Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunday April 29

On Sunday two games were battle, both with close finishes. In both Former Islanders played major roles. Let us take a look:
  • With the host New York Rangers facing the possibility of a 3 win deficit against the Buffalo Sabres the Blueshirts pulled out a 2-1 double OT win. But for FIs the story was the first goal of the game 33 seconds into the 2nd period when Martin Straka fed Jaromir Jagr for a goal as a Buffalo penalty expired. The point was Straka's fourth in as many games as he is on a 4 game scoring streak. In his 7 games thusfar this postseason Straka has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points.
  • Tim Connolly provided a little powerplay help with an assist on the Sabres' lone goal. In 8 postseason games Connolly has 5 points, all assists. Three of those assists have come with the man advantage. The point was his second in as many games.
  • The Anaheim Ducks do not want to lose to the offensively impotent Vancouver Canucks and they made that point clear, barely, on Sunday with a 3-2 road win to grab a 2 games to 1 series lead. Since Anaheim has no FIs we turn to Vancouver for some stories. Taylor Pyatt assisted on the Canucks' second goal of the night which evened the score for about 13 minutes. Pyatt is having a respectable postseason managing 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) in 10 games currently tying him for team lead with fellow FI Trevor Linden.
  • Roberto Luongo dropped back to .500 with the loss evening his playoff record at 5-5 despite managing a 1.70 goals against average and a .941 save percentage. On Sunday, he stopped 21 of 24 shots but it was the continued scoring ineptitude of his teammates that let him down yet again.

Two more games are on tap for Monday night. Come back soon for all your playoff highlights on FIW.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday April 28

Both Saturday games ended with their respective series being even. Former Islanders were only privy to game defining action in one of those games. In the other, the New Jersey Devils upended the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in double overtime to even things out at 1 win a piece. Here is a look at the other game:
  • Todd Bertuzzi assisted on the Redwings' first goal of the game in Detroit's 3-2 win over the visiting San Jose Sharks. The win knotted the series up at 1 game each. In 6 games this postseason Bertuzzi has 4 points on a goal and 3 assists.

On Sunday the other two series face off for their respective Game 3s. Stay tuned to Former Islander Watch for all the playoff and FI action.

Friday April 27

Both games on Friday night were eventful for Former Islanders. Let us a take a look:
  • Martin Straka opened the scoring in the New York Rangers' 3-2 road loss against the Buffalo Sabres. The powerplay tally, at 10:08 of the first period, was Straka's first goal of the playoffs and 5th point in 6 games. The score ended a 9 game postseason goalless dating to May 22, 2001 when his then Pittsburgh Penguins fell in 5 games to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Tim Connolly was credited with a powerplay assist on Buffalo's first goal. The assist was his fourth of the playoffs in 7 games but only his second on the man advantage. With the win the Sabres grabbed a 2-0 series lead.
  • Roberto Luongo bounced back from his poor outing in Game 1 to steer his team to a 2-1 double overtime thriller in Anaheim. The Vancouver Canucks evened the series against the Ducks at one game a piece. Luongo stopped 43 of the 44 shots thrown at him including 13 in OT to pick up his 5th win in 9 playoff games. His goals against average is an impressive 1.58 while his save percentage is an spectacular .946. If Vancouver hopes to upset Anaheim it is on his shoulders to get them there.
  • Trevor Linden was, yet again, involved in a game winning play for Vancouver. He assisted on Jeff Cowan's goal 7:49 into the second overtime. Linden is a playoff performer and this postseason is no exception. Linden has 2 goals and 4 assists in 9 games but it is the timeliness of his play that has been most impressive. He has either scored or assisted on 4 of Vancouver's 5 game winning goals in this push towards the Cup.

In no time we will recap the Saturday night games. Thank you for clicking onto FIW and stay tuned as the playoff action keeps getting more and more intense.

Thursday April 26

Former Islanders were impossible to find on Thursday night as the other two series began. In New Jersey the Devils lost 5-4 after the Ottawa Senators busted out with 4 goals in the first 16:39. Ottawa leads the series 1-0. The San Jose Sharks pulled off the upset over Detroit Redwings at Joe Louis Arena, 2-0. San Jose's 2 goals 24 seconds apart in the first period were all they needed to grab a 1-0 series lead.

Friday recaps are coming soon.

Wednesday April 25

The first night of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs started out with loud statements from two highly favored teams. In the first game the Buffalo Sabres, at home for Game 1, trounced upon the New York Rangers 5-2 to take a 1 to nothing series lead. There was no Former Islander noteworthy performance. We will now take a look at the other game:
  • Roberto Luongo was pulled late in the third period after surrendering 4 goals on 31 shots in the Anaheim Ducks' 5-1 romp over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. After a career defining season Luongo has continued to struggle going 4-4 in his first 8 decisions. He has dropped 3 of his previous 4 overall. The Ducks lead the series 1-0.

