The Islanders, after riding a three game win streak, were brought back to earth last night with a 5-2 loss to the Devils. They face the Sabres and Canadiens next with a chance for redemption on Monday night in Montreal after that heart-breaking loss to the Habs a couple of weeks ago. The Habs are still struggling a little so the motivation for the Islanders is to not be the springboard to confidence for the Canadiens because if they don't play a solid game the Canadiens have the skill to make it ugly.
Speaking of the Canadiens, it appears they are very much still in the hunt for Mats Sundin. No surprise really. Montreal has shown a very strong interest from the get go and I didn't think that acquiring Lang when Sundin wouldn't commit made any difference. When he comes back, he's still going to dominate like very few can. The fact that Montreal have not been playing great as of late only intensifies the desire to get him. Bob Gainey will have to do some wheeling and dealing to make room, salary cap wise, for Sundin but you can bet he'll do it.
I saw reporter Bob McKeown, from CBC television's The Fifth Estate talking on The Score about an upcoming report that deals with concussions. McKeown, former a Canadian Football League player, talks about a report compiled for insurance companies in the US that basically says that former NFL players can only qualify for insurance up to age 52 because of such a low life expectancy. One of the biggest contributing factors to this low number according to the report is brain trauma due to concussions suffered over the course of a playing career.
The report should be mandatory reading for NHL players who continue to deliver dangerous head shots. The latest was to Islander Frans Nielsen by New Jersey Devil defenceman Mike Mottau. It was a brutal elbow that left the young forward laid out on the ice. He also suffered a leg injury on the play. It was every bit as bad as the hit Thomas Pock put on Ryan Shannon of the Senators yet instead of trying to send a strong message to reiterate that head shots are not wanted in the game, the NHL suspends Mottau for two games. It's a joke.
Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca has an excellent article on the subject here. Give it a read.