman Hamrlik, Bryan McCabe, Mark Parrish, etc...

Enjoy the site and talk to you soon.