Avenged Sevenfold blasts through my apartment, good thing the other half of my life isnt home. I am a bit more optimistic about tonights game, but believe me. . .I dont expect a win.
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Instead of chewing on old soup about refereeing and no-goals/goals/beer bottles/etc, I am going to recap on what has come of our rag-tag group of boys out on Long Island this season.
Trent Hunter & Mike Sillinger - These two players have been beasts for the Islanders all season and right into the playoffs. Trent has shown a physical side that make me feel like I was watching him blossom into a complete player right before my eyes. Sillinger was a rock. He is the real captain of this team and I would have hated to see us without him.
Andy Hilbert & Richard Park - Hustle. I do not think these two took a shift off all season. Andy was snakebitten all season and did everything under the sun but score goals. Richard proved to me why we kept him after he walked on during training camp. He has been an excellent penalty killer and has shown speed rushing into the offensive zone.
Ryan Smyth & Marc-Andre Bergeron - Ryan has shown why he was so respected in Edmonton. He has all the tools of a leader and I have been impressed with his work ethic on and off the ice. Marc-Andre has been fantastic. Despite his small stature, you cant overlook his cannon. He is not shy AT ALL about firing that thing as much as he can. Given the chance, I bet he would shoot 10-15 times a game if you kept the puck coming back to him.
Jason Blake & Randy Robitaille - Jason had a fantasic year! He broke and shattered all his previous career highs. Randy has shown me much more than he did on his previous trip through the Island. His hustle out there has paid off in assists for him and I know goals arent too far behind, he just needs to get a little bit more positioning, but his work on the ice is whats keeping him here for me.
Rick Dipietro & Wade Dubielewicz - Ricky has been phenominal and so much has been written about him this year, it would be repeatative if I wrote more praise for him. All I will say is, I do not regret drafting him. His personality and demeanor and character and leadership are top notch. Wade, you SO deserve to be up here next year, so I beeter see your Yoda helmeted head next season!
Brendan Witt & Sean Hill - Brendan was a workhorse on the backline this season, tackling top lines and turning them to mulch. You took a few too many penalties for my liking, but I was glad to have some toughness back there. Sean was amazing for a man his age. He was throwing bodies around like ragdolls at times. Your downfall is your speed Shaun, but you had a great season here for us.
Victor Kozlov & Mike Dunham - Victor was inconsistant all year. He tries way too hard to get the puck in the perfect position when he should just take the odds and fire the puck. Mike had a rough, rough year. I have all the respect in the world for him, but I think it may be time to hang up the skates.
Shawn Bates & Radek Martinek - The only reason both of these are in the BAD category is they dropped early in the season. Shawn has been bitten by the injury bug for a couple seasons, I believe. I dont recall him playing a full season in the past few. Radek. . . I love you as a defender, you are amazing! . . .but. You are also injury prone!! I still want you on the Island, but please, stay healthy for a change, it would be a great suprise!
Arron Asham & Richard Zednik - The invisible man, Asham never really showed up too often on my radar. He has an absolutely amazingly hard shot, but he never uses it. Here is a clue, Arron, you cant score if you dont shoot! Richard. . . please, please, please, PLEASE tell me you are better than what you have shown so far on the Island. I know we got you for a 12 pack of Red Dog and a double espresso at Starbucks, but how about doing something else besides going offsides?
Alexei Yashin & Miro Satan - Go away. Now. Both of you. Thanks for all the fish.
I know a few players were unmentioned, but I did not notice too much improvement from play from these people. Campoli and Gervais, I have NO DOUBT will be on the "Good" list next season as I feel they will develop into terrific defenseman.
So game 5 is tonight, are you ready Isles fans?
"I don't know if we'll make it home
All we can do for now is hope"
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