Check back soon for the Thursday night highlights.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday April 23: First Round Done

The opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs ended with a bang as the low scoring Dallas Stars fell to the even lower scoring Canucks, 4-1, in Vancouver on Monday night. Vancouver took the series 4 games to 3 despite scoring only 13 goals in the 7 contests. There is so much to recap in this game and series let us begin:
  • Trevor Linden, playing in his 9th game 7, scored the game winner with 13 minutes remaining in the third period. The tally was his 6th game 7 winning goal tying him for 2nd all time. The goal was also his 2nd of the current playoffs. In the series, Linden's play was possibly the most crucial to Canuck success as he accounted for 2 goals, both game winners, and 3 assists for 5 points. Linden also received the primary assist on the second empty netter that capped the score at 4-1.
  • Taylor Pyatt iced the game by netting one on the open goal with 1:03 remaining. The goal was Pyatt's second of the postseason. Pyatt had 2 goals and 3 assists in the series with one game winner.
  • Bryan Smolinski, whose first 20 games with Vancouver were modest at best, accounted for 2 goals and 2 assists in the series. He added an empty netter with 47 second remaining to put an already out of reach contest even further away for the Stars.
  • Roberto Luongo stopped 19 of 20 shots for his 4th win in the 7 games. The 20 shots were the least he faced in the entire series. His numbers were spectacular in those games. In 509 minutes of ice time (almost 8 1/2 games of real time) he stopped 228 of 240 shots. He finished with a .950 save percentage and a 1.41 goals against average. For goalies with a minimum of 4 starts in the playoffs only 1 had a lower gaa (rival Marty Turco).
  • In other briefs, Former Islanders were really the star of the show in this first round matchup. FIs accounted for 6 of 13 Canucks goals and 14 of the 35 scoresheet points. They also accounted for 3 of Vancouver's 4 game winning goals. All FI points came off the sticks of 3 skaters even though Vancouver's current roster has 6 such players. Those players were the aforementioned veterans Linden, Pyatt and Smolinski.

Tuesday is an off night as second round play commences Wednesday night with 2 matchups. The Buffalo Sabres will defend their elite status against the upstart New York Rangers while the FI Canucks will take on the defensively solid Anaheim Ducks. Keep posted to FIW for all your postseason news.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday April 22

In the two Sunday games we saw a replay of what the entire weekend looked like for Former Islanders, 1 assist. In the other game the New Jersey Devils wrapped up their series on the road as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. The series took a confidence-building turn for the Devils as they took control of the series after dropping 2 of their first 3. Here is a look at the other game:
  • Todd Bertuzzi is alive and he assisted on the goal that tied the game with 16:53 gone in the second period of Detroit's massive 2-1 double OT win over the Flames in Calgary. The win vaulted the Redwings into the second round fresh off the heals of a 4-2 series victory. In the four games he played "Hurt"uzzi tallied a goal and 2 assists for 3 points. Only time will tell if he will continue to play a vital role in Detroit's playoff run.

Only one series is still up for grabs. On Monday Dallas will face off in Vancouver. If Vancouver can actually find the net they will pull off the series victory. If Dallas goaltending continues to dominate they will pull off the unthinkable, a recovery from a 3-1 series deficit. Until next time.

Saturday April 21

In the 2 games on Saturday night Former Islanders were active and violent. FIs accounted for only one assist but they added a whole lot more heated action than that. Here is a quick look:
  • Mathieu Schneider helped his Redwings defeat the Calgary Flames in Detroit, 5-1, with a powerplay assist on the team's second goal. With the win the Redwings grabbed a commanding 3-2 series lead. The point was Schneider fourth (1 goal, 3 assists) on the series.
  • The bigger story of the game was Jamie McLennan, yes McLennan. Making his first postseason appearance since the 1999 playoffs, when he was with the St. Louis Blues, McLennan spent 18 seconds on the ice before he slashed Johan Franzen across the midsection. Because of the inherent violent nature of the slash McLennan received 22 minutes of penalty time and was ejected immediately. Upon later review by the league McLennan was suspended for 5 games starting the next game of the series and the team and coach were fined in excess of a $100K. One would have to question the purpose of putting McLennan out there in an nearly completed game and if was a tactically move to hurt a Redwing player or send a message in a game in which Calgary continually used excess force of ill thinking with their sticks.
  • In the other game, Roberto Luongo took the loss as the Vancouver Canucks fell 2-0 to the Stars in Dallas to even the series. Luongo stopped 28 of 30 shots, but since the Canucks have not scored in over 2 games, he took the loss yet again. His postseason record fell to 3-3. His impressive 1.47 goals against average is now being eclipsed by rival Marty Turco's improbably low 1.20. Game 7 is Monday night.

Two more games were up for grabs on Sunday with the underdogs clinging to elimination.

Friday April 20

With first round contenders dropping like flies the games per night has so fallen off. Friday saw 3 games in competition with the chance for 2 series to be done by the blaring of the final horn. Former Islanders played impact roles in only one of those games tallying an assist. In the other two we saw the New Jersey Devils return home in Game 5 to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0. New Jersey grabbed a 3-2 series lead with the win. In the other game, a late goal with under 5 minutes to play put the San Jose Sharks up by a final of 3-2 over the host Nashville Predators. The Predators, who were expected to be top contenders coming into the playoffs, fell off completely in the series losing 4 of the 5 games. Here is a quick look at the other game:
  • Tim Connolly received the primary assist on Buffalo's first goal of the game as the Sabres eked out another 1 goal win over the New York Islanders, 4-3, to win the series 4 games to 1. In the series Connolly had 3 assists against his former team. The loss ended an unlikely run to the playoffs for the Islanders and a late push in the waning moments of the third were too little for the Isles to come back against an often stifling Buffalo check.

