Sun, 14 Oct 2007 8:44pm
I sit here writing this from my Blackberry, soaking down a brew and smoking a stogie on this brisk autumn eve.I feel a bit like the Isles in that I've had a tough weekend of work, actually hit with three huge deadlines at my job, just as we are understaffed. I won't bore you with the details, just that after giving close to 15 extra hours of my time, I feel about just treading water. Not quite swimming, and not quite drowning.
And is that any different to how the Isles players are feeling just about now?
We all rode a nice wave of feel-good energy from a preseason and season start of aspects that led to some big wins versus the team that knocked the Isles out of the playoffs. Kind of knocking off that monkey on our backs, so to speak. Yes, we lost against Washington after that, but the type of game played still had us even in my mind. A big win versus the Rangers, despite the fact I thought we merely weathered a storm with some lucky bounces that went our way (and away from our own goal). Sure we were poised in the 3rd period, holding them off, just like we did with Buffalo.
So then the Isles hit the road, hitting Toronto like a wet sponge. A bad game, or indications of some problems? Who is to say. An 8-1 drubbing wasn't the greatest of starts, and the defensive gaffes made Marc-Andre Bergeron be the candidate for the healthy scratch the very next game. However, that too was a loss, 3-1 against a team they must beat to get a playoff spot this season, Philly.
So, who are the Islanders? It might be easier to recognize Keyser Soze right now. The 1st line was hot coming in, but cooled. With Bergenheim now on line 2, Vasicek and Satan are also clicking. But thats hasn't equated in wins. So, basically we can assume a few things:
1. All wheels are not quite on the ground just yet.
2. Defense still needs work, despite some success versus Buffalo, we've seen also some glaring weaknesses in players and in game.
3. This season will be battles for wins, where the mindset, players character and will to win will be key. Slacking in this regard leads to losses.
4. Guerin & Comrie off-games lead to complete power outages.
5. Line 2 and 3 MUST produce, and not leave fortunes on the 1st line.
6. Line 1 MUST create offense, EVERY time.
Now that Sim is out for the season, and Bootland and Tambellini getting extended looks, the Isles need to assess their longterm needs for the course of the season. They might need some trade partner help to place in longterm solutions, or Tambs will grow to fill that need.
Next up, Washington on Thursday night. This gives the Isles ample time in practice to work out the kinks and find consistency. We've seen the good and bad. Now they need to accentuate the positives, make adjustments, and find their game. In other words, the real Islanders must step up.
Back to my cigar . . .
my response to critics of the blog box:
How the Islander's are channeling Star Trek:
Opening Night from the Blog Box:
The New Breed: