Happy New Year! Welcome back to Former Islander Watch as we track the progress of the league-wide FIs in the final half of the season. The first day of 2008 had 4 games up for contention including the outdoor Winter Classic game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, the first outdoor NHL game since 2003. Let us take a look at the FI efforts from January 1, 2008:
* Sabres' forward Tim Connolly assisted on the lone Buffalo goal as they dropped a 2-1 SO decision to the technically visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. An outdoor thriller that ended with a Sidney Crosby third round SO goal, TimCo assisted on the game tying 1:25 into the 2nd period. Connolly missed on his chance in the 2nd round of the SO frame. He now has 28 points (5 goals, 23 assists) on 31 games this year.
* Viktor Kozlov scored the first Capitals' goal as Washington and the Ottawa Senators again dueled it out in a score-a-thon. The Caps won 6-3 following an 8-6 win in their prior game, also against the Sens. Kozzer netted his 4th goal of the season. He has 24 points (4 goals, 20 assists) on 40 games. During his current 3 game scoring streak, Kozlov has 3 points on 1 goal and 2 assists.
* Jason Blake finally had a big night for Toronto. Blakey scored a goal and added 2 assists as the Maple Leafs managed a 4-3 SO win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. The goal was Blake's 6th of the season. He now has 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) on 40 games this year. Blake snapped an 8 game point-less streak, his 2nd longest of the season.
Check back soon with FIW because 2008 is just starting to heat up, even as the temperatures stay down.