Cheers to everybody adding FanPosts and FanShots on an otherwise quiet day. If you haven't looked around, we've got:
Hans und Franz's take on the HF Top 20 ... if you saw prospect listOn the Forecheck's list of "least valuable" NHLers, you can discuss the Islanders members (three!) here ... and Freddy Meyer's hit has put Mikael Samuelsson out for an estimated three weeks. ... Meanwhile, despite missing a big chunk of the season, Travis Hamonic was named to the WHL's Eastern Conference 2nd All-Star Team.
Friday night's opponent has seen its playoff chances nosedive since the Olympics; they'll be without suspended James Wisniewski (a loss of debatable impact) Friday and for seven more games because of this hit, which Coach Q called the most dangerous in the history of the game (hyperbole much?) ... Then there's next week's Islanders-Rangers game at the Garden in 3-D. Are you excited? Will you even have the 3-D option available?
And now, some quick counting stats: No Islander is going to match the 56 points Mark Streit compiled last season to lead the 2008-09 club, but the top three Islanders scorers this season -- Streit not among them (he's fourth) -- all have more points than the 39 second-ranked Kyle Okposo had last season (Moulson has 43, Tavares 42, Okposo 41). Josh Bailey's 32 points are already seven better than his rookie total; Blake Comeau's 28 are three ahead of last year; Frans Nielsen (31) is two points off his total last year and should easily eclipse that. On the flip-side: Sean Bergenheim (6-8-14) is 10 points shy of last year's output, though he's played seven fewer games.
... The Islanders had eight double-digit goal scorers last season (including Bill Guerin); they have eight now, Trent Hunter (9 goals) should be the ninth, and Rob Schremp (7) likely would've been the tenth had he not been injured. Jeff Tambellini would have been another had he ... played. Richard Park is two shy of 10 (he had 14 last year).
Speaking of Tambellini: Katie Strang reported lines from practice in California that included Tambellini on Tavares and Comeau's left wing, with Matt Moulson on Frans and Sim's left wing. She also said Okposo skated in a non-contact sweater, so I'm not taking those lines seriously. Strang also said Doug Weight's surgery went fine today.
Finally, on the checking-from-behind topic, an interesting look at the causes of neck/spinal injuries in Canadian amateur hockey in a FanPost over at Copper & Blue. Carry on then...