Last night was Josh Bailey's night [post-game video below], what with the five points and all, but Kyle Okposo reached 20 goals on the season for the first time -- something of a surprise given his start to the year which at one point included a week watching games from the press box.
It's the 37th time since 1999-2000 the New York Islanders have had a 20-goal scorer, and Okposo is one of 19 different Islanders to manage the modest milestone since we hit Y2K without infrastructure collapse and voltage spikes.
Focusing on any hockey card round number such as this is a bit of a house of cards (as Blake Comeau's 24 goals last season reminds us), but no matter how it end, no matter how it starts, it's still fun to look back at the names of the recent company Okposo now joins:
1999-00: Mariusz Czerkawski (35 goals), Brad Isbister (22)
2000-01: Czerkawski (30), Dave Scatchard (21)
2001-02: Alexei Yashin (32), Mark Parrish (30), Michael Peca (25), Czerkawski (22)
2002-03: Scatchard (27), Yashin (26), Jason Blake (25), Parrish (23)
2003-04: Czerkawski (25), Trent Hunter (25), Parrish (24), Blake (22)
2005: Denial. Denial.
2005-06: Miroslav Satan (35), Yashin (28), Blake (28), Parrish (24)
2006-07: Blake (40), Satan (27), Mike Sillinger (26), Viktor Kozlov (25), Hunter (20)
2007-08: Bill Guerin (23), Mike Comrie (21)
2008-09: Fall off the table. Get swept under.
2009-10: Matt Moulson (30), John Tavares (24)
2010-11: Michael Grabner (34), Moulson (31), Tavares (29), Blake Comeau (24), P.A. Parenteau (20)
Of course this season Okposo joins Moulson and Tavares again, and Michael Grabner and Frans Nielsen (17 goals each) have a very outside chance of joining them. Whatever happens, there is not likely to be five 20-goal scorers like last year.
- Last night's game: From LHH (that's us!) | Newsday | Hornick's Skinny | Eyes on the Isles | 7th Woman |
- The 0-for-2 against the Isles didn't just cost the Penguins the Atlantic title -- it also jeopardizes home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Philly comin'.
- As expected, Kevin Poulin returns to Bridgeport for their playoff push and weekend of games. Begun, the John Grahame Era has. Grahame will wear #37, because A-Mac has his usual number.
- Will Okposo's milestone dupe fantasy players into rating him higher for next year? The answer, as always, depends on Frans Nielsen. Play with Frans, and merciful things happen. Even when he's going backward.
- Ryan Strome was OHL Player of the Week, but his Niagara IceDogs are in a, um, dogfight with Oshawa. Series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 Saturday night.
- Maybe one day Brock Nelson is in this tourney: The Hockey News Name Tournament: Round 1 - The Hockey News
- Raw Charge interviews Patrick Burke on the "You Can Play" initiative
- On where to shot block, where to defer.
- A somewhat serious but somewhat not list of GM candidates for the Montreal Canadiens. I nominated a goalie.