Two more games were on tap for Saturday.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday April 19

As the some of the first round series are wrapping up others are still grinding on. 4 games were played on Thursday night. With the chance for 3 teams to close out their matchups 2 capitalized on that opportunity. For Former Islanders Thursday was another slow night. In those games FIs accounted for a goal, an assist and an OT loss. In the other games the Ottawa Senators downed the Pittsburgh Penguins on home ice, 3-0, to win the series in five games and the Anaheim Ducks, also on home ice, defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to take the series by that same total. Here is a look at the other two games:

  • The Calgary Flames eked out a win over the Detroit Redwings 3-2 to tie the series up at 2 games a piece. In only his second game of the series, Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi made a marked effort accounting for a goal and an assist. Owing to continued issues from his surgery recovery Bertuzzi's playing time has been sporadic at best. The points were Bertuzzi's first in the postseason since May 8, 2003 when the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game 7 to the Minnesota Wild in a second round matchup. In that series Vancouver had a commanding 3-1 lead before Bertuzzi all but disappeared in the final 3 games.
  • Speaking of the Canucks, Roberto Luongo stopped the first 29 shots he faced including 4 in OT but it was number 30 that got past him as the Dallas Stars pulled off a 1-0 OT victory in Vancouver. The win cut Vancouver's series lead to 3-2. Luongo's current numbers look like this: he is 3-2 with a .953 save percentage and a ridiculously low 1.39 goals against average (cross-ice rival Marty Turco is sporting the same gaa).

Three more games are up for grabs on Friday. San Jose and Buffalo can down their opponents while in New Jersey one team is going to take the win, and the series lead, in the pivotal Game 5. Check back soon for more Former Islander happenings. Thank you.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday April 18

Last night was a great example of why we have our mission here at FIW: "To note the proliferation of Islander talent around the league". Life as a Former Islanders is invariably easier than life as an Islander. Ted Nolan, before the game against Buffalo on Wednesday night, said that some teams get the breaks and others don't. He put the Isles into that category of those who don't and boy was he preaching to the choir. The Islanders, in a bureacratic nightmare of league favoritism and referee dysfunctionality lost Wednesday night's Game 4 due to a no-goal call on a puck that was clearly a goal. Citing an inane rule in the book they claimed that Brendan Witt forced the puck in by pushing the goalie into the net. The contact that they claim resulted in a puck in the net came well after the loose puck was already in. Teams like Buffalo can rest assured in the fact that the NHL is in their pockets. It is all corporate. Ted Nolan, Garth Snow and the players did not get upset as much as they should have. I guess it's part of accepting the crap life of being Islanders. Now if only the fans can grow up and stopping throwing stuff on the ice, that would be great.

The Islanders eventually loss 4-2 to fall behind in the series 3 games to 1. They play for their lives Friday evening. In other news FIs accounted for a lone assist. In Tampa Bay the New Jersey Devils evened the series with a 4-3 OT win over the Lightning to knot the series up at 2. In San Jose the Sharks skimmed by the Nashville Predators 3-2 to grab a commanding 3 to 1 series lead. Here is the one FI happening of the night:
  • Martin Straka assisted on the Rangers' first goal of the game, a powerplay tally 7:57 into the first period. The Rangers eventually won the game 4-2 to sweep the opening round series over the Atlanta Thrashers. The sweep allowed the Rangers to celebrate on home ice. The regular season 70 point scorer now has 3 points, all assists, in 4 games this postseason.

4 games are on the schedule tonight with 3 games having the possibility to wrap up completely. Stay tuned to FIW for all the hottest playoff action.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday April 17

In the busiest night of playoff hockey action so far this postseason it seemed as if most of the winners put the 3rd nail into the coffin of their competitors. Former Islanders played roles in only 2 games (of course playing huge parts in the Vancouver game) while accounting for 2 goals and 3 assists. In the other games the Ottawa Senators edged the host Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Ottawa, after splitting their home games, came into Pittsburgh and took both games setting up a potential series ending game 5 back in the Canadian capital. The New York Rangers took a 3-0 stranglehold lead over the hapless Atlanta Thrashers with a 7-0 thumping at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta will try to stave off elimination in Game 4 tonight in NYC. Calgary refused to fall down three games to none and walked away with a 3-2 victory at home over the Detroit Redwings. Calgary had one of the top home records on the regular season and capped the comeback from a 2-1 deficit with a goal at the 9:21 mark of the third period. Detroit leads the series 2-1. Here is a look at the FI happenings in the other two games:
  • Mark Parrish topped off a dominating win with his first goal of the playoffs for the Minnesota Wild over the Anaheim Ducks, 4-1, at the Xcel Center. It was Captain Parrish's first playoff point since April 16, 2004 when the Islanders lost their first round series in Game 5 to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. With the win the Wild live to see another day avoiding a first round sweep. Anaheim leads the series 3-1.
  • The Vancouver Canucks are barely scraping by to beat the Dallas Stars. On Tuesday they mustered just enough to pull out a 2-1 win in Dallas. After splitting their first two home games the Canucks have won the first 2 in Dallas to take a commanding 3 to 1 lead in the series. A lot of credit is due to the teams plentiful corps of FIs. Trevor Linden scored his first of the playoffs with 5:31 remaining in the third period to seal the win. The goal was his first postseason tally since April 22, 2003 ending a 17 game playoff goalless streak.
  • Taylor Pyatt assisted on the game winner and Vancouver's first of the game for 2 points on the night. Pyatt now has a goal and 3 assists in the series.
  • Bryan Smolinski received the primary assist on Vancouver's first goal. Smoke's play has picked up as of late. He has now tallied a goal and 2 assists in the 4 games thusfar.
  • Roberto Luongo was hot in net yet again stopping 26 of 27 shots for his third win in four starts. His goals against has dropped to a jawdroppingly low 1.49 while his save percentage now stands at .950, currently best among starters in the postseason.

