Well folks, the NHL’s All-Star break is upon us and that means one thing and one thing only: there’s nothing new to talk about. So what will we, the faithful followers of the New York Islanders to do in this situation? Simple. Talk about stuff that already happened! Exhilarating.
This has been a half-season of mostly positives for the Isles, and seeing as that is the case we may as well make this an article about something the Isles have been doing an awful lot of, winning. Winning is great, but, despite all wins being equal in the standings, they are certainly not all equal in our hearts. A win against the Dallas Stars just does not get the same bliss as a whooping bestowed upon the Rangers, that’s just the reality of fandom. So which Isles win (or wins, I’ve grouped some for a couple of my candidates… spoiler alert) has been your favorite this season?
These are my top three (they are placed chronologically, not by merit):
November 5-6: 3-2 vs. Anaheim (OT) and 2-1 vs. Los Angeles (SO). These two early season Western conference wins, in my opinion, are the two most important wins so far this year. Does that make them my favorite? Perhaps not.
At the time of these match ups Isles fans were resting a bit uneasy about their team after a very strong start. The Isles were in their worst funk of the year, losing two in a row and five of seven, entering a back to back against the NHL’s best team and the defending Stanley Cup champs, respectively. They managed to walk away with 4 points. These were not dominating efforts by any stretch, but the team got the job done and proved themselves to be a team to be taken seriously in the NHL this year. Since then the team has been nothing short of fantastic, only have three losing streaks of any length since.
November 21-22: Home and home sweep of the Penguins, 5-4 (SO) in Pitt, 4-1 at home. The SoCal sweep may have been the most important in cementing this team as a threat, the Penguin sweep proved they were legitimate contenders in the East. The Penguins were considered the team to beat in the Metropolitan division, and to many they still are, but the Isles on consecutive nights proved that their depth could trump Pittsburgh’s top heavy offense. Both Isles goalies registered victories and seven different Isles scored goals that weekend. The only repeat goal scorer? Matt Martin.
January 13: 3-0 vs. New York Rangers. I didn’t want to lump the two Ranger wins together because of how far apart they are on the schedule, so I made a choice. This one was more satisfying in my opinion. The Rangers came in absolutely red hot, winning about a billion straight games (it’s hyperbole, I didn’t feel like doing the actual research on the Rangers, sue me) and the Isles skated out of Madison Square Garden with two points, in dominating fashion. Heck, they even managed to chase Henrik Lundqvist in the process, and if that doesn’t add satisfaction in your book, I don’t know what will. It also gave the Isles the undisputed lead in the Metropolitan division, whether you gauge success on potential points or actual points, because the Rangers have played less games than any team in the NHL.
Got myself a little heated up there in that last sentence, but I digress…. on to the voting!
So folks, those are the options I have provided for you. You don’t have to like them, you don’t even have to vote for them, that’s why I gave you the nifty “other” option. I implore you to use it if you disagree with my choices. If you do, feel free to tell me which game you enjoyed most so far and why in the comments. Even if, by some miracle, you do like my options feel free to give your opinion in the comments.