Last year the Islanders went into the season with a top line of Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake and fill in the blank. This year it's Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie and Ruslan Fedotenko. If they didn't like their chances with one group over another, they're not paying attention, or they've been reading too many national previews.
The way Rick DiPietro played last year, did they think he was going to be touched by a magic wand this summer and come back less talented? Did they think Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais were going to be the first young defensemen in the history of the National Hockey League to get valuable playoff experience, get a year older, wiser, and stronger and come back to be worse players than they were the season before?
Did they think Brendan Witt would lose his will to win and stop blocking shots once he got paired with a healthy Radek Martinek, who was now going to be back?
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Unlike her appearance for the final preseason game in Boston where she was guessing about some things because she was not in Moncton this time she hits a home run with her comments and I agree with almost everything.
That's exactly how I looked at it this summer too regarding the first line and DiPietro. Anyone who watched Gervais and Campoli not only score but have show some impressive signs in the Sabres series and during last season when healthy could see there was a good chance they would come back and do even better with more experience combined with being a year older.
Islanders could still be a bad team in the end and a lot of things can go wrong but on paper going into this season it was clear they did not take major steps backwards.