TORONTO - The New York Islanders have struggled to produce goals this year, but two veteran forwards on the team are doing more than their fair share.
Centre Doug Weight is on pace for his best season in nearly 10 years, while fellow American, good friend and linemate Bill Guerin is also helping make the Isles' attack a little less anemic.
"I just feel strong," said Weight, whose team entered its Monday night game against Toronto having scored a league-low 32 even-strength goals this year. "I feel like I'm skating better than I have in a long time. I'm refreshed mentally and physically, I feel real good and I want to continue to try and help this team win."
The 37-year-old Weight, who signed a one-year deal with the Islanders as a free agent last summer, is truly having a renaissance season. With an assist in Monday's 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, Weight now has five goals and 20 assists in 27 games - putting him on pace for a 75-point season.
The last time he posted that many was during the 2000-01 campaign, when he had 90 in his final season with the Edmonton Oilers. Last year, in 67 games with St. Louis and Anaheim, Weight scored just 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists).
"It's been a fun change for me coming to the Island and I've been treated with a lot of respect and given a lot of responsibility and I've thrived on that throughout my career and that hasn't changed," said Weight, who was a late-season pickup for the Carolina Hurricanes during their 2006 Stanley Cup run.
"It's exciting for me, but you smile a lot more when you win, so we want to start winning more than we lose and I'm going to try to do whatever I can to help that."
Weight's assist versus the Leafs leaves him just six points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career. He will become just the eighth American-born player to reach that milestone.
Guerin, meanwhile, is tracking another 30-goal season at age 38. The right winger and Islanders captain scored his 11th goal of the season versus Toronto, tying him for the team lead with Trent Hunter.
Weight and Guerin have an extensive history together, having played on the same line in St. Louis and Edmonton before re-uniting on the Isles' top unit this season.
"We're great friends, but you've got to have more than that on the ice," said Weight, who has at least one point in 10 of his last 12 games and 39 points in 39 career meetings with the Leafs. "We compliment each other on the ice well, we know where each other is going and we enjoy playing with each other."