Janikowski kicked that week in a win over the Jets, then kicked again in Foxborough in the snow against the Patriots (a fairly infamous game in franchise history). A year later, he kicked in the Super Bowl. During those two postseasons, he was 11 of 12 on field goals and 12 of 12 on extra points. From then until his back injury kept him out all of last year, he missed only one game in 14 seasons.
He’s 11th all time in career scoring and 10th all time in field goals made. He shared the record for the longest field goal at 63 yards until Matt Prater hit his 64-yarder in 2013. He tried a 64-yarder in 2007, in Oakland against the Texans. He hit the upright … halfway up the upright.
Janikowski never had an Adam Vinatieri moment (he just had to witness the ultimate one that snowy night in 2002). He only made one Pro Bowl. He did a lot of his work off the dirt infield at ancient dual-purpose Oakland Coliseum. He built that legend in his own way.
He turns 40 in two weeks. He outlasted the old, less-complimentary legend of his early days. Long kicks are a great legacy. An unexpectedly long career is even better.
Like the Devils, the Islanders (29-26-7) also have a red-hot player in rookie Mathew Barzal. The Calder Trophy favorite recorded three points in Toronto to move past All-Star teammate John Tavares as the club’s leading scorer with 65 points, which is also tops among all NHL rookies. His 48 assists are tied for fifth most in the entire league.
He’s been playing really well for us all season, Islanders forward Josh Bailey said of Barzal. He’s so crafty, and he’s able to create space for himself and his linemates, and you can see the results.
Bailey also is in the midst of an excellent season with 47 assists and 62 points. On Thursday, the Islanders rewarded Bailey with a six-year, $30-million contract extension.