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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.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time For a New Mentality

"There is an important difference between giving up and letting go."
- Jessica Hatchigan

Nine games remain in the NHL season, and the Islanders can very well lose every single one of them. The playoffs at this moment seem like a distant, lovely dream, yet this team continues to scratch, claw and cling to the thought that they have a chance- while they stand in 13th place, last in their division with 71 points, nine out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. And although nothing is set in stone, it seems highly unlikely that this team will get anywhere close.

It's partly because of self-inflicted wounds- games they could have won and lost, game they had in hand and dropped, flubbed comebacks, squandered leads, an overall sense of giving up later on. But it's not only that. The list of injuries to this team is staggering at the moment:
Jon Sim (knee, only played 2-3 games)
Chris Campoli (shoulder- surgery, out for season)
Mike Sillinger (hip- surgery, out for season)
Andy Sutton (hamstring)
Bruno Gervais (concussion/thigh contusion)
Andy Hilbert (ankle)
Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder, likely out for season)
Brendan Witt (knee, no longer able to play effectively- likely out for season)

Four of the injured are the top four defensemen on the team, which is the reason why the defense has been very shaky as of late. A top penalty killer, two shot blockers, the top faceoff player, an effective offensive defenseman- these are all damaging losses, and the players brought in, no matter who, can't make up for them.

As for the replacements, they have made this team very much resemble the team in 2005-06- full of Bridgeport callups. Steve Regier, Ben Walter, Blake Comeau, Jeff Tambellini, Tim Jackman. And now, most recently, Kyle Okposo, making his NHL debut tonight against Toronto. The best thing now would be to get these guys a lot of ice-time, seeing as they deserve the look- last game, many of these guys were playing their hardest (Tambellini, Comeau and Sean Bergenheim in particular) and have been sharp.

Most of all, the whole team has to change their mentality. It's not about giving up, and losing the rest of the season for some draft pick- hopefully Ted Nolan and the boys have a lot more pride than that. It's about letting go- throwing off the pressure and just having fun. These guys did, after all, fall in love with hockey that way, no? Christine puts it best: "They need to [in effect] die and be reborn." Let go of the rest of the season. Play like you've already got what you want, and not like you still think you can get it. Have fun out there. And next season, come out strong, sure, and confident- and watch what happens.

Jessica Hatchigan knew what she was talking about in that quote- besides, letting go sounds a lot more dignified.

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