4 more games are scheduled for Wednesday. The Rangers can wrap up their series while the other 3 tilts can either be evened up or forcefully taken control of. Tune in for all the FI news.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday April 16

With 3 games scheduled Monday night the playoff action was tense. Each game would see one team take a lead in the series, maybe the first signs of series dominance on the part of each winner. Former Islanders made major impacts in 2 of the 3 games while in the other game the San Jose Sharks, home for games 3 and 4, beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 to take a two games to one lead in the series. Here is a quick look at the FI action in the other two games:
  • Tim Connolly, for the second time in the series, found a way to help burn his old team. Connolly recorded the secondary assist on the game winning powerplay goal 12:56 into the second period. The Sabres eventually won the game 3-2 and have a 1 game lead in the series after 3 contests. Connolly has 2 points in those 3 games but none yet has been bigger than that assist.
  • Brad Lukowich recorded an assist on the New Jersey Devils' first goal of the night in their 3-2 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa now leads that series 2-1. The point was Lukowich's first in the playoffs since May 10, 2004 when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The assist snapped an 18 postseason pointless streak.

Five more tilts are up for grabs on Tuesday night. Stranglehold leads can be taken in 4 of the series while the Anaheim Ducks could be the first team to advance to the next round. Keep reading as the chase the Lord Stanley's Cup becomes even more exciting.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday April 15

Four games were contested on Sunday and it seems as if some Former Islanders have found their stride. FIs accounted for an OT game winner and 4 assists including 3 on game winning goals. In the two games that FIs did not play major roles we saw the Ottawa Senators retake the series lead with a 4-2 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Ottawa now leads the series 2 games to 1. In the other game, the Anaheim Ducks edged the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, for a 3-0 strangehold lead in the series. For the third straight game the Ducks eked by the Wild by a lone goal for the victory. Here is a look at the other two games:
  • Mathieu Schneider received an assist on the game winning powerplay goal in the Detroit Redwings' 3-1 home victory over the Calgary Flames. In the two games this playoffs Schneider has 1 goal and 2 assists for 2 points.
  • In that game Flames' d-man Roman Hamrlik was credited with the secondary assist on Calgary's only goal, a powerplay tally in the second period. It was Hamrlik's first playoff point since April 29, 2006 when the Flames were eliminated in 7 games by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. That point came in game 5, Calgary's last win of the series.
  • In an almost unbelievable scenario all the points in the OT game winner in the Vancouver Canucks' 2-1 win over the host Dallas Stars were credited to FIs. Vancouver, the #1 FI hotbed, has been responsible for many a recap on this site but this one was unique. 7:47 into the OT frame Taylor Pyatt scored his first goal of the playoffs off of assists from Bryan Smolinski and Trevor Linden. With the win Vancouver regained the series lead 2-1. It was Pyatt's 2nd point in the playoffs. He now has one goal and 2 assists. Smolinski has turned his play up a bit, as well, in the quest. Smoke now has 1 goal and 1 assist in the 3 games thusfar. Even Linden's getting involved with 2 assists in the 3 games.
  • The other story of the Vancouver game was the rock solid backstopping of Roberto Luongo. He stopped 29 of 30 shots including 20 of the first 21 to notch his second win in three games. In those 3 games Luongo has played an amazing 263 minutes with a 1.60 goals against average and a .947 save percentage.

Three more games are up for grabs on Monday. By the end of the night the lead in each series will either have been retaken by the favorite or wrested by the upstart. Until next time keep your eyes on the playoff scoreboard.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saturday April 14

With four tilts up for grabs on Saturday there was, yet again, a dearth of Former Islander action. All four competitions were 1 goal wins for the road teams, in most cases the wins evened their respective series. The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a weak first game and a late third period deficit in game 2 to win 4-3 against the host Ottawa Senators evening the series at 1 game a piece. The Tampa Bay Lightning turned a 1 goal New Jersey Devils' advantage into a 3-2 road win to even up that series at 1. The Islanders took the lead on a powerplay goal midway through the third period to seal up a 3-2 win over the host Buffalo Sabres knotting up that series at one win per team. Let us take a look at the other game:
  • Martin Straka assisted on the first goal 8:08 into the first period in the New York Rangers' 2-1 win over the host Atlanta Thrashers. The Rangers now lead the series 2 games to 0. The assist was Straka's second in as many games.

Four more games are on tap for Sunday. We here at FIW are hoping the Former Islander action heats up. Keep checking for all your playoff updates.

Friday April 13

With 3 games in contention on Friday little happened for Former Islanders. Only one player had an impact. In the other two games the Nashville Predators evened their series with the San Jose Sharks on the heals of a 5-2 home win and the Anaheim Ducks edged the Minnesota Wild for the second straight game by a goal, 3-2, to grab a 2-0 series lead. Here is a look at the other game:
  • Following his impressive playoff debut, Roberto Luongo took the loss in the Dallas Stars' 2-0 road win over the Vancouver Canucks. The win evened the series at 1 game a piece. Luongo stopped 25 of 27 shots but his team's complete lack of ability to generate any offense led him to suffer him first playoff loss.

