12/5/10

57 Game Pre-season All That's Left For 2010-11 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/05/2010 05:09:00 PM


Very tough time to be a New York Islanders Fan right now, sure a lot of people are staying home and that's very disappointing but the nature of NY market when teams lose.

Having written that you stick by your team, and support them as best you can. I'm not going to pretend to insult anyone's intelligence by writing that's easy, however that is what loyal fans do.

Four playoffs in a decade is not acceptable, not here, not in Florida or with countless franchises in NHL/sports, who have performed the same or worse.

The 2010-11 New York Islanders have dropped to sixteen points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference race, with a team decimated by injuries at the NHL/AHL level, that has not demonstrated this season they can score at even strength (even with minimal injures) plus have road trips coming up where Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver are on the upcoming menu, you cannot pull punches.

The competitive part of the season in terms of playoff contention is likely over, the next important game in terms of standings October 2011.

This is also looking like a different Eastern Conference from last year, with the one year anomaly of three seeds under ninety points over.

Blame?
All that's left is plenty of time for this, but frankly speaking Comeau, Nielsen, Hunter did not give them the even strength production they had to have at a point in their careers they needed to pull their offensive weight. The decisions to go with Doug Weight/Parenteau or not trade Hunter have not brought the speed/skills/offensive creativity that gives other players room at five on five. Bailey/Comeau were shifted around too much by Scott Gordon.

Bailey and John Tavares are very young players.

No, the injuries don't mean an automatic pass when you have a flaw exposed from day one of the season, but they are part of this teams story. The loss of an Okposo/Streit would hurt any roster going into camp, the additional losses of Schremp, MacDonald, Weight, Hillen, Hunter, Jurcina, with others playing hurt would effect any team.

Moving Forward:
The head coach has been removed, the general manager, who said everyone has to be better this season is still here. An interim coach on a struggling offensive team is likely not going to be retained, or sent back to the AHL, playing a system that he was not teaching the last two seasons.

Unless Michael Grabner, Schremp and others step up at even strength it's going to be a very trying second half to even stay within distance of 29th. That losing streak was no bad stretch, it was a flaw exposed in the roster from game one.

The very tough questions of Moulson, Martinek, Wisniewski and Roloson's future all come into play as the trade deadline approachs, the loss of any of them may not be replaceable.

Jesse Joensuu, Matt Martin are likely going to stay, who's coming back at forward from the injured list to replace them when Jon Sim is now on a third line? How much more bouncing from center to wing helps Josh Bailey's career to recall him when he is healthy and producing at his natural position in Bridgeport.

Rhett Rahkshani, Robin Figren will likely be here very soon. Outside of the three goaltenders for one job in Bridgeport, the depth has taken a beating at the AHL level.

Expect a few ugly moments like Mark Parrish's comments a decade ago when he called out the fans, there are no doubt a lot of frustrated players already. Mark Eaton did not sign on for this, many saw the improvement last year and how tough this team was to play against.

Media:
There will be an avalanche of negative coverage, some fair, others very unfair, and a few will display a level of vindictive reporting that even the Knicks have not seen the last decade.

The ones who have agenda's/vendetta's will kick the franchise the hardest, and they are not interested in man games lost to injury. The media in Florida does not go that negative to it's fanbase, it's not what the Knick media does to it's fans to drive people away.

Of course the biggest joke of all is Cablevision, Msg, Newsday, and it mistreatment of the New York Islander Franchise on every level as more games will be hidden on Msg+2 and Butch Goring/Howie Rose will jump as high as James Dolan demands to remain employed by Msg.

The New York Islanders will do exactly what they need to do, continue the business of hockey in a very long-tough season, same as New Jersey, Edmonton, Toronto and many other losing markets so far this year must do.

Bottom line:
The fans who hated the Milbury plan around 2000, who stayed away long ago are forcing Snow into a position where he may have to act like Milbury to bring fans back to the building sooner rather than later. Snow if he goes that route he will deal with far more problems than Milbury had.

In a front-loaded contract league packed with NTC/NMC this owner with most cannot afford front-loaded contracts, a decade ago there were holdouts all over the NHL which led to Milbury landing Peca/Yashin.

The climate is different now, unless you want to play Toronto's way and give up picks for a Kessel, which has been a disaster.

In short like last summer the UFA classes are not there like they used to be, and as we have seen in New Jersey sometimes that kind of spending backfires badly, at least for now. Front-loaded contracts, NTC/MVC have made this a very tough league to improve strictly through free agency.

You want to blame Charles Wang for not losing/spending more money, and his losses are not your problem that is your choice. I do not see that as fair because he inherited an impossible arena situation and county government. Just because he (along with Scott Rechler) are likely very disappointed a LH project has stalled/stopped, the answer cannot be Wang should throw away money and drive up his payroll toward 50m+, when at some point he will need to pay the players his general manager drafted players the last few summers.

There is no easy out, this owner intends to honor his lease by his comments and is firmly vested in running the Hotel and the Coliseum at this time, if the owner don't care he has a funny way of showing it renovating Nassau County's building for them out of pocket.

Unlike the money losing Caps, he does not receive revenue sharing, unlike many corporate teams bleeding red ink, he cannot call up Comcast or Cablevision and add another 100m to the teams debt.

About twenty other NHL teams have the same problem as Charles Wang.

As for this season, the playoff competitive part is likely over, it's going to be a rough four plus months, the Islanders have played six one goal/EN games in a row, they are due to start struggling.


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