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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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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The State of the Islanders... What Should Be Done?

It's been a tumultuous month of November for this team and everyone involved.

That's an understatement, I know, but what can be said by anyone writing a blog that doesn't involve swearing like a person possessed? Especially while watching a team that seems to be making all the wrong moves- to say nothing of that team's organization.

Consider that the Islanders have lost eleven straight games- a tremendous losing streak that started against the Florida Panthers (ironically, the team they will face tonight) and resulted in the firing of head coach Scott Gordon. In this losing streak, the Islanders have allowed 43 goals and forced only 16, including eight goals in the last eight games. In his last five starts, Dwayne Roloson has played admirably, facing an average of 30.2 shots per game and stopping, on average, 27.8 shots; however, he remains 2-8-1 while maintaining a save percentage for the season to date at .916. Rick DiPietro, meanwhile, has faced 30 shots per game and has saved fewer of them, at an average of 25.6 saves per start in his last five games. (That's nearly five goals allowed per game, as opposed to just over two goals allowed per game for Roli.) He was also in net the night of the Isles' 7-2 embarrassment against Carolina, as well as the 6-1 loss against Philadelphia. However, the lineup in front of both goaltenders has been unstable, with players popping on and off of the roster on a nearly game-to-game basis. Not to mention that at some points in the losses, not everyone was playing with one hundred percent effort, which can also hurt a goaltender's stats and confidence.

In any case, Gordon has been ousted (to remain with the Isles in an advisory capacity to GM Garth Snow, according to the organization), and in the aftermath of that news, former Isles PR rep turned blogger/journalist Chris Botta has had his credentials yanked and access to the team barred following some rather critical analysis of Snow and the Isles' moves. For that, the organization has come under fire in the past 48 hours, prompting many to wonder: What exactly are the Islanders trying to do?

And what are they doing, really? One has to question it, after letting go of Billy Jaffe and bringing in the legendary (yet less-than-critical) Butch Goring, and now pulling the credentials of a man who, sure, is by no means uncontroversial, but at the very least he pulls no punches regarding his opinions of the team and organization. After the events of this past offseason, the Islanders now look as though they're just trying to silence all critics rather than do anything to improve the on-ice product, and that is not the way to handle hardships. The fact remains that there is a long way to go as far as getting talent on the roster is concerned, not to mention getting players with sufficient experience, and if this is a means of taking eyes off of the state of the actual team... well, they really are doing themselves no favors. In fact, they're coming off more like the spoiled Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland than a viable, capable organization focused on improving things.

Bottom line? Let people keep their heads, and get your priorities in order. After all, we've got a losing streak going on here that shows no signs of losing steam.

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