Saturday night was abuzz with 4 highly charged games. Check back soon for the most current playoff updates.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday April 12

On the second night of the playoffs the remaining 8 teams faced off in 4 competitions. The two number 1s took their turns while two other Eastern Conference matchups kicked off. Former Islanders played roles in 3 of those games notching 1 goal and 3 assists. In the other game the New Jersey Devils knocked off the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 at home. Here is a quick breakdown of the FI action:
  • Martin Straka assisted on New York's second goal in the Rangers' 4-3 road win over the Southeast Division champion Atlanta Thrashers. The assist came at 16:47 of the first period on the powerplay. Straka returned to the playoff scoresheet for the first time since May 22, 2001 when the Pittsburgh Penguins got booted by the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Final. In that deciding Game 5, a 4-3 loss at New Jersey, Straka had a powerplay goal. Straka was pointless in the last year's first round sweep by the Devils.
  • Mathieu Schneider got a goal and an assist to help cushion Detroit's 4-1 win over the eighth seeded Calgary Flames. Schneider assisted on the third goal and added the fourth to help Detroit cruise to an easy game 1 win. Schneider continues his strong playoff effort following a goal and 7 assists in last year's stunning first round loss to the then eighth seeded Edmonton Oilers, 4 games to 2. In his last 7 playoff games, overall, Schneider has 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points.
  • Tim Connolly burned his old team in the Buffalo Sabres' 4-1 domination of the visiting Islanders. Connolly assisted on the first goal of the game, 9:30 into regulation. Despite missing all but 2 games of the regular season Connolly seems to be in top form. Although a concussion in round 2 of last year's playoffs derailed Connolly, his effort in the playoffs is impressive. In his 9 postseason games Connolly has 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points. His return brings the Sabres a clutch player at the most clutch of times.

Every night there is more action and Friday is no exception. 3 more games are on schedule on Friday, all Western Conference tilts. Stay tuned to FIW for all your playoff recaps and Former Islander happenings. Until next time.

Wednesday April 11: First Day of Playoffs

With the NHL playoffs starting on Wednesday night action was tense around the league. For Former Islanders they played roles in only one game, the tense quadruple (yes, that means 4) OT win by the host Vancouver Canucks over the Dallas Stars, 5-4. In other news the Ottawa Senators dropped the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins like they were a bad habit, 6-3. The Anaheim Ducks edged by the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, at the Honda Center. In alternate OT action the San Jose Sharks escaped 2 extra frames against the host Nashville Predators, 5-4. Here is a look at the FI action from the Vancouver front:

  • Roberto Luongo stopped 72 shots in nearly 138 minutes of play to walk away with a win in his long awaited playoff debut. Falling one short of the record number of saves in the playoffs, still held by Kelly Hrudey (73), Luongo set his own record for most saves in a first time playoff appearance. In the OT frames, which lasted just over 78 minutes, Luongo stopped all 36 shots thrown at him.
  • Taylor Pyatt assisted on the opening goal of the game. Touted by some analysts as a potential breakout player for the playoffs Pyatt did not disappoint. The playoff point was Pyatt's first since Game 5 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
  • Bryan Smolinski scored Vancouver's 4th goal of the game 7:36 into the third period. A deadline acquistion, Smoke took advantage of an open side goal to lift the lead to 2. A member of last year's semi-finalist Ottawa Senators, the goal was Smolinski's first playoff tally since netted 2 of May 5, 2006.
  • Trevor Linden assisted on Smolinski's lead extending goal. The point was Linden's first in the playoffs since April 27, 2003 in Vancouver's second round loss to the Minnesota Wild. Linden had gone 12 playoff games without a point owing to his complete disappearing act in the Canucks' first round loss to the Calgary Flames in Spring of 2004.
  • In the weird injury department, Brent Sopel sat out the game after hurting his back in what the Vancouver coach claimed was an attempt to pick up a cracker from the floor. It is hard to tell if the coach was serious or making up an excuse for a back injury obtained through other means.

Four more games are on schedule tonight as the gears of playoff hockey slowly begin to speed up. Keep posted to FIW for all your Former Islander and Stanley Cup news.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sunday April 8

The final day of the regular season. A time at which some teams can rejoice others recoil. Vacation plans can now be made for many of hockey's most beleaguered teams while others prepare mentally for the task at hand, the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Islanders pulled off a thriller on Sunday blowing a late 2-0 and then, barely breathing, winning in the SO. Shootout for a playoff spot must be a dream for Gary Bettman and the entire NHL. The validation for the one-on-one test of goalie vs. shooter. But this is not about the impressive and heart stopping efforts of the Islanders. It is about the Former Islanders who scratch, claw and make an effort throughout the league. The castoff talents we call FIs. In last 5 games of the season FIs scored an assist and took a loss in net. Here is the breakdown:
  • Jeff Hamilton finished his breakout season with the Blackhawks with an assist on Chicago's last goal of the year in their 3-2 road loss to the Dallas Stars. An impressive first full season Hamilton scored 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 70 games. Considering how bad Chicago finished Hamitlon did well with a -4 rating, 3 powerplay goals, 11 powerplay assists and 4 game winners. On 138 shots Hamilton scored a 13% clip.
  • Jamie McLennan made a rare start for the Calgary Flames in their 6-3 loss to the host Avalanche. Only his 8th start of the season and 9th appearance McLennan filled in for the resting Miikka Kiprusoff. Calgary could afford the loss owing to Colorado's self-elimination from playoff contention the night before. In sum McLennan stopped 26 of 32 shots and finished the year 3-5-1 with a .895 save percentage and a 3.60 goals against average. Odds are we will not be seeing much of McLenna in the playoffs this spring.

That is for the regular season here at FIW. Stay posted for all the FI playoff action in the coming days.

