Former Islander Watch has reached another milestone: 200 posts. To many that may seem like myriad postings on useless hockey inanity, but we here at FIW respectfully disagree. This site is a beacon of Former Islander knowledge, a chance for the respected minority, the FIs around the league to get their recognition considering they help turn the wheels of so many teams from highest contender to lowliest bottom feeder. (Was it not FIW that bemoaned the complete lack of playing time for Chris Osgood last off-season, a move that very well might have cost the Red Wings the Cup?) Anyway, thank you for reading. Now let us get to the recaps.
FIs were playing their parts in many of the 7 games around the NHL on Wednesday night. Let us take a look at their efforts:
* Tim Connolly likes scoring. Who also likes doing it against the Islanders. TimCo notched an assist on the insurance goal as the Buffalo Sabres downed the visiting Long Island squad 5-3. On pace for a personal best season, Connolly has 23 points 4 goals and 9 assists on 24 games this season.
* Martin Straka had a good night as the New York Rangers scraped out a point in a 5-4 OT road loss to the Washington Capitals. Straka, who saw his playing time earlier in the season hampered by an injury, now has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) on 16 games. Straka snapped an 11 game goal-less streak that dated back to October 12. He also snapped a recent 4 game point-less streak. It was Straka's first multi-goal night since February 12 of last season. Caps' forward Viktor Kozlov had an assist on the team's 4th goal. Recently announced that he was no longer on the same line as Ovechkin, Kozlov is still doing well for himself. He has assists in 3 consecutive games and now has 18 points (3 goals, 15 assists) on 31 games.
* FI Petteri Nokelainen opened the scoring as the Boston Bruins beat the host Atlanta Thrashers 5-3. It was the second goal in 6 games for Nokelainen who now has 2 points on 18 games this year. It seems as if the Bruins are going to give Nokelainen limited ice time to see what he can do.
* Randy Robitaille assisted on Ottawa's third goal as the Senators blanked the host Carolina Hurricanes 6-0. Robitaille now has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) on 20 games.
* Brent Sopel had a footnote assist as the Chicago Blackhawks knocked the Los Angeles Kings around for a 6-3 win. Sopel assisted on the 2nd goal of the game. Sopel snapped a 4 game point-less streak and now has 7 assists on 27 games this year.
* Taylor Pyatt had an assist on the game winning goal as the Vancouver Canucks beat the host Anaheim Ducks 3-2 despite the loss of injured starting goaltender, FI Roberto Luongo. T-Py assisted on the first career goal by rookie Jason Jaffray. Pyatt has 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) on 31 games this season. Over the last 6 games, T-Py has 7 points on 2 goals and 5 assists. Ducks' d-man Mathieu Schneider, the focus of a lot of trade rumors, had the too-little-too-late goal with 1:31 left in regulation. The goal was Schneider's 5th of the season. He now has 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) on 18 games. Over the last 5 games, Schneids has 6 points on 3 goals and 3 assists.
Check back soon. Trade rumors are heating up, action is intensifying and FIs are more focused than ever.