Is it mid-November already? Wow time really does fly. We are now over halfway between Canadian Thanksgiving Day and the superior American version. Sorry Canada. Anyhoo, Wednesday featured 7 NHL games with Former Islanders making efforts in 5 of those contests. Here is a recap of the FI happenings:
If only Buffalo center Tim Connolly could stay healthy for extended periods of time than he would be among the elite point getters in the league. Seriously! He can run at nearly a point-per-pace when some body part is nagging him or threatening to fall off. Yet irony has it that Connolly left last night's game after a hard check due to a "bruised upper body" injury. However last night was still pretty good for TimCo as he banged home his second goal of the season as well as an assist to help lead the Sabres to a 4-3 home win over the St. Louis Blues. Connolly has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points on 5 games. As well, he has registered 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) over the last 3 contests. We hope the injury to Tim is only temporary.
To say Devils' goaltender Kevin Weekes has not lived up to expectations/hopes would be an understatement. Then again how much expectation can you have for any New Jersey goalie after Martin Brodeur had played 98% of the team's games over the last 3 decades? Weekes took the loss against the visiting New York Rangers surrendering 4 goals on 25 shots as the Blueshirts walked away with a 5-2 victory. Weekes was pulled after 2 periods and replaced with 3rd stringer-and-rising Scott Clemmensen. Weekes fell to 1-3-0 on the season while his save percentage dropped to .874 and his goals against average bloated to 3.06. Time is running out for Weekes to prove he can take the helm in net for a Devils squad in unknown territory.
Defenseman Bryan McCabe scored his first goal as a Panther, a game winner, to help lead Florida to a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Playing in only his 5th game with the Panthers due to injury McCabe knocked home the winner 16:33 in to the 1st period. He now has 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points on 5 games and has managed a goal and an assist over the last 2. The game winner was the 21st of his career and extends McCabe's consecutive seasons with at least one winning tally to 9.
Nobody is quite sure when Boston defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara will break out of his early season offensive slump but Chara did at least make it to the scorecard. Chare registered a powerplay helper on the lone Boston goal of regulation as the Bruins edged the host Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in SO. The boston tally came with only 54 seconds remaining in the 2nd period. Chara now has 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points on 15 games this season.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo topped his own shutout streak going 242 minutes and 36 seconds before surrendering a goal early in the 3rd period snapping his chance for his 4th straight shutout as the Canucks fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in SO. Last season Luongo set the franchise record at 212 minutes and 12 seconds topping that time by over half a game on Wednesday night. Luongo stopped 33 of 34 shots between regulation and OT but only 1 of 3 in the SO to take the OT loss. Luongo now has a 9-5-1 record on the season with a tidy 2.23 goals against average and a steadily rising .924 save percentage. Luongo is 3-0-1 over his last 4 starts. Scoring the lone goal for the Canucks was winger Taylor Pyatt who netted his score on a penalty shot only 2:43 in to the 2nd period. Pyatt stopped on his attempt in the 2nd round of the SO. T-Py now has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points on 16 games. Pyatt has stepped it up as of late with 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) over his last 7 games.
Check back soon for more recaps and updates at FIW.