Saturday April 7

Only 2 teams got the day off on Saturday as 14 games were up for grabs. Must win scenarios were in place for both the Islanders and the Colorado Avalanche. Within the day the Islanders would be in position to take a playoff spot owing to Toronto's thrilling win over Montreal and Colorado would be eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since moving to the Mile High City. In those 14 games Former Islanders accounted for 5 goals, 4 assists and backstopped their teams to 2 wins. Here is the breakdown:
  • Chris Osgood stopped 19 of 21 shots for the win in Detroit's 7-2 whomping of visiting Chicago on Saturday. At 11-3-6 Osgood finished the season nicely going 7-0-5 since taking his last loss on January 6. But the real surprise was Osgood's powerplay assist. In 20 prior games this season Osgood had yet to tally a point before receiving credit for the secondary on Detroit's 6th goal of the game. Jeff Hamilton rounded out the scoring with his 18th goal of the season. In 69 games Hamilton has done an impressive job scoring 38 points.
  • In his first game back, after sitting out an injury that lasted over a season, Tim Connolly scored his first goal of the season. The insurance tally in Buffalo's 2-0 road win over the Washington Capitals came on one of Connolly's first shifts.
  • Taylor Pyatt scored his 23rd goal of the season only 4:38 into the first period of Vancouver's 4-3 OT road win over San Jose. In 76 games Pyatt has scored 37 points. Brent Sopel assisted on Vancouver's third goal, a powerplay tally. Since he joined Vancouver, Sopel accounted for a modest 5 points in 20 games. Roberto Luongo toughed 30 regulation shots and 34 seconds of OT for his 47th win of the year leaving him tied for 2nd most wins in a season with Bernie Parent, 1 behind Martin Brodeur. In 76 games, 75 of them starts, Luongo finished the season 47-22-6 with a .921 save percentage, a 2.28 goals against average and 5 shutouts. All of this is exceedingly impressive considering Luongo's never been more than 5 games over .500 on his career.
  • Olli Jokinen finished his strong season with another multipoint night. Florida lost 5-4 in OT against the host Carolina Hurricanes but O-Jok accounted for 1 goal and 2 assists. The states are numerous for Jokinen. In his last 11 games O-Jok scored 22 points, 8 goals and 14 assists. Overall, he played in all 82 games for the third consecutive season. In those 82 games, O-Jok had 39 goals and 52 assists for 91 points, a career high in all three categories, eclipsing his 38/51/89 numbers from last season. As well, his +18 is also a high.
  • FI Bryan McCabe actually aided the Islanders when he scored the tying goal in Toronto's wild 6-5 home win over the Montreal Canadiens. His 15th of the season came on the powerplay only 58 seconds into the third period. 11 of his 15 goals this season have come on the man advantage. For the fifth time in his career McCabe played every game on the season. His second best season overall, McCabe finished with 15 goals, 42 assists for 57 points with a +3 rating and 1 game winner.

Only Sunday remains for the regular season. Stay tuned shortly for the recap.

Friday April 6

With the regular season down to its last 3 days Friday seemed like a slow night for hockey with only 3 games on the schedule. In those games Former Islanders accounted for a goal and an assist. Here is a quick look:
  • Olli Jokinen scored a goal and an assist in Florida's 7-2 thumping of their in-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning. The assist was O-Jok's 50th of the year, the second consecutive season he has hit that plateau. As well, in 81 games O-Jok has scored 89 points, tying his career high.

Stay tuned for the Saturday recap.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Thursday April 5

With the final Thursday of the regular season buzzing around the league and 12 games up for grabs all is not yet solidified in the standings. Former Islanders accounted for a paltry 2 goals, 1 assist and 2 losses but much of the night for FIs hung heavy with history. Here is a quick look:

  • Zdeno Chara was credited with a powerplay assist on Boston's second goal in the Bruins' 4-2 road loss to the Eastern Conference champion Buffalo Sabres. With the point Chara equals his career high with 43. Speaking of assists, his 32 overall and 17 powerplay assists are also single season acmes. Chara has one game left to set a new personal best.
  • Jim Dowd has undoubtedly sealed himself a place in hearts of New Jersey Devils fans. Dowd's shorthanded game winner at 8:46 of the third period ended a continual come-from-behind effort for New Jersey in their 3-2 road win over the lowly Flyers. The win gave Martin Brodeur a new single season league record in wins with 48 passing Flyer Bernie Parent's 33 year old record. It was Dowd's 4th of the season. In 65 games Dowd has 8 points for the Devils. The shortie was his first since March 25, 2006 when he was playing with the Colorado Avalanche.
  • Mark Parrish scored the game winner 5:57 into the first period of Minnesota's 3-0 home win over the moribund Edmonton Oilers. It was Parrish's 19th of the season and 39th point overall. In 75 games this season Parrish has scored the deciding goal in 4 of his teams 47 wins.
  • Chris Osgood took the OT loss even though he played a fine game in net. The host Blackhawk's shut down the Detroit Redwings 3-2 in the SO on Thursday. While Osgood stopped 19 of 21 shots and 2 of 4 in the shootout Nikolai Khabibulin one-upped him over and over again with 56 saves on 58 shots and an additional 3 of 4 in the penalty shots. Despite that Osgood has not lost in regulation since January 6th and has posted a 6-0-5 record since then. On the year Osgood is 10-3-6 with 2.40 goals against average.
  • The best Roberto Luongo can do now is share the new goaltending wins record. Vancouver dropped its home competition against the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1. Colorado remains alive despite having to overcome a major deficit against #8 in the West, the Calgary Flames. They survived one more night, putting in 3 goals on 30 shots against Luongo. Luongo's record dropped to 46-22-6. With 2 games left to play Luongo can, at best, equal Brodeur's new single season league record 48 wins. That is assuming Luongo's wins his last two starts and Brodeur either sits out or loses to the Islanders on Sunday.

