9/8/09

If Intangibles go Isles way they make playoffs

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/08/2009 02:00:00 PM

What can I write that I have not written before before departing?

How about the Intangibles.

This is around the time so many worthless previews come put that don't even know the Isles lost close to a thousand games to injury mostly since January of 2008 or even report it. Do you really think they care about all the one-goal losses or blown leads?

Many of these writers don't write about four playoffs in five years before that and frankly don't care about that mediocre result (nor should it overplayed either) but will them portray them as a basement dwelling club as if they have not seen a playoff series as long as some other clubs in this league.

Many of these professional projections begin with the Milbury era or things of little/no consequence to the 09-10 season and it's because they don't follow our team enough to give us anything of relevance but have to write something.

You think most of these writers care DiPietro played sixty plus games the previous two years when they want to write about his contract?

It's not a knock on many writers either in some cases, they don't get enough space to follow their own local teams much less preview clubs they don't see play some years and sure in some cases the coverage is poor for a lot of reasons but that's old news.

If I had to do a Coyote preview I would be writing about Bob Francis or Winnipeg, how many years did Gretzky go before visiting the Coliseum as a head coach two season ago?

Rick DiPietro never went back to the city he was drafted in until 2008 to play a hockey game.

Scary how so many media folks and fans associate winning a playoff series with a successful season these days? Call me an older fan but winning a playoff series here never used to be any cause for celebration without a Stanley Cup.

But this is old news you know, time to move on.
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I think on paper this team will be better than most will project, I see them in the playoff mix all the way if they are healthy if not qualifying outright.

But I wrote that last year which was a lost season before it even started.

For all sports some intangibles have to happen to be successful, the New York Islanders are frankly overdue in this department.

Last year only one intangible went huge in this teams favor and that was Mark Streit's defense and overall play.

Okposo drifting to left wing/center and his production was acceptable for a first full season as was Bergenheim's play after he and Scott Gordon got on the same page but I felt at times Okposo was cheating his natural right wing position by drifting to his left and center so much to get chances off his forehand, Scott Gordon after the season discussed why he was moved him to the left wing for a time and also had him on the left powerplay point.

Okposo has to score off his natural right wing side and what made him a top pick.

Aside from these things and maybe Witt getting back his full mobility after December, no single intangible really went the New York Islanders way all of last season unless you want to add some moderate progression from Bruno Gervais in how he played bigger and was more involved.

This time the intangibles have to be different, this time Bergenheim, Comeau, Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini have to carry their offensive weight after all the time they have gotten in the NHL despite Tambellini's benchings or Comeau being sent down. The veterans on the backline have to stay healthy or Jack Hillen/Andrew MacDonald/Calvin deHaan (if signed) or Mark Katic have to take their spots from them.

Yes, it starts with a mostly healthy roster or a manageable amount of injuries.

Yes, Trent Hunter has to get his twenty five goals and skate much better, Doug Weight has to produce at even strength and at times accept a lesser role, Richard Park has to have his hot streaks with a lesser role. Tim Jackman has to use that twenty goal ability he showed in Bridgeport and finish some of those chances his hard work created.

Yes, a Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu, Robin Figren, Matt Martin, Tomas Marcinko, Justin DiBenedetto or someone else does have to break through and make an unexpected impact if the chance comes for them or even Jon Sim if those forwards cannot produce.

Yes, Scott Gordon has to prove his system and methods can work with a healthy team at this level, break in a new coaching staff and somehow not put too much pressure on so many young players and has a huge task in front of him. I loved the coaches comments Bergenheim should not be worrying about scoring but when someone is drafted with a first pick in 2002 and your team is 29th is scoring of course you are going to worry about it and press.

Yes, the pressure on Tavares and to a lesser degree Josh Bailey without a prime scoring forward will be enormous especially if the club does not have a breakout offensive game.

Yes, Garth Snow is going to have to learn there are times where you have to make changes when some things simply are not working or holding back other players whether it be come waiver time before the season or to get his team out of a slump.

Yes, a lot of intangibles for this to work and for this club to be in contention. About a good seven out of every ten intangibles have to go in the Islanders favor this season with some surprises.

Last year one intangible worked out in the Islanders favor.

I know in sports sometimes you make your own breaks/intangibles.

Last year was not that time.

This time it not only has to happen but in many cases it should happen.



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