Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tuesday April 1

With only 6 days left to the NHL season things are madness as many teams are still scrambling to lock up a playoff spot or to insure some higher positioning in the standings. There were 9 games on an unbelievably Tuesday night around the league. Former Islanders are lending their support to contenders and also-rans alike. Let us look at the FI contributions:

* Olli Jokinen opened the scoring 4:10 into play snapping a 3 game goal and point drought. The goal was on the powerplay and kickstarted a 3-2 Florida Panthers' win over the host Atlanta Thrashers. O-Jok now has 71 points (34 goals, 37 assists) on 80 games. He has 18 goals this season on the man advantage doubling his effort from last season.

* Viktor Kozlov assisted on the game winning powerplay goal with 59 seconds left in the 1st period as the Washington Capitals pulled off a must win 4-1 victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. The win evened the Southeast Division battle as the Caps and 'Canes each have 90 points. Carolina currently holds the advantage with more wins. Kozzer has 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points on 79 games. The 52 points surpasses last year's career resurging 51 point effort with the Isles. Kozlov is officially having the 3rd most productive point season of his career and his best since 2002-03 when he had 56 points with the Florida Panthers. Additionally, he has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) with the extra man this year.

* Jason Blake had a powerplay helper on Toronto's 2nd goal as the host Maple Leafs fell to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in SO. Blake added to his season high assists total and now has 15 goals and 36 assists for 51 points on 80 games. Over the last 6 contests he has 6 points on 2 goals and 4 assists. He has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) this season on the man advantage with those assists tying his previous season high from the 2005-06 season with the Isles.

* Defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored an important powerplay goal as the Calgary Flames edged the host Edmonton Oilers 3-2. The win nearly sealed a playoff spot for the Flames while officially eliminating the Oilers from contention. Aucoin now has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points on 75 games. He has 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) on the man advantage. For the 5th time on his career, and the first since the 2002-03 season with the Isles, Aucoin has 10+ goals on a season.

* Roberto Luongo did not play up to par as the Vancouver Canucks dropped an important 4-2 decision the visiting Colorado Avalanche. The victory sealed a playoff spot for the Avs but dropped the Canucks into 9th play in the West. Luongo faced only 20 shots but stopped a mere 16. He dropped to 35-27-9 on the season with an increasingly bloating 2.35 goals against average and a shrinking .918 save percentage. Maybe not making the playoffs will mean more time with his newborn child. Otherwise Vancouver needs to pick up the play. One player who has is Trevor Linden who had an assist on the opening goal of the game. Linden now has 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) on 57 games. He has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) over the last 2 contests including a game winning goal.

* Derek Armstrong had an assist for the Kings as Los Angeles fell to the mighty host San Jose Sharks, a team that has gone unbeaten in regulation for their last 20 games (18-0-2). The Kings all but assured their 30th place finish with the loss. Armstrong has 8 goals and 26 assists for 34 points on 75 games.

Check in soon as we continue to track the FIs around the NHL as the 2007-08 draws closer to an end.

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