Only 3 games are up for grabs on Friday night. None of it has major playoff implications, just some minor positioning issues. Stay tuned in the final few days for the all the exciting action on FIW.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wednesday April 4

Wednesday night action was unstoppable with a whopping 2 games on the schedule. We here at FIW have nothing to report. Nada. 12 games are up for grabs on Thursday night. Tune in soon for all the news in the final 1/2 week of regular season action.

Tuesday April 3

With the NHL in near full swing and 13 games in contention on Tuesday night Former Islander action was bound to be hot. FIs accounted for 6 goals, 5 assists and a win in net. Here is a recap:

  • Bryan McCabe assisted on the second goal and then scored the game winning powerplay tally 2:18 into OT to pull off the 3-2 win for the Maple Leafs over the visiting Flyers. Of the 14 goals McCabe has scored this season 10 have come with the extra man and none has been bigger. This was McCabe's first game winner of the season, seemingly a disappointment considering he netted 6 game winners last year. McCabe now has 56 points in 80 games this season. Mike York scored the goal that forced OT, his 10th of the season, with only 4:14 remaining in regulation. In 34 games with the Flyers this year York only has 4 goals. In fact, York has been on such a cold streak that the goal ended a 7 game pointless streak and a 9 game goalless streak.
  • Martin Straka recorded a shorthanded assist on the Rangers' first goal in their 3-2 SO loss to the host Islanders. Straka now has 70 points for the second consecutive season. It is the fourth time in his career that he has reached the 70+ point plateau. As well, the assist was Straka's first such shorthanded point since December 5, 2000.
  • Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal as a Redwing and third of the season in Detroit's 3-0 home domination of the Columbus Blue Jackets. After going scoreless in his first 3 games with Detroit, Bertuzzi has turned it on as of late with 4 points in his last 4 games (2 goals, 2 assists). It seems Bertuzzi might become the caliber player Detroit had been looking for all along.
  • Jeff Hamilton assisted on the goal that forced OT and then sealed the game with a SO goal in Chicago's 3-2 road win over Nashville. Hamilton now has 20 assists and 37 points in his breakout season.
  • Roman Hamrlik scored his 7th of the year in Calgary's 4-3 home loss to the Colorado Avalanche. In a game that could have sealed a playoff spot for Calgary and officially eliminated Colorado, Hamrlik's goal was one of the few bright spots for the Flames. Despite missing a few games earlier in the season Hamrlik has 38 points in 72 games this season. With the goal Hamrlik ended a 3 game pointless streak.
  • Vancouver strengthened their cause to win the Northeast Division with a 4-2 home win over the Los Angeles Kings. Roberto Luongo won his 46th of the year and currently remains 1 win behind Martin Brodeur for the league lead. With 1 more win Luongo would equal the single season record currently being shared by Brodeur and Bernie Parent. Luongo is 46-21-6 on the season. Bryan Smolinski scored Vancouver's first goal, a powerplay tally, and his 18th of the year. With the goal Smoke notched a new post-lockout season high surpassing last year's total of 17. In 79 games he has 44 points but only 7 of those points have come in his 17 games with Vancouver. Taylor Pyatt scored the second Vancouver goal and his 22nd of the year. In his resurgence of a season Pyatt has 36 points in 73 games. Overall Pyatt has 6 points in his last 5 games. With an assist on the Pyatt goal Trevor Linden notched his 25th point of the year. The assist ended a 3 game pointless streak. Defenseman Jamie Heward assisted on Los Angeles' second goal notching his 24th point of the year. In 17 games with Los Angeles, Heward has 8 points including 3 assists in his last 4 games.

The action on Wednesday would be mild to say the least. Stay logged on for all your FI action.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Monday April 2

With the NHL commencing its final week of play on Monday night one scheduled game pretty much seems like a disappointment to fans and of course Former Islander watchers. Here is a recap from the one game:
  • Eric Brewer received the secondary assist on the Blues' second goal in their shocking 4-2 road win over the Dallas Stars. With 29 points Brewer has now tied his single season high. On the year he has 6 goals and 23 assists. With 3 games left to play Brewer has a good chance to set a new high mark.

The league is very active Tuesday night with 13 games on tap. Keep tuned to FIW for all your season ending action.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sunday April 1

With the NHL down to its last 7 days and playoff positioning solidifying the Former Islander happenings of the regular season have official begun to wind down. With 6 games scheduled Sunday the results were excellent for FIs, 2 goals and 5 assists. Have a look:

  • Raffi Torres opened the scoring and accounted for Edmonton's lone goal in the Oilers' 2-1 road loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The goal was Torres' 15th of the season and ended a 5 game pointless streak. He now has 34 points while playing in all 79 games this season.
  • Olli Jokinen struck again, accounting for assists on the first 2 goals in Florida's 4-3 loss in OT against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. With 3 games left on the season O-Jok is 4 points away from setting a new single season high. He currently has 86 points (37 goals, 49 assists). In his current 8 game point scoring streak O-Jok has 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points. Juraj Kolnik also added an assist on the third Florida goal. With the point, Kolnik has reached the 25 point plateau for the third consecutive season.
  • In the New York Rangers' thumping of visiting Toronto 7-2, on Sunday, FIs accounted for 3 points. Brad Isbister had assists on the second and seventh Ranger goals of the night. Isbister now has 5 points on the season. The multi-point night was his first since March 24, 2006 when he was with the Boston Bruins. Martin Straka scored his 29th of the season. In 74 games Straka has 69 points including 4 points in his last 3 games overall.

