Uniondale, N.Y. - Players, fans, coaches, groin specialists, all of us… Rub some dirt on it, walk it off, rinse your mouth out, shake it off, chew on some ginger, have one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer, go for a long walk, mediate, pray, stretch, rise, duck hop, go for a nice swim… Do what ever it is you need to do to get what happened Tuesday night out of our heads, our bodies and our hearts. Like Mark McGuire, “We are not here to talk about the past, we are here to talk about the future.” And that’s all I got to say about that…
The hands of time are seemingly moving in a most expeditious manner right now if you are an Islander fan, and in a bizarre way we should be very thankful that we have 3 games in four nights coming up.
It all kicks off tonight at 7PM versus the formerly known as Adams division soon to be Gordie Howe Division (if I were king) presently geographically located division leading Montreal Canadiens. (I apologize to all of you that you have to deal with my distain for the lack of names on the divisions and conferences every night, I truly do, but I thank you…)
The Canadiens come to town for our 3rd and final match up with our French flying friends from the north with an outstanding record of 19-5-5 for 43 points 2nd in the conference to only the Penguins who come knocking tomorrow night (Joy!). The Habs have no problem excelling away from their fishbowl at home with amazing 10-2-2 road record.
Lets just pause for a moment to say to the Montreal Canadiens nicely done! This is an organIzation that a year ago was in utter turmoil, missing the playoffs, firing their unilingual coach and GM, who now arrive with 43 points the 4th best record in the NHL, and poised for the post season. Chapeau bas expression!
Now please to be clear, I did not write the last paragraph as a not so subtle shot across the bow of our organIzation. I can hear how you guys think out there, and in today’s technological revolutionized world everyone knows how everyone thinks for better or for worse. I was simply taking my hat off to a team that has done a great job. I in no way think the Isles should change at the top nor behind the bench at this time.
And there goes our ratings as the dial is being moved to another show, I get that, I know I’m in the minority here, but I stand by my convictions of whether we make the post season dance or not that now is not the time for change.
We need to see Snow’s plan completely play out, and the fact that it is now Spring and we are still very much in it from a team that begun the campaign with 3/7 defensemen claimed that week off of waivers simply earns Jack Capuano my confidence! However this is another story for another time. But I digress…
Help is coming!
Both Michael Grabner, and Matt Carkner skated yesterday and we could see them on the ice as early as tonight. Expect Grabs (if back, please be back!) to replace and Eric Boulton, and Carkner to I guess replace Radek Martinek as much as it pains me to stroke those keys, but really who else would we scratch on D? Certainly not Hickey !
To have Martinek as our #7 is pretty good, as the Corps has come together as late except for the 5 minuts combined… No No NO not gonna do it Mark McGuire please, “Not here to talk about the past here to talk about the future.” Whew ! Thanks Mark, needed that!
Hopefully the return of Grabner will enable Capuano to put Matt Martin back onto the 4th line, return Casey Cizikas to center and reunite him with Colin McDonald. I personally wouldn’t mind moving Keith Aucoin to wing with Marty Reasoner, and Grabner on the Isles of Banishment 3rd line (pun intended).
Baptism by fire.
This is it folks there are only 19 games remaining and we are in 10th, 3 points out of the final playoff spot, and we have to leapfrog not 1 but 2 teams to get to just the 8th and final spot. When the weekend is over we will awake Monday morning with only 16 games left, we shall either find ourselves out of it, or very much involved, because no matter what we do over the next 3 games other teams are going to accumulate points.
To be honest with you considering the task at hand, what with the Prince of Wales two finest teams back to back combined road records of 22-6-2, coupled with our Ft. Neverwin 5-9-2 home record, and the fact that one would think Kevin Poulin will get one of these starts (not that that is necessarily a bad thing mind you.) One might say “I’d sign for 4 points in 3 games right now.”
Whatever happens this is one of the reasons (besides there actually being hockey) that the lockout ending was so huge to the Islanders as a whole. We now get our first test as a young team. We now have our first batch of meaningful playoff like games, where the wills of the young men in the locker room will truly be put to the test. This experience is invaluable for us, remember we are not exactly a locker room of battle tested vets.
If they are to fall short there will be those who quickly jump to their lap tops to pontificate how we lacked the will, and the heart, and the this, and the that. Do yourselves a favor now don’t buy into all that malarkey. I suggest we relish these meaningful games with a sense that we really could perhaps even maybe should win them. And use the games then (results irrelevant) as a tool to grow what is this juggernaut we have heading to Brooklyn. This entire season has been house money for us, and the fact that we get a “free” baptism now simply accelerates our growth ten fold.
Will we make the post season? I’m confident we will yes, but either way these next 4 days are going to be fun and useful as this team grows together towards our goal of another dynasty.
- Personally I’m always excited to see one of my favorite NHL players P.K. Subban, who just happens to be a free agent after the 2014 season when he will be 25 years old. What a nice addition he’d make to a team headed to the big city just a season later. Can you Imagine P.K. on a giant Billboard in Times Square? I CAN !!! And I bet P.K. can too… Just sayin…
- Response time, let’s see if Jack Capuano should be our guy going forward. He called out our top line the other night, it’ll be interesting to see if they respond… They will.
- Isles are 13-7-3 when leading or tied in the final stanza. “It’s disturbing.” Coach Capuano.
- Isles lead the season series 2-0 (one in 4-on-4 sudden mediocrity overtime) versus Montreal, hey if we sneak into the 8th spot and they get the 1… Ya never, never, never know.
- Below is JT interview on “Miked-up!” with Bruce Beck. Pretty kool
- Quack quack Ducks over Hawks 4-2 in 3rd period rally…
7:00 p.m. Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Uniondale, NY Television: MSG+ Play-by-play: Howie Rose; Color: Butch Goring
Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM Chris King: Play-by-play
Thank you everyone enjoy the game, and the busy, important hockey weekend!
Tryin to capture the Spirit of the Thing…
P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)
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And don’t forget to upload the new Fansided App, so you never have to miss an “Eyes” piece again… Which is nice…
Topics: Canadiens, Casey Cizikas, Colin Mcdonald, Evgeni Nabokov, Garth Snow, Habs, Islanders, Jack Capuano, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Montreal Canadeins, New York Islanders, Nhl Playoffs, P.k. Subban, Pittsburgh Penguins, Price, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Thomas Hickey