Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Former Islander Duds

As we cross the midpoint of the season, we here at FIW would like to highlight some of the Former Islander duds. While the NHL swarms with high intensity conference competition and possibly the most intense offensive talent since the end of the lockout, in no particular order these Former Islanders are treading water:

1. Arron Asham (RW, NJ) - Signed by New Jersey in the postseason, Asham was supposed to bring his size, toughness and a bit of offensive ability to the Devils. Aside from being 2nd on the team in penalty minutes, Asham has failed to bring much to the table. On 40 games, Asham has a pale 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists). At one time this season, Asham went 19 straight games without a point. Having reached the 20+ point category each of his last 4 seasons, Asham is on pace for 16 this season.

2. Alexei Zhitnik (D, ATL) - After coming to Atlanta late last season, his 3rd team following the Isles and Flyers, Zhitnik went on a tear with 14 points on 18 games. This season, not so much. Zhitnik has 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) on 44 games this season. His 32 game point-less streak earlier in the season was the longest of his career. He is a -8 with only 38 penalty minutes and is currently tied with 5 other players for 13th overall in Thrashers' scoring.

3. Viktor Kozlov (C, WAS) - Despite being tied for 4th on the team in points, Kozlov has been an offensive letdown for the Capitals. Kozzer has only 4 goals on 42 games this season going 23 games at one point with one. Having been demoted from the Ovechkin line, Kozlov continues to struggle. A 51 point scorer last season for the Isles, Kozlov is looking to scrape by a 45 point effort with less than 10 goals, a considerable downsize from his career reviving 25 last year.

* Jeff Hamilton (RW, CAR) After a fast start, winger Hamilton has cooled off big time for the Hurricanes. Signed in the postseason following an impressive 70 game performance with the Blackhawks in 2006-07, Hamilton started off strong with 15 of his 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) on the first 22 games. It has been the last 20 where he has notched only 1 assist that has been most frustrating for Hamilton and Carolina. Currently, Hamilton would need a small miracle to repeat the breakout 39 point performance he had last season.

* Vancouver Canucks FIs (LW, C, LW) - Every Vancouver FI (Taylor Pyatt, Trevor Linden, Brad Isbister), excepting goaltender Roberto Luongo, has been a disappointment this season. That is all you need to know.

* Jason Blake (LW, TOR) - Currently tied for 3rd on Toronto in points (27), Blake could not find net for 18 games at one point this season then followed it up with a recent 8 game drought. Now we make exception for Blake being a trooper and playing through illness but Blake is well below the torrid 40 goal pace he had last season. As stands, Blake would eke out 16 goals. Worse still, Blake is currently 5th in the league in shots netting goals at a 4.4 percent average.

* Eric Brewer (D, STL) - Hampered for a couple of weeks by an injury, Brewer has never seemed to have regained his form. He is out of the top 10 in Blues' scoring with only 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists) on 35 games. A 29 point scorer last year, Brewer is struggling to find the scoresheet.

* Ryan Smyth (LW, COL) - Injured. 'Nuff said.

* Derek Armstrong (C, LA) - Expected to be an offensive leader for this inexperienced Kings squad, Armstrong has been having a nightmare season. Finally finding the goal in game 28, Armstrong has a sickly 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) on 44 games. He sits 9th on the team in scoring, only 1 point ahead of defenseman Tom Preissing.

We are sure we missed some but ah well. Hope you enjoyed the list. Check back soon for more updates and news as it breaks here at FIW.

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