There is only one game on schedule for Monday night. Check back soon for all your FI news.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Saturday March 31

With 10 contests being battle Saturday the return from Former Islanders was modest, at best. In those games FIs accounted for 2 goals, 4 assists and a loss in net. Here is the happenings:
  • Zdeno Chara received a powerplay assist on Boston's first goal of the night in the Bruins' 3-2 home loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. The point lifted him to 42 on the season and leaves him only 1 behind his career high. Chara has cooled off recently with only 2 points in his last 8 games. Alexei Zhitnik, for the second straight game, assisted on the game winner. Unlike his prior OT assist Saturday night's point came with only 19 seconds left in regulation. Zhitnik's impact has been well apparent as he has tallied 14 points in only 15 games with the Thrashers. That is 2 points more than fellow deadline acquisition Keith Tkachuk.
  • Bryan McCabe scored Toronto's 4th goal in their 5-4 OT squeaker over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. His 13th of the year and 9th on the powerplay, McCabe now has 54 points on the season. In total, 32 of his points have came with the man advantage.
  • Martin Straka had the game winning goal and a powerplay assist on the insurance goal in the New York Rangers' 6-4 win over host Philadelphia on Saturday. The goal was Straka's 28th of the season and 6th game winner. The assist was his 40th of the year and 20th on the powerplay. Despite his recent cold play Straka has had 3 points in his last 2 games since ending a 12 game pointless streak and now has 68 points in 73 games this season. The multi-point night was Straka's first since February 10.
  • Janne Niinimaa assisted on Montreal's second goal in their 4-3 home win over the Eastern Conference leading Buffalo Sabres. The assist was only Niinimaa's 3rd point of the year (all assists) in 39 games ending a 17 game pointless drought. Since the lockout, Niinimaa, a 3 time 40+ point scorer, has only 19 points in 102 games.
  • Roberto Luongo was saddled with a loss in Calgary's 3-2 victory over host Vancouver on Saturday. Stopping only 15 of 18 shots he faced Luongo had one of his worst nights in recent memory. In 72 games started Luongo's record in now 45-21-6. Following Martin Brodeur's win on Friday, Luongo is tied for the league lead in wins.

With the start of April comes 6 more games on Sunday. Keep posted to FIW for your all your exciting playoff rush action. Until the next time.

Friday March 30

With 8 games on the schedule for Friday much Former Islander action was possible. Sadly the night was slow for FIs with only a goal and 3 assists to their record. Here is a breakdown:
  • Brad Lukowich assisted on the opening goal in New Jersey's 3-1 win over visiting Philadelphia. Extremely cold as of late Lukowich ended a 10 game pointless streak. He now has 12 points in 71 games with the Devils this season.
  • Olli Jokinen assisted on the goal that forced OT in Florida's 3-2 home win. The assist, O-Jok's 47th of the season and 16th on the powerplay, lifted his production to 84 points in 78 games.
  • The night after he finally made it on to a Detroit boxscore Todd Bertuzzi netted his first goal as a Redwing. Detroit would eventually lose the game to the visiting Dallas Stars in the shootout, 4-3. The goal was Bertuzzi's second of the season. Including his pre-surgery numbers with Florida Bertuzzi has 10 points in 12 games (2 goals, 8 asssists) this season. Mathieu Schneider assisted on Detroit's third goal. The assist was Schneider's 41st of the year and 52nd point overall in only 65 games played.

Saturday night had 10 more games on schedule. For a recap check back soon with FIW.

Thursday March 29

Thursday was ripe with Former Islander action in the 8 contests around the league. FIs accounted for 3 goals, 5 assists and 2 wins in net. Here is the recap:

  • Alexei Zhitnik received the secondary assist on the OT powerplay game winner in Atlanta's 3-2 home win over Toronto. The assists was his 13th point in only 14 games since joining the Thrashers shortly before the trade deadline.
  • Todd Bertuzzi finally made it on to the boxscore for the Redwings tallying his first and second assists in his 4th game with Detroit. The Redwings won the thriller in Nashville 2-1. Chris Osgood backstopped Detroit to the win with 24 saves on 25 shots. Osgood's record soared to 10-3-5. Osgood now has double digit wins in 13 consecutive seasons. Osgood's 2.43 goals against average and .907 save percentage are especially impressive considering he has no shutouts this year.
  • Mark Parrish scored the final goal of the game in Minnesota's 4-2 home loss to the Calgary Flames. The tally was his 5th powerplay goal of the season. With the goal Parrish ended a 5 game pointless streak.
  • Vancouver edged host Los Angeles 4-2 on Thursday. Bryan Smolinski scored his 17th of the season to open the game. The powerplay goal was his 5th of the season and first as a Canuck. An overall disappointment since his deadline trade to Vancouver, Smolinski only has 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists) in 15 games since coming out West. Taylor Pyatt assisted on Smoke's powerplay goal and added his 21st of the season midway through the second period. In his first season with Vancouver Pyatt has 35 points in 72 games. Jamie Heward assisted on Los Angeles' first goal of the night on the powerplay. Heward now has 2 points in his last 2 games. Roberto Luongo stopped 32 of 34 shots to record his league leading 45th win of the season.

Friday was another action packed night with 8 more games on tap. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon.