UNIONDALE, N.Y.– “I couldn’t help it… It just popped in there.” I knew full well as I woke from my slumber at 3AM Sunday morning after our 4-0 lambasting of the Sabres, that I’d end up writing this message of frustration sometime in the near future. I knew it was nobody’s fault but my own for getting all fired up, for having images of the playoff tickets dancing through my head, for thinking that this time it was going to be different!
And worse off, yet again, I believed myself. Now in defense I was out of my element, in Virginia, there wasn’t an Islander fan within a 250 mile radius of me to talk me down. So my high, just got higher, and higher. Then we played the Canes Sunday night. Up 2-0 in the first stanza I was convinced we had finally… Never mind.
Alas I sit before you, technological revolutionary device in hand, disgusted in real time. At least last century I could just fall off to sleep, and deal with it in the morning. Now I have to vent through my fingertips at the lack of success my team always has, as they are actually not having it… But I digress…
I tried, with ease mind you to convince myself that finally we had turned the corner, because I wanted/want to so badly believe it. I tried to convince myself that this was different, that the theater of the absurd that is the New York Islanders had finally been exorcised. And then, I get awoken by the hard slap of reality, A.K.A. four straight Hurricane goals.
There is not a wordsmith in America that can truly capture the level of disappointment I feel at this moment over the Isles 4-2 loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes even though over 48 hours has since passed. I was so sure, so fired up we’d win on Sunday that I could hardly sleep the night prior. What with visions of me gloriously cutting and pasting, and cropping right to the spot where one could see the Isles above the Rangers in the standings. I was compiling a list of every single Ranger fan I knew for the past 39 years, so to not miss “tagging” any of them. But alas, I again went “dark” and acted as though Facebook, Twitter, and even electricity for that matter failed to exist.
There is so much that can be said about the ongoing soap opera that is the 2012-13 New York Islanders, but really all that matters as the head into tonight’s tilt versus the Boston Bruins at the Coliseum is they are 8-10-1 with 17 points, only 2 points behind the 8th place Flyers, and with two games in hand mind you. They have withstood a plethora of absurdities, and situations that truly seemingly only happen to the New York Islanders. From Lubomir Visnovsky’s inability to book a flight out of Siberia, to the long overdue exile of the Rick DiPietro, this season has sure not left us with a wanting for headlines. Again the only one headline that matters is; somehow, someway, we take to the ice tonight only 2 points out of a playoff spot!
It is because of this fact that I am still fired up about my hockey club, and it’s big one tonight on national TV. As we all know John Tavares and the boys love the spotlight. Ok fine we had one national game thus far this young season, but no one can deny that it was our best performance of the season. So therefore it is only logical to hypothesize that we can expect the same effort and more importantly results this evening as the bright lights shine down in Nassau tonight. Also as a quick side note who doesn’t prefer the 7:30 start over the garbage still not out, homework not done yet starting time of 7:00?? “That guy knows what I’m talkin about!!”
The lockout has just made night after, night, week, after week fun. If we win tonight, and the Rangers and Tampa lose then we are tied for 8th in the conference, 2 point ahead of the Rangers (with game in hand on us). If we lose and Rangers and Bolts win we are 4 points out of 8th in 11th, and I’m looking like the guy sitting next to Ted Stryker. So what would normally be a random Tuesday evening tilt vs. the B’s has turned into a vital 2 points at home. So tonight we sit, and watch as our “Right” click button is poised to fire!
Home, the Islander home record is embarrassing, a dismal 2-7-0. What is the purpose of waxing on about our dismal record because, it is what it says it is. Let us look at it this way, shall we? We have 6 games left on this home stand, and as my colleague Rich Diaz pointed out in his piece prior to the Canes game opening up, this home stand “is the season”. We can still exit this homestand 8-7-0.
Now I fully realize there is no reason nor indication from the club that this is going to happen. However like a Jet fan calling Boomer and Carton to exclaim that the Jets can go 5-0, and squeak into the postseason, it is every New Yorker’s inferior sports team fan’s right to feel this way with any given mathematical opportunity. Otherwise as with all the “little brother” organIzations in this town what is the point?
Tonight’s obstacle, the big, bad Boston Bruins, with an impressive 11-2-2 record. They trail the Habs in the Adams by only 3 points but have 4 games in hand due to that wayward clown fish that dumped 3 feet of snow.
Some line up moves for the Isles tonight Ullstrom in Aucoin scratched. The 1st and 4th lines remain the same with Ullstrom and Grabner centered by Reasoner, and Nielson centering for Okposo and Bailey AKA the “potential” line. The Defense remains the same from Sunday.
I’ll bet you a dozen donuts that tonight is one of those nights we wish we had a “Gillies” out there with “Jonny Franchise”. I know I am not the only one screaming for some protection for Tavares, terrified that he is out there with Moulson and Moulson lite.
Now obviously no one would take Matt Moulson off of the top line, but the sniper role is already filled. It’s time for some protection for the league’s top player. Please try Matt Martin on his wing. Can you imagine what JT might do with the extra space created by last season’s hit leader? Leave Boyes on the PP that’s fine, but Tavares needs some protection out there.
Well, my friends enjoy tonight’s contest (NBCSN) I have a feeling John Tavares will demand we get more, and more of these “spot light” games next season, and beyond. Nabokov gets the nod in goal, and one can expect that to be the trend all this week through Ottawa.
The question for tonight’s game like every game this season is simple. Which Isles team will show up tonight? The one that is looking upon the presuppose of falling off the cliff into NHL oblivion? Or the one that’s going to continue the “Islander tease”, and get me sleepless again this Saturday night.
As they head into Sunday with a chance to climb back into the conversation? Enjoy the game everyone, look for JT to shine like a flower towards the sun, as he blossoms under the bright lights…
Follow Scotty Bonner: @moosiestmoose42
P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)