So the Isles have a streak of 4 wins going now. They finally beat the Flyers. TO has fallen. Atlanta went down in flames. The Sharks angrily lost another on the road. How quickly fortunes change in the thick of the close throng in points of the Eastern Conference.
So, step right up and see what the future holds. Anyone's guess is best. I figure, rather than actually predict anymore, I will take out my old trusty magic 8 ball and give it a shake.
So what if we were a point from the 8th spot, riding up the charts like a bullet? What if we grabbed and held on, facing perhaps . . . NJ? Very possible matchup. And despite our record versus them, the playoffs are a whole other story. But still provides some Tuesday morning musings, with knowing that some playoff matchup does have some momentum on our part. NJ hasn't quite gotten to their peak. After all, Sweet Lou hasn't fired his coach yet. Well, one can only hope.
So, what does the magic 8 ball say about this? If we grab a spot, can we take out someone like NJ, taking advantage of our in-season mastery?
Answer: "Very Doubtful"
Ahh, very sobering.
Nothing is assured. We could drop like a stone with just another few lackluster outings. Most longtime fans seem to have mixed feelings on this run up the charts. Yes, it's nice to win, and playoffs are always a good thing. But, with a decimated staff, who can only be augmented at premium rates unless the Isles hit the waiver wire or more depth players for late rounders, what can be achieved? Would Garth retain everyone one of his one year contracts or those in their final year? And, due to the premiums that players might go for, would we be missing huge opportunities to get something for players we wouldn't be retaining?
So let's ask the big question. Magic 8 ball, will we make the playoffs?
Answer: "Signs Point to YES"
Ok, well, will be doing it with our current roster?
Ok, I have to disagree here, sunshine. I know it won't be with our current roster. So, let me give you a better shake.
Answer: "My reply points to NO"
Ahh, that's better. Just needed to shake some of the dust off this old thing.
Guerin . . . I don't see him going anywhere. Will he remain? What does the 8 ball say?
Answer: "Signs Point to YES"
Comrie . . . Valuable guy to other teams, and if dealt, hope he'd be willing to come back because he has shown on LI to be a creative center who can play the top 2 lines. His style really lends itself to a 2nd line, but he is putting up good numbers even if miscast presently. How bout Mikey? Will he still be here?
Well, this lends itself to Mike wanting a multi-year deal to remain on LI.
Ruslan? Vasicek? Satan? These, to me, are the players to move. Ruslan still is hot or cold. He plays a rounded game and is white hot, just named NHL's 2nd star of last week. But he and Vasicek seem terribly expendable. Especially with some kids ready to take their place.
Is Ruslan going to be traded? Answer: "YES"
Vasicek? Answer: "You may rely on it"
. Ok, how about Satan, who has a NTC. Answer: "Concentrate and ask again"
Ok, heavy concentration here. Will Satan be trade, waiving his NTC? The 8 ball seems to be having a LOT of trouble coming up to an answer here. It is not quite sitting to be read. I need to give it one more try . . .
Answer: "As I see it, YES"
Interesting. But, like the 8 ball had, looks like a tough thing to make happen.
If you read the undercurrents, somebody is going to be voted off the island. Bridgeport players seem to be ready for callups. After all, when is the best time to get 9 games of key experience? A playoff run. Could Okposo see time? Maybe? Maybe not. But you were certainly see others soon.
Ok, ok, I hear you. I'll ask the Okposo question. Will we see Kyle on the big club this season?
Answer: "You may RELY on it"
Hmm, I'm not sold on it. But hell, he's doing a great job at the Bridge right now. So, you never know.
We are one week away from the trade deadline. Andy Sutton is to be checked out today for his hamstring. If Andy goes down for any extended time, the Isles are in deep trouble. Sutton, with Witt out, has been goto along with Martinek and Meyer has also come a long way as minute leaders. And, unlike the forwards, I am hard-pressed in picturing Bridgeport's D fitting the bill and being able to plug the defensive dyke on the big club.
So, will the Isles make a deal for a dman?
Answer: "Cannot predict NOW"
Sound like between Sutton's hammy needing a look, and Witt fighting through his own injury, the fog is thick on the D future moves.
How about a Garth wildman move? Will Garth shock the NHL this season?
Answer: "Without a Doubt"
Wow. Well, that would be interesting. We know Hossa seems to be very available this trade deadline. Just depends on who is buying. With Garth already quoted as unwilling to give up 1st round picks and the youth like Comeau, Tambs, and Okposo, it seems that he will be limited to just getting depth and those prospects for those shorttermers he deals away.
Its been one hell of a rollercoaster for Isles fans this season. Last week, some were feeling like Holden Caulfields, trying catch-in-the-rye the usual Islander doom and gloomers from throwing themselves off the parapets in some melodramatic pirouette . Like somehow this team and ownership were as bad as the those past. Amazing how losing can skewer perceptions to silly, errant and extreme overreaction. Even if they lose, fail to make the playoffs, and firesale every one of those shortermers, we still far from the lowest of lows. Ownership is committed to building a winner and has made longterm plans into doing so. They have spent gobs or cash and take losses each year, still. How that compares to the Milstein penny-pinching and star trading that went on is beyond me.
So, the future, even with the mighty 8-ball, might not be as clear. But at least it will be interesting. In the near future, they play the Capitals tomorrow night.
Will the Isles keep the streak going?
Answer: "YES definitely"
You heard it here first.