The New York Islanders again lost. And again it was a poor defensive display from this team. Is it fair to blame the fans? (No. The answer is and always will be no).
After yet another loss, the New York Islanders have fallen down in the Metropolitan Division and find themselves three points out with an extra game played from a playoff position. Things aren’t looking good.
And the fans are voicing their concerns with the organization. Chants of “Snow Must Go” rang out loudly at the Islanders home game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
The chants against the Islanders current and long standings General Manager were, as The Athletic’s Arthur Staple put it, were the loudest the Barclays had been all night.
And that, for some reason, is what stuck with Doug Weight. In his post-match conference, he spoke, unprovoked, about how the Barclays wasn’t energetic enough.
This is unacceptable to hear from the coach. To place some sort of blame at the hands of the fans is unacceptable. That’s exactly what Doug Weight has done here. What he’s intimating here is that the lack of energy was somehow a factor in the team’s performance.
This isn’t a chicken or the egg situation, coach Weight. The energy from the fan base is entirely dependant on an exciting and frankly good product on the ice. And that isn’t happening. Give the fans a product that worth cheering and getting out of your seat for and you’ll find that they get behind a product with their voices.
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And by an exciting product, I don’t mean a team that scores a bucket load of goals and gives up an equally large number of goals against. They need to win games. They can’t be outshot. They have to play a full 60 minutes. They have to show commitment.
The Islanders aren’t showing any of these factors. Fans pay to attend games, they get to be as loud or as quiet as they’d like to be. Doug Weight’s comments are insulting.
These comments are insulting because they offload blame for the team’s performance from where it needs to be placed (with the team) to where it shouldn’t be placed (with the fans).
The team isn’t playing quality hockey. This team should be playing quality. The fans are tired of seeing non-quality hockey. They’ve sat through decades of teams that have been low-quality hockey and they’ve had enough.
Outside of the 1992-93 team that made it to the Conference Finals, and the 2001-02 team that finished second in the Atlantic Division this team has been as you would say “not good”. Remember, they made the playoffs nine times across 24 seasons.
The fans deserve to expect a winning team. They deserve to see quality hockey on the ice when they’re using their hard earned money to buy those tickets. How dare they expect to see something entertaining. (Read that last sentence with intense sarcasm).
Doug Weight has to walk back these comments as soon as possible. The blame for what’s going on with the team can’t be placed at the fans feet. The blame rests squarely with the team and the team only.