No pulling punches with this blog entry because even though many in the media go over the top with the assaults on our team, it's a very tough time to be a New York Islander fan right now.
Do I think this is a 30th place team that was supposed to lose? Absolutely not, the Islanders are where they are in the standings because of an absurd amount of injuries at all positions but this has been the hand dealt to them.
These next ten weeks is where we find out who the real die-hards are among the fans because over these next thirty-odd games you will be tested to the max.
Wins for many will not be a positive, fans want one of those top two picks as the payoff for this poor season and if I had to guess I would say everyone is all in on Taveres because they want a franchise offensive talent who the Isles at best will have a 1/4 chance at landing.
That means the prospects, veterans who are all fighting for jobs and careers can do well, but not too well. A reality check for everyone should be these players could care less about next season and want to win as many hockey games as possible right now. This starts with head coach Scott Gordon who I would guess is having the longest coaching year of his life in his NHL debut.
Gordon has another thirty plus games with an injured roster that is not scoring, too small and with a lot of basic flaws. The lack of size, scoring and toughness is dramatic vs many other NHL clubs. A lot of the frustration that boiled over at the end of last season against Ted Nolan will only be natural to surface again because these are people with a lot or pride who want to win.
However frustrated you may be as a fan, it's worse for the players.
It means some already very frustrated players because of the losing may have to sit so prospects can play.
This is also the background music Garth Snow will face come the trade deadline as he makes critical decisions who stays vs who goes while some will expect him to land first or even second rounders for fringe veterans which is a long shot, he also has the cap to deal with and some players with a NTC.
The undercurrent from the preseason game in KC will be non-stop in the media with any updated news, sooner if not already it will effect the players who will be asked the question more and more as we move ahead.
So what can we do? Watch the games, hope the team puts in a good effort and we see some real signs Okposo, Comeau, Bergenheim, Bailey, Tambellini, Nielsen and others will be ready to carry an offensive load for this team.
Bottom line is they have to, a foundation has to be built over these next thirty odd games with some groundwork for 09-10.
Make no mistake with a few players the clock is ticking very loud right now, they have to show more or someone needs to come up and get their opportunity. This is why you sign prospects.
Tough times, we'll get through them together.