Remember when Jason Chimera wasn't a productive New York Islander? That is a thing of the past, as the veteran has found himself during this recent hot streak.
Chimera scored the Islanders' fourth goal in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets when he tried to send a cross ice pass through the neutral zone, but it was broken up. The puck bounced back to him, so he skated into the high slot and ripped a wrister to beat Sergei Bobrovsky on his glove side.
The 37-year-old Chimera, who signed a two-year deal with New York last summer, has scored five of his 10 goals over the last seven games, as the Islanders have 11 points during that stretch.
I was beating up on Chimera pretty badly at the onset of the season. Despite this being his 17th season in the league, Chimera's skating has always been phenomenal, and he was coming off a 20-goal season with the Washington Capitals. But early on, he didn't seem to have his usual jump and just couldn't find much success in a constant lineup shuffle.
That has all changed now. Chimera is skating like himself again, forcing the puck forward to the offensive zone and doing a great job on the forecheck. He's cashing in his opportunities when he gets them and seems to finally be comfortable in his new surroundings.
We don't often think about the human element when a veteran struggles. Chimera was in Washington for the last seven seasons, and finding a new routine with a new group of guys -- especially this late in a career -- can sometimes take a while. Maybe he just needed to find a rhythm here in New York? Whatever the case may be, Chimera's been one of the Islanders' best forwards over this hot streak, and he's redeeming Garth Snow for the two-year investment the general manager made in him.