Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Saturday October 6

A busy night around the NHL as 28 teams matched up in 14 highly intense, early season action. Former Islanders made their mark totalling 10 assists and 2 wins in net. Let us take a quick look:

* Tim Connolly assisted on Buffalo's second goal of the game in the Sabres 3-2 loss to the host Islanders. Connolly, who has had consecutive injury-plagued seasons, is looking to bounce back to form this year.

* Arron Asham assisted on the first Devils goal of the game while Panthers Captain Olli Jokinen assisted on the short-lived tying goal in New Jersey's 4-1 road win over Florida. After a career year, Jokinen is looking to lead Florida to the playoff promised land for the first time in recent memory. FI goaltender Kevin Weekes played formidably in his first start since joining the Devils. He stopped 32 of 33 shots and looks to provide solid backing for Martin Brodeur. Weekes is hoping to bounce back from his injury-plagued stint with the Rangers.

* FI Viktor Kozlov continues to show off with his new team, the Capitals, tallying an assist on the first goal of the game and Alex Ovechkin's first of the season in Washington's 2-0 shutout of the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. FI d-man John Erskine was credited with the secondary assist on that goal as well. Both are looking to help revitalize the lost Capitals franchise with Kozlov having already jump-started his sagging career in his 1-year stint with the Isles last season.

* A couple of big-time FI names made on impact on both sides of the scoresheet in Toronto's 4-3 OT win over the Montreal Canadiens. Bryan Smolinski notched his first point as a Canadien with an assist on the opening goal of the game. Brought in for veteran help, Smolinski is hoping to take Les Habs back to the playoffs after the team missed the postseason in what could only be viewed as a disappointing year. Bryan McCabe tallied his first assist of the season on the early tying goal (1-1). McCabe, as well, is looking to bring the Leafs back to the playoffs while trying to prove his more than just a point-accumulating, overpaid, defensive windbag (to put it nicely).

* Brent Sopel, who is now suiting up for the Chicago Blackhawks, assisted on Chicago's second goal in their 4-3 home SO win over the Detroit Redwings. With a newly formed team, it will be interesting how much play Sopel will get on the blueline for the Hawks.

* Roberto Luongo received his first point and his first win of the season in the same night. Luongo assisted on the second goal of Canucks goal of the game and bailed his team out with a 26 save performance in Vancouver's last second 4-3 OT against the host Calgary Flames. With the performance, Luongo pulled his record to 1-1-0.

* Captain Zdeno Chara and Co. beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 in the desert on Saturday. The Boston Bruins d-man notched his first assist, a powerplay point, on the first goal of the game. Chara, like some many other big name FIs, is trying to lead his team back to playoff contention.

Sunday would be considerably less active. Check back soon to FIW.

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