I never want to see my team lose as bad as this...but it happens...hell, in Jagr's debut game for the Rangers they lost 9-1 to the Senators and I think Jagr was held to one assist (don't ask me how I remember things like this, I just do). The major problem with last night's loss was that there was no heart in the Isles game. They quit once they were down 3-1. Their shifts lacked hustle and the desire to bring the game back to their side. Once again, the Isles lack an identity.
I was thinking back to the 02-03 season when we played the Leafs for the first time after that awesome playoff series the year before. I loved hearing Scatchard be the first one to say, "hopefully we'll get a good lead on these guys and be able to get some revenge." Of course he back tracked once the media had fun with it, but guess what, he came through fighting Corson at center ice. That game was awesome. I loved hearing the fans chant, "We want Tucker!" I loved seeing Webb throw himself around like a canon ball.
The game has changed and players like Scatchard and Webb don't really exist anymore, but that doesn't mean grit and heart have left the game. The Isles back then, although flawed in many ways, had heart. They stood up for themselves and each other. You haven't seen that in this team since the first year Nolan was coach. The reason that's missing is the fact that this team continues to change it's roster every single year. The team needs a core that sticks around to maintain that heart and desire to win not just because you're a hockey player, but because you're a New York Islander.
As bad as this sounds it makes me happy that they lose this bad because it puts fans into a reality check - we're not a playoff team. I want this team to win, but lose enough at the same time to have that top-2 draft pick. I want Weight to bring in another first rounder at the draft and then be re-signed again with Guerin over the summer to maintain that core of players that we need in order to develop unity. A lot needs to be done with this team. But with that being said I'm not too worried because it has been apparent that Garth and Gordon are aware of that.
For any that say that Gordon is a bad coach, it is very premature to make that kind of assumption. He's working with what he has and doing what we wanted in letting the kids play, which is part of the process of rebuilding a franchise. Gordon, as well as Snow, knew this team was going to have bad losses such as last night. Look how long it is taking to get the Lighthouse Project underway...it's taken several years and we still are in some form of limbo waiting for a final answer on when (or if) the shovel will hit the dirt. But once the Lighthouse is built, pending everything passes, we should have one of the most exciting and better looking arenas in the league. The Lighthouse process is the same with the New York Islanders. We're rebuilding.
As frustrating as it is, we have to sit back, watch the mistakes, and hope that they learn from them so in the future we can be what the Pens are today. Until then, patience is a virtue.