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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Try not. Do...or do not.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Wake Up, Wake Up, This Saturday Afternoon

Isles 1 : Kings 3

Take a hockey team. Add lack of confidence, stir in some bad passes, the flu bug, and liberally sprinkle some penalties on top, mix and let sit for sixty minutes. If it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, don't be alarmed... it's not meant to be good.

Another home game went for naught last night at Nassau Coliseum, as the Los Angeles Kings triumphed over them, 3-1, in a game that made the visiting team- by no means incredibly talented- look good. Tons of penalties, plus an aggravating lack of shooting the puck from the center, left the Islanders hapless and hopeless, out of the top 8 with a Rangers win. But of course, seeing as it's January, that is not the point of the story.

The point is that last night's game was an opportunity to help the Isles boost their confidence against a Western Conference team, in a solid, if perhaps boring, game. Not the case. Not only was it sleep-inducing, it was sloppy and about as bad a game as the Isles have played to date. They typically gave up the first goal, on a rebound by Matt Moulson. About four minutes later, however, Bryan Berard cleanly stripped Lubomir Vishnovsky as he attempted a cross-ice pass, putting the puck past a splayed Jason LaBarbera to even the score. However, that would be all she wrote as LaBarbera (28 svs) won the battle of the goaltenders; meanwhile, although starting goalie Wade Dubielewicz (in relief for Rick DiPietro who has flu symptoms; 24 svs) played well, he couldn't save them all, and his teammates weren't doing him any favors. The frustrated glare on Ted Nolan's face said it all. But some wonder... is he doing enough to get this team motivated?

My thoughts? Maybe not. There needs to be some form of tough love to get these guys to wake up- in the form of benchings (the right guys, Ted, not Sean Bergenheim, who shows you hard work night in and night out), scratches, demotions if necessary- maybe even full practices or stationary bike rides after the game a la Brent Sutter. My point is, something has to be changed here, something that will wake this team up and make them realize that now is not the time to be experiencing a meltdown- not when there are 31 games left and we need to fight for every point if we want the playoffs, which I am sure these guys do. We're quite a ways from those four and five game win or points streaks, and as long as the out-of-town scores are working against us, we can't count on them. For once, I would like to see this team control its own destiny and guarantee a trip to the playoffs. Too early to say it? Maybe, but it's never too early to start winning. So go into Montreal tomorrow afternoon and make something good happen, boys. (REMINDER, the game starts at 2 p.m. tomorrow, not 7-7:30, so be ready to DVR if you can't watch it.)

1 comment:

ChristineOnTheNYIslesScene said...

The LA game was not boring to watch…it was painful. Painful watching the Isles yet again make another team appear better than they really are while making themselves appear less talented than they really are. But the season is far from over, the Isles will turn things around.