"I find your lack of faith...disturbing"
- Darth Vader
I feel Gary Bettman's hand around my neck. Or perhaps, like Darth Vader, he's using the force to clamp my ability to breathe. Hockey has been just too few and far between. The schedule this season is just screwy and self-destructive to the game.
2006 11 games:
Oct 5, 2006 AWAY Coyotes
Oct 7, 2006 AWAY Sharks
Oct 10, 2006 AWAY Kings
Oct 11, 2006 AWAY Ducks
Oct 14, 2006 HOME Bruins
Oct 16, 2006 HOME Predators
Oct 19, 2006 HOME Penguins
Oct 21, 2006 HOME Hurricanes
Oct 26, 2006 HOME Sabres
Oct 28, 2006 HOME Panthers
Oct 31, 2006 HOME Blackhawks
Now to 2007, despite there being 9 games look at the tremendous gaps between the dates:
Fri Oct 5, 2007 Islanders Sabres 6 - 4
Sat Oct 6, 2007 Sabres Islanders 2 - 3
Mon Oct 8, 2007 Capitals Islanders 2 - 1
Wed Oct 10, 2007 Rangers Islanders 1 - 2
Thu Oct 11, 2007 Islanders Maple Leafs 1 - 8
Sat Oct 13, 2007 Islanders Flyers 1 - 3
Thu Oct 18, 2007 Islanders Capitals 5 - 2
Sat Oct 20, 2007 Devils Islanders 3 - 4 OT
Sat Oct 27, 2007 Hurricanes Islanders 8 - 3
Talk about your stuttering steps to a hockey season. The empire of the NHL has simply dropped the lightsaber with their scheduling this season. And the Isles are not alone. Ottawa and many others fans are riled, and these teams all fight against serious gaps between games due to some braincramps from those who should know better.
It simply boggles what's left of my mind. (Wild Turkey does kill braincells). Sure we've mentioned it before, but think of how you would feel training hard at camp, rolling out a few quick games, and then sitting on your keister for weeks at a time. Its not easy. It simply shouldn't be a situation for the teams and the fans.
November will be better for the Isles fan: A full 14 games. And it begins tomorrow night versus the Lightning, which will be Mike Sillinger's 1000th game.
Then on Saturday, a huge night for all Isles fans as Al Arbour, our own Obi-Wan Kenobi, takes the reins and coaches his 1500th game. A tremendous idea and a reason for celebration. And now a good start for steady play for the Isles, who have had tremendous difficulty with those time gaps.
Al Arbour will be at the game tomorrow night watching the team take on the Lightning, and will conduct the practice on Friday. If you are a fan of the Isles, Saturday's game should be at least one absolute must this season.
So, November is only a day away, and perhaps the REAL start to the Isles going to war.
So, the evil empire might stack the odds against us. What else is new. Between potshots from The Hockey News and other outlets lately, despite our good start despite these schedule issues, respect is still not forthcoming. A one-sided letter from clearly a Ranger fan ran in THN's newsprint bashing the Isles with factually incorrect errors. This is not the first swipe by THN, nor the last. Luckily, OUR war is on the ice surface. And only they will determine the outcome.
For your entertainment, a Vader vignette. A rather funny one with James Earl Jones lines from other movies. Check it out.