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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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Monday, November 23, 2009

Unlucky Number 2?

It was bound to happen. I knew it would. Every time I get someone's shirt or jersey, they end up having a hard time on the Island.

It happened when I got Brendan Witt's #32 jersey. I loved the guy's candor, work ethic, and unorthodox leadership. When I started donning the #32, he started to tail off a bit. Now, fans have gone from loving the guy to speculating (maybe even hoping) he'll be put on the trade block.

Now, it seems to be happening again... to Mark Streit.

The guy had a wonderful year last year (granted, on a sub-par team), capped off by an All-Star nod and being among the top-scoring defensemen in the NHL. He also factored heavily in the late-season development of Bruno Gervais. I got his T-shirt when I went to the NHL Store in August with Christine, hoping for more of the same, but although he has 11 points for the Isles and remains their top defenseman (save for the surge of Andy Sutton), he hardly seems the same Mark Streit as last season. His skating seems to be off, he's taking many more penalties than usual, and he's making mistakes that just don't seem, well, Streit-like.

What gives? Injury? Exhaustion, maybe, seeing as he's hardly had a break? He did go from playing for the Isles to playing for Switzerland in the World Cup, back to logging huge amounts of ice time for Scott Gordon this year. Is it that he can't handle it? Could he be suffering still from the groin injury he sustained during last season? Who knows?

Whatever the case, he's certainly not telling, but his play is. And after I walked around Manhattan- blue-blooded Ranger country- proudly wearing my Streit tee, I hope he gets it together fast. He's our top D and we need him to be on his A game. If that means cutting his ice time, or giving him a night or two off, then maybe Scott Gordon should look into that and be proactive about it; something tells me Streit won't be the guy to ask for it himself.

All I can say is, I hope my Tavares shirt isn't jinxed either, or we may be in trouble on the Island.

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