Cage goes in the water, Isles go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark.
Isles are on a three game win streak. Sharks on a 3 game losing streak. Trade deadline, meanwhile, which might be influential to both teams, is just over a week away.
Think this game doesn't mean much?
Sharks need a win on their roadtrip like nobodies business. And the Isles, they need a point from every game they can, especially within the next week. Leap into the top 8, and they might have to change their mindset entirely. Even if this blogger does not agree. But a playoff buzz seems to have major vibrations into cash flow and planning, especially as the Lighthouse Project seems to still be meeting with different townships to smooth the surface and schmooze in that ooze of Long Island politics.
And it brings up the question. Must it be playoffs or bust due to plans on tap? Or can the Isles, do they have room, to rebuild and retool, even if they still look to compete the rest of this season.
Almost every Isles discussion has a few who want the playoffs at all cost. But most here, and on other boards, and blogger/writer opinions seem to be more in line with a future vision, even if it means playoff failure here and now.
So, how to navigate that? Moreover, where does ownership and the committee stand in lieu of this mindset? Garth has already made a statement on Toronto radio that admits the phones have been ringing.
"If we have a chance to make this team better, not just for this year, but for the future, we will look into that"
- Garth Snow
He admitted that the next few games will really determine if they are buyers or sellers. And did bely what many fans also want . . . a longterm winner is more important in the scheme of things. Garth seems to recognize this, and is not going to move any youth nor any 1st round this season.
Foundation for the future was a key term used. And that is something that I like to hear.
Right now the GMs meet in Naples, FL. And if you think last year laid the groundwork for trades, this one is even more key with the deadline so close to it.
Meantime, the Isles face a San Jose team of stars, vets, and young guns. San Jose, a team that many thought would get through Detroit and hash it out with Anaheim. Well, except yours truly. But there is no doubt this is a powerful team who will be coming in ready, willing and able to go to the mat.
This might be a physical game, with San Jose flexing those muscles to get back to their winning ways. The Isles have played far sharper lately, with a clinic against the Thrashers. But here is a key moment for there to be a letdown with this young, venerable, and oft times, inconsistent team. And eventually all those players missing, especially Witt, in a game like this, will show. The defense will be pressed and stretched. Forwards might get battered and bruised.
Can the Isles shoot a few barrels into the San Jose forwards? Can they survive versus the beast?
"I'm not talkin' 'bout pleasure boatin' or day sailin'. I'm talkin' 'bout workin' for a livin'. I'm talkin' 'bout sharkin'!"
A sharkin' we will go. Hopefully it won't be the U.S.S. Indianapolis