From The Isle...by Youngblood
Are you ready for some hockey? After the early season surge and trying to twist my brain around just exactly what this Islander team is all about…I feel like things have died down. For about a week. Sure, there's plenty of depressed die-hard fans out there that have been tuning into this road trip…but for many, the combination of late night games, losing streaks, and a few days off have allowed us to take a pause for a minute to regroup and gather our thoughts. Well, with that said, here's mine:
A lot of people are upset with the team's play the last few games and how their record has gone from smoking hot to 'that'll do'. I think the major fear is that it's on it's way to 'ew, wouldn't touch it' - but I don't think that's fair. Simply put this road trip is murder. They are playing across the country against teams that have a very solid chance of winning the Stanley Cup this year. Sure we'd love for them to squeak out 3 wins or more on the trip so we can say "this is a magical season" - but you know what, when I was at the Katy Perry concert she shockingly didn't pull me out of the crowd to take me backstage for an impromptu wedding. Moral here is that the season is tough and nothing comes easy. Bounces will go against us, the team will hit rough patches, and road trips against amazing teams will be hard. It's about how you get yourself out of these stretches that matter. It's about making sure you win the games you're supposed to win.
So I think it's pretty clear the offense isn't as dominant as we thought it may be, and at the same time, the goaltending probably isn't as bad as we thought it might be. Winning in hockey is simple, you need to be able to generate offense while not allowing a lot of goals. When both are failing to happen, you will lose. That's what's happening now.
But I encourage everyone out there to stay positive as we get back into hockey tomorrow night. I wouldn't put it past this team to steal one of the next 2 just to remind everyone that this isn't the same team as prior years. This team was built for today…or tonight. So make sure you get your afternoon espresso and get ready for a couple late one's. Just another step in this journey of a season…a journey that isn't necessarily heading one way or another right now.