The Isles Western road swing is underway and off to a rocky start, as the pessimistic among us might have foreseen. It’s been the same story – come out swinging, only to fall behind and never quite catch back up. They are, largely, victims of their own devices, and the masters of their own undoing, as I’ve said before . But looking beyond the bleakness of the current woes, there is always a silver lining.
The season is by no means over – yet barring a herculean turnaround effort and a Rocky Balboa-like comeback, for all intents and purposes the playoff picture is slipping rapidly from sight. But as a glass-half-full kind of guy, I’ve got to look for the positives. I hear people talking about giving up, of not watching the Isles play for the rest of the year, and I think “ok, so what’s the alternative? Just ignore hockey for the rest of the season?” Not an option to a guy like me. And we all know the hot minute the Isles start to turn things around, all of you will be right back here with me.
Nine games, ten games, whatever it comes to… unless you started following the team yesterday, you know as well as I do this isn’t that big a deal. We’ve weathered worse storms than this. But if this isn’t just a rough patch that can be played through, but rather a season-long affliction, then the diehards among us will have to batten down the hatches and wait to see what the offseason brings.
Speaking of the offseason, thanks to a wise bit of foresight Garth Snow built a condition into the Thomas Vanek deal which gave him some leeway. It allows him to defer the first rounder in case it turns out to be a lottery pick. As things stand now it looks as though that may indeed turn out to be the case, so we can derive whatever pleasure there is to be had from such small victories. A little later in the week I’ll take a look at what the draft might hold in store for the Isles, but for now suffice it to say there is definitely the potential for an upside to a poor showing this season.
Try to stay positive, folks. For a little while the alternative to a poor hockey team was almost no hockey team at all. Yes, they’re playing poorly, not digging deep, going the extra mile, or any of a number of other hockey clichés. But they’re still out there every night. Ask the fans of Atlanta if they wish they still had a bad team to watch and grumble about. Or better yet, Quebec City, where they used to regularly fill the building, win or lose. Say what you want about the ownership; Brooklyn is still a lot closer to Long Island than Kansas City.