Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday October 21

There were 5 more games on Tuesday night in the NHL with 3 more Former Islander noteworthies. Here is a quick look:

As the old Swahili saying goes, "Don't climb Kilimanjaro before the start of the NHL season". That adage seems to be holding true for Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara who is struggling to make an offensive impact early this season. He failed in an opportunity in the SO as his Bruins fell 3-2 to the host Buffalo Sabres. Chara came up in the 4th of 5 rounds of SO action with the chance to seal victory for the Bs only to be stuffed by Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller. The rejection continues a slow start for Chara who only has 2 assists on 6 games and has failed to register a point in his last 3 starts. He currently has a -3 rating and has taken 10 shots to no avail. Things will hopefully turn around for Chara soon.

Roberto Luongo where art thou? Luongo was ineffective yet again on Tuesday as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the visiting Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Luongo lost for the 2nd straight game and 3rd time in 4 starts to fall to 3-3-0 on the season. After starting the season off with a shutout and back-to-back wins, Luongo has been pretty helpless with a combination of poor play and the trademark lack of Canucks offense. But it is not all about goal scoring since Luongo has an unusually high 3.34 goals against average and an anorexic .889 save percentage. Luongo stopped 29 of 32 shots but has just not looked like the captain with his recent play. After sealing up his 200th win on October 16 against the Detroit Red Wings Luongo seems stalled.

Atlanta d-man Mathieu Schneider is a gentleman and at 39 years old he is also a specimen of hockey days of yore, kind of like a fossil to be examined. The real mystery is how does a player drafted in 1987 keep going like there is no tomorrow? And how does he get consistently downgraded in team quality (Detroit to Anaheim to Atlanta)? Life is unfair but Schneider never gives up. Schneider, making the best of a bad situation, registered an assist on the game tying goal with about 35 seconds left in regulation as the Thrashers eventually fell to the host Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in OT. The Tampa win finally gave new coach Barry "The Mullet" Melrose his first victory with the Lightning. But who cares about Vinny Lecavalier or Steven "Invisible Man" Stamkos or Ilya Kovalchuk, for FIW the main event in Atlanta for the time being will be Mathieu. Schneids has 2 assists on 6 games this season snapping a 2 game point-less streak. Also of note, for the first time this season Schneider did not register any penalty minutes after racking up 12 in the first 5 tilts.

Check back soon for more updates at FIW.

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