If the New York Islanders actually won in Anaheim, plus extended it to a five game winning streak in Phoenix, what really would have been different?
The standings do not lie, the weakness NYIFC has been writing about since opening night confirm with countless repetitive blog entries on the veterans and their downside eating minutes and producing little.
Twelve points out of eighth/ten points behind ninth/tenth spots.
The competitive part of this season has been over for a long time.
The balanced scoring is not there, the veterans on defense are limited and error prone in a way even worse than a year ago without the injuries. They have been lucky to get some steady play and some temporary health from Nabokov.
Nothing Like Last Year:
The second half of this season is going to be nothing like last year, where there were solid reasons the success would carry over to the next year. It's not going to become a feel good story with forty games of scoring, speed and chemistry or signs this is heading in the right direction as currently constructed.
The current roster is not the second half roster of one year ago, and has far too many veterans struggling.
Expect no signs beyond what Moulson, Tavares and Okposo, Bailey, Niederreiter can provide, or what Hamonic, MacDonald do in their maturing process, hopefully some of these players can stand the frustration and the physical toll.
It's an slow, older, limited team unless Garth Snow decides to waive some veterans, who are doing nothing for this team with the risk, if the players brought up are injured it could present even more problems.
There is little depth in Bridgeport to recall. Collton, DiBenedetto, Marcinko have been hurt, Rakhshani missed a big part of this year with a concussion, Ullstrom is here with his concussion.
Mark Katic has been out since the preseason opener. Sure there is deHaan, Wishart, Donovan, Ness.
The standings do not lie in Bridgeport either, despite the excitement of Kevin Poulin's three shutouts in a row.
The frustration mounts for the fans, players, as written about long ago, it's going to get ugly.
Expecting this team to steal points against Detroit and Philadelphia is not impossible, but in the end it does not matter because what was mostly a sixty game exhibition season, officially became a forty two game exhibition schedule.
Anton Klementyev Suspended:
Anton Klementyev's suspension is not the first time a player bolted from the AHL, or Bridgeport. Apparently he does not want a greater role in the ECHL, who the Isles have no affiliation with this year. Overall Klementyev was handled poorly by Garth Snow from day one, drafting him, signing him, then immediately taking him out of Canadian juniors to see a lot of part time at best play in Bridgeport.
Some may recall he sat for weeks and made a desperation cameo on the Islanders.
Bottom line is if you are that determined to make someone part of your organization he has to be played in a prime role and for many reasons never got that or was ready for it when he was put in the AHL. It took years for the Isles to make this decision with Klementyev, so they finally decided on the ECHL and he rejected it.
Klementyev has no right to reject re-assignment and was correctly suspended but how it got this point is the problem and goes on management.
If Donald Fehr's NHLPA is this intent on playing hardball over the new conference format, which was given many positive reviews by the players, get ready for another NHL lockout after this year. I'm not sure the format is dead or a negotiating chip, but it's obvious Mr Fehr is going to earn his pay, but will likely discover this is not baseball.
As for NYIFC, this blog is no fan of the new conference format or only four playoff spots per conference.