Top Shelf : Islanders Daily : 9/23/2013


Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders traveled to Nashville last night to take on the Predators in their second preseason game of the 2013-14 season in as many nights.

Results were not what the team or head coach Jack Capuano were looking for, as the ‘B’ team dropped a 2-0 decision to the Predators and in the process have now gone 120 minutes without scoring a goal.

At the end of the day, what does this all mean? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Preseason is a time for the coaches to not only re-integrate their systems and refine them, but also get a look at the younger, rising stars in the organization. The win-loss record on the ice is really secondary to those main goals that need to be accomplished.

But as all fans do, there will be those who will over-react to these defeats and I will attempt to below break down some of the myths I have seen floating around social media….

1. ‘The New York Islanders power play is terrible’ – Last season, it was actually pretty good and save for the exit of former captain Mark Streit, all of that same personnel is back for another go at it. We have no idea if Capuano and the coaching staff is instituting anything new with it, so why rush to judgement at this point?

2. ‘It’s going to be a long season if this keeps up’ – It won’t. The lineup you see every other game and just about every game on defense is still not what the opening night roster will look like.

3. ‘The goaltending situation is a mess’ – Is it? Evgeni Nabokov will be just fine when it counts, not spectacular on most nights, but will keep the team within reach. As far as Kevin Poulin or Anders Nilsson are concerned, you go three months without game action as an NHL goaltender and see just how quickly you can adjust.

4. ‘Fire Capuano and trade for Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek‘ – Seriously? Are we starting this already? Capuano has proven to be the right man for this team and Miller and Vanek for a coup of youngsters and draft picks after all we have suffered through? We are finally starting to see the benefits of the rebuild and now you think we are good enough to stop?

As you can see, social media can be a very finicky fan-base all unto itself. Keep perspective, keep your eyes on the long-term goal and maintain realistic expectations. Only then will you truly be able to enjoy this team for how they deserve to be appreciated.

Stay tuned this afternoon for my feature article on Casey Cizikas, who I had the chance to sit with on Friday morning. It truly was an outstanding 15 minute talk with the Islanders young center and I believe I was able to bring him to life on the pages of Eyes.

As always, thanks for reading.

-Andy (@tazman19)

In Case You Missed It

Two Minutes For Tweeting

  • Funny stuff here from Smith. I think Anders was exactly this in a previous life! 
  • That’s the attitude I like to hear! It’s preseason. Time to work on systems, test out the kids and work on line combinations. Nothing to worry about.
  • As you can see, I am offsetting my opening to todays Top Shelf with positivity in the tweets section!
  • Exactly Brian. The Islanders will be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference this year. And will continue their ascension next year and the year after that and so on……
  • Neil has adopted the Garth Snow way of building a franchise. Build to win over a longer term that just one year.