No Matter The Outcome Of A Single Series, New York Islanders Fans Should Find Solace In Knowing This Is Not The End, Only A New Beginning.
Ok New York Islanders fans, here we are. Let’s all be honest with each other for one second, have a real heart to heart.
The Lightning have stolen two games on our home ice when we had leads entering the final ten minutes of the game. I was there for Game 4, and it felt like all the recent woes of the Colosseum were following us to Brooklyn. Directly after the final horn had rung through the arena, the expletives and tirades followed. Hell I was right there with everyone as I threw a water bottle onto the ground in pure anger when I saw that OT goal go in. To reiterate, this REALLY sucks!
While the present may feel like there is nothing but despair, allow me to remind everyone where we are.
For the first time in over two decades the Islanders have advanced to the second round of the playoffs. In doing so we have knocked out the team with the seventh most points in the league, and have given the defending Eastern Conference champions one hell of a fight in the second round. If I told any single one of you this not but five years ago, what would the reaction be? Besides a torrent of laughter and mockery, there would be that piece of hope. Hope that a better tomorrow is to come and a hope that the days of a depressing past have left. Guys, that better tomorrow is today.
Long past are the days where the hope was to win a series, and forgotten are the times when the Islanders were the laughing stock of the league. In that hope of a better tomorrow, tomorrow is no longer just winning four games in the playoffs. The hope has expanded to a Stanley Cup.
The Islanders have gotten better year, after year, after year, progressively working for that better tomorrow. With young players like Matthew Barzal, Michael Dal Colle, and Josh Ho-Sang honing their games in lower leagues while the current young guns polish their skills in the NHL, the Islanders future is as bright as it has been in twenty years.
Do the sorrows of the week sting like vinegar in an open wound? Of course! If they didn’t I wouldn’t have chucked that water bottle at the end of Game 4. However, while it is vinegar today, it could very well be champagne the next. Some may say I’m crazy, but let us not forget where we were five years ago, where a playoff win was a distant dream and the thought of it brought laughter. This team can do it, if not this year, soon. The potential is there to be the best there is. I find myself honored to be a fan, and I can’t wait to see where this ride ends up.