Our buddy Jason from 3rd String Safety left us this comment last night regarding the Islanders-Capitals game...
Excuse this comment for being totally irrelevant to the post but I went to a hockey game for the first time in a while tonight and I had several observations.- The Nassau Colosseum is a dump. A total dump. Sitting in my row I felt like a prisoner, I couldn't lift my hands to clap because my arms were wedged in between my body as my friends had jacked the arm rest space.- Our friend Anthony didn't know the "Don't leave or go back to your seat" until there's a whistle etiquette rule. It was amusing to watch him get yelled at for walking up the stairs as he's holding his $18 nachos.- I would describe the atmosphere as dead. Bryan I am truly sorry you're an Islander fan. The crowd cheered more for the Ice Girls (who I would compare to the WCW Nitro Girls) than anything else. When the game went into OT it just seemed everyone was waiting for inevitable gut wrenching loss.
These are points I'm not prepared to argue right now. Why? Because he's right.
OK, the $18 nachos is a bit inaccurate. (Though they are really good.) But he has every right to take these shots at the Islanders. Sure, it's annoying that everybody dumps on the Islanders. Then again, they're a bit of an easy target these days.
I'll be completely honest and state that I didn't even watch the final two periods of last night's game. The first period was everything I thought it would be. I assumed the Coliseum would be half-empty, and I was right. I assumed Scott Gordon would stubbornly stick with Joey MacDonald, even though he has a 4.67 goals against average in December, and I was right. I assumed the Islanders would fall behind early, and I was right. Does assuming the worst make me a bad Islanders fan? Probably.
In my defense, it was my first night off in a while, and I wanted to spend time doing rather than watching. So I fired up the 360 and played some NHL 09. Is that so wrong? I don't know. But I wasn't too keen on clearing out an entire night to watch a loss. Turns out I missed quite a game. I guess I got what I deserved.
Now, having said all of that, I'm not about to take all the blame here. I, for one, am absolutely sick and tired of hearing the same old crap about the Islanders. For starters, how they're only losing because of injuries. I call BS. The same people who were thrilled that Mike Comrie got hurt are now complaining because half the team is hurt. Oh, and for the record, the whole team was hurt last year, too. You can only blame bad luck for so long before you have to look at what's really going on with this team. (Before you take the easy way out and call the Islanders a team full of graybeards, realize there are only seven players on the active roster older than thirty.)
The other thing I'm sick of hearing about is Scott Gordon's system. I swear, the next time I hear the phrases "overspeed", "Scott Gordon's system", or "the new system", I'm putting a brick through my TV. Never in my life have I ever heard a coach's philosophies get so much press. This isn't football, where coaches call all the plays. Gordon can only do so much; ultimately, it's the players who have to win the games. Do you realize the Islanders have only one player, Andy Sutton, with a positive plus-minus rating? That's awful.
And awful is what the Islanders were supposed to be this year. This has turned into the season we all expected - lots of competitive games that end in losses. Now that the bottom is really starting to fall out on this team, it's easy to get discouraged. It's times like these when we're supposed to remind ourselves that the Islanders are rebuilding, that there are better times ahead for this team. However, it's not that easy. The question we're asking ourselves - and if we aren't, we should be - is, "When this team gets better, will they still be on Long Island?"
I've said before that I believe the Islanders will be moved off the Island within five years. And why shouldn't they be? The Lighthouse is not happening. Nobody really has $400 million lying around to get this thing going. Furthermore, now that it's become a political issue, you know nothing is ever going to get done. Look at the Jets' proposed West Side stadium for proof of what happens when politicians get involved in something started with good intentions. The team is losing money left and right. Nobody is going to the games because the team's not very good and nobody has money. It's a losing situation all around. At this point, the question really isn't if the Isles will be shipped off to Winnipeg, Hartford, or some other hockey-starved city, but when the move will take place.
If you're as cynical as I am, you're convinced this will happen just before all the young players turn the corner and start to become great players. This way, the new city gets all the glory we've earned.
You know, I was totally on board with rebuilding the Islanders the right way before I realized just how dire this whole situation was. Now, I'm not sure what to think. I want to see a successful Islanders team before they're eventually moved out. Will it happen? I sure hope so. Those of us who are still left certainly deserve it.
If you've followed me this far, I do appreciate it. I'm not even sure if I'm following myself at this point. I know this holiday season is supposed to bring about hope and all that, but it's hard to be so positive when evidence suggests things will get even worse. Here's hoping for a holiday miracle that not only keeps the Islanders on Long Island, but puts them on the path to their former glory.