Well it was about as emotional of a rollercoster ride that you could ever experience as an Islanders fan. Starting with last summer's fiasco to the poor start to the season you will be hard pressed to find any Isles fan that could be optimisitic. The turn around started in mid-late October with the Islanders playing 8 or the next 9 on Coliseum ice, the team had a great home stand and you could see that maybe this team may be better then the so called experts predicted. After the 7-4 win over the Rangers in early December (who can forget Kozlov's 4 goal performace) the Islanders hovered around the top spot in the division till about the new year, then it happened. Everything an Isles fan fears, the dreaded losing streak. Something we have become all to familiar with during the days of Milbury, Bowness, Sterling, etc. The amazing thing about Teddy's team is the way they were able to fight through all the adversity. A poor January led to a wonderful run in Feb where the team got points in something like 13 out of the next 15 games. We sat in the 6th-7th spot with a nice lead over the 9th spot for most of the month. Then the Smyth trade happened and everyone associated with the team was rejoicing, this year was different. No one forsaw what would happen in March and when it looked like all hope was lost the Islanders stepped up again, with alittle help from others and once again defied all odds to what may have been the most exciting end to a regular season that I have witnessed in a long time.
Now we look at the greatest challenege yet, the Sabres. Every single expert has called for this series to be a cake-walk and looking at these teams on paper it is hard to argue that point. The great thing about the playoffs is on the ice anything can happen. The Islanders do not have the scoring that the Sabres have but they do have the determation and the will to succeed that many teams fail to demonstrate on some nights. I am not going to go into all the different stats because as we all know, no matter how we look at it the Sabres are the favorite. Deep down in me the crazy fan is telling me that Teddy will have our boys ready to play. If the Islanders play their game physical, can establish a forecheck and make the most out of their chances they can beat the Sabres. Yes a daunting task lies ahead but the history of the Islanders is to great to ignore, Never Say Die. Lets Go Islanders!