Each year ‘round about this time we show up here and find a handful of skaters who are still residing Schnide Island…that tiny spec of land that sits smack-dab in the middle of the vast expanse of the Ocean of Zilch. A place no player wants to inhabit and longs to escape if they find themselves on it.
Rookie Evander Kane obvioulsy had heard of the place and wanted nothing of it, scoring his first NHL goal in St. Louis during his second ever game.
To have their tickets punched to leave The Schnide, all they need do is deposit the biscuit into the basket and remove the big goose egg from the goals column of their stat sheet. One by one they’ll do so, depart and the population dwindles down until there is but one remaining on the Isle of Schnide.
After last Tuesday, when Bryan Little joined Pavel Kubina on the boat ferrying them away from the island, we are now down to six…four forwards and a pair of blueliners…remaining. Which will be the one left all alone in the coming weeks after the other five have score their way off the island?
Let’s meet the remaining contestants, shall we?
Marty Reasoner: The center who so far has produced 4 assists and is a +3 with 6 shots on goal. Marty’s work in the defensive zone is outstanding, same true with his penalty kill efforts. But he’s still looking for goal number one. Last year this came on opening night during the 7-4 win over Washington…the second goal of the game to give the Thrashers a 2-0 first period lead.
Nik Antropov: The summertime UFA signee whose 12 assists are tops in Thrasherville. The Big A is a +2 so far and has taken 9 SOG. A dozen helpers after just 11 games will certainly make a new guy very popular in the locker room as well as the fans. Last season he was able to crinkle the net for the first time his fifth game of the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs…a power play goal in the first period of a game the Leafs would lose to Pittsburgh by the score of 4-1.
Slava Kozlov: The veteran who, to be quite honest with you, is probably the one forward without a goal that I’m the most concerned about. Like Reasoner, he’s accounted for 4 assists, is a –1 and his 19 shots on goal are tied with Bryan Little for sixth most on the team. He’s looked a step off of his game and one has to wonder whether or not his 37-years of age are catching up with him…though I will say that he’s in incredible shape, 37-years old or not. Last season, like Reasoner, he sounded the horn on opening night…a second period power play goal that made the score 4-2 in favor of Atlanta at the time.
Who will be the last off of Schnide Island?
Total Voters: 92
Jim Slater: He started on opening night, but when Colby Armstrong returned for game two, he sat out until Kaptain Kovalchuk went down. He’s played in but four games so far with no points on 6 shots with an EVEN +/- rating. Since his return to play last week, he’s provided the usual amount of hustle and effort we’ve come to appreciate from him…but Jimmy is none-the-less an official resident of Schnide Island. Last year his first goal came in the seventh game during a 5-3 loss in Detroit…it tied things up at 1-1 just 12:33 after Henrik Zetterberg’s goal 132 second into the game.
Christoph Schubert: He has started 9 games on the Thrashers’ blueline…has one assists and an EVEN rating. When looking at the stats, I was a bit surprised to see that Schubie is averaging more than a shot per game…11 in fact. Last season while playing for Ottawa, he scored his first goal of the year during his sixth game in Buffalo. It gave the Senators a 1-0 lead in the first period while on the power play and the Sens went on to a 5-2 win.
Toby Enstrom: And finally, the young defenseman who fortunately is showing no signs of any lingering effects from the facial fractures suffered last spring in the World Championships. Toby has chipped in with 7 assists, is a +1 and has gotten off 13 shots playing in all 11 games this season. Game number 13 was when he stepped off Schnide Island last fall…scoring the winning goal of a 4-3 comeback win against…well…the Islanders.
So, Thrasherville…which of these half-dozen will be the last off of Schnide Island?