I want one simple thing: Patience. Too many naysayers have already written off Scotty "Flash" Gordon and the Islanders even before the year is out. Sure things look bleak as the temperatures fall well below freezing, but there are a lot of things to be thankful for as the Islanders play their last game before the fat man gives all those nicely wrapped presents to the kiddies.
- We have a GM and a Coach on the same page and both are willing to stand up for each other when the times get tough.
- We have a grizzled, veteran defenseman not afraid to speak his mind and rather than demand a trade, state that he wants to be part of the solution.
- We have a group of young players both with the big club and down in the "A" that are learning the ropes and although it's trial by fire, it's better to learn on the job.
- We have a "system" that permeates through the organization like Elmer's glue that will hold this whole thing together until the Islanders hopefully have The Lighthouse and the kind of players that we can all be proud of.
We also have a fanbase that so desperately wants to get through these hard times that they are unwilling to heed the call of "patience". It should have been very clear at the beginning of this season that times were going to be tough. There was no enigma when Garth signed a wily vet in Doug Weight, who many an expert had already deemed DOA. There was planning for the future when Snow signed Mark Streit away from the rest of the NHL for a reasonable $4.1 million a year for 5 years (and he's been worth every last penny of that salary). There even was some forethought when the scouting team chose to trade down twice to draft Josh Bailey at #9, who projects as a really well-rounded 2nd line center.
What gets me is the disillusionment of some fans who think that Mike Milbury is still the GM and some quick fix is going to come waltzing through the door. Unfortunately, you guys are going to get left out in the -3 degree wind chill we felt here on the Island yesterday. I know it will be difficult, but it's time to get out of the cold and into the warmth of the "Old Barn" and support the team we love. We know that Islanders are struggling. That's just a fact of the life and times of this franchise and it's something fans will have to accept.
Patience is the key to this whole operation. If the Islanders will ever return to their former glory and fans can stop having to refer back to the "Dynasty Years" to describe a hockey team that collectively has been terrible since 03-04, it will be through a long, hard rebuilding process. Fans should recognize that they are in on the ground floor of something great. A team that has the right people in place to make this endeavor work. It's time to just ride out the storm and appreciate the things we have, like the New York Islanders.
For Questions, Comments or Bonehead Calls e-mail me at DougD84@optonline.net.