Posted on: October 17, 2008 8:50 am

Hockey is back!

The NHL season is going strong and the Islanders are playing pretty well.  Excepting the embarassing loss to Buffalo, they have been competitive and have managed to win a couple of games. 

The immediate concern for me is the health of our franchise goalie Rick DiPietro.  They signed him a couple of years back to a 15 year contract.  I was very critical of it at the time.  His play since then made me rethink my feelings on the contract - but his injuries have got me concerned again. 

The teams handling of DiPietro right now is also curious.  If he was healthy, he would have played at LEAST 3 of the 4 games they have had so far.  Ricky hasn't played a minute of any of them.  He looked bad in his only preseason game, so it is not suprising  they would not rush him.  HOWEVER, if he isn't ready (be it due to his knee, rust, lingering hip issues - whatever) why is he on the bench backing up?  Normally if a team is getting shelled like they did in buffalo, you pull the goalie...they didn't.  We all know that the isles don't exactly have the guns to come back from a bg deficit, so if it was just getting a little game action THAT would have been a perfect opportunity to get him in there with little on the line.

On the plus side, Trent Hunter with 4 goals is nice to see.  He's streaky, and I don't expect 50 goals there - but 4 at this stage is nice!  Weight also has 4 pts (2G, 2A) so maybe he's got a little left in the tank.  My hopes for this year are to see the development of the young guys.  That will take months to evaluate - but that is where the hope of a return to championship hockey lies for this team. 

I will be watching...and hoping...but not holding my breath.  I am a bit too cynical in my fandom right now!

Category: NHL
Posted on: July 14, 2008 9:02 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2008 9:47 pm

How much loyalty do I owe my team?

Um, I am an Islanders has been 3 and a half months since I watched an Islanders game.  I am a dyed in the wool sweater lslanders fan.  More than any team in any sport, they are by far the favorite.  How does someone become an Islanders fan anyway?  Well for me it worked this way:

1975, I was in the 4th grade.  Billy Harris - the Isles 1st ever #1 draft choice came to my school for father and son night.  My Dad, my brother and I watched as Harris played game film from the years improbable playoff run.  The Isles beat the favored Rangers in OT on JP Parise's game winner.  That would have been as much as an Islanders fan could have asked for.  But they had more...The next series, they fell behind the Pens 3 games to none and came back to win the series.  Then in the next series they fell behind 3 games to none against the Flyers...rallied to tie the series and then fell to the team that would win the cup.  Exciting stuff for a young was fun watching and hearing Harris comment.  I also won a street hockey stick for a door was Islanders fan for life.

The team was up and coming ...Potvin, Gillies, Nystrom and Resch.  Add Trottier and Bossy in the next 2 years and the epic battles with the Canadiens of Dryden, Robinson and Guy LaFleur.  (Drydens book "the Game" is a great read for an Isles fan).

1980 they finally win the cup and become 4 time champs in 1983.  It is a  great time on LI!  1984 - the drive for 5...falls short.  Was it Bossy's bad back, Potvins dad's death or the inevitable changing of the guard to the Oilers young talent (Gretzky, Messier, Fuhr, Lowe, Kurri).

Then the decline...hard time for Isles fans a  brief glimpse of hope in 1993...possibly derailed by a cheap shot from Dale Hunter on Pierre Turgeon...and then more disappointment.  Currently we have an exciting goaltender, a nice prospect in Okposo and until today a coach who squeezed some respectability out of a clearly lower echelon team.  They competed.  Despite not having the sniper or the prototypical power play QB.  The guy who was a backup goalie a couple of years ago fired the best coach they had in years.  Did he have an ego - sure probably.  Will they find someone who will do a good job...maybe, but somehow I doubt it. 

How much longer can I get excited  about a team that loses and when they start to make some moves to improve, shoot themselves in the foot?  Wang is no Islander...I am an angry fan right now

Category: NHL
Posted on: June 5, 2008 10:25 am
Edited on: June 5, 2008 10:26 am

Fantasy Sports-enhance or detract from real thing

I've been thinking more and more lately that fantasy sports have been hampering my enjoyment of actual games.  Not just say, as a Mets fan having Brian McCann on your team - of course a Mets fan doesn't really want to root for ANYONE wearing a Braves uniform.  This is a little deeper than that.  The time spent on the roster moves, evaluating trades, checking your scoring, etc.  really seems to cut into time I used to take to relax in front of the tube crack open a cold beverage and a bag of chips and moan about that long pass that went off some Jets WR's fingertips or that awesome glove that David Wright just flashed. 

Am I the only one in this situation?  I have been playing fantasy football for 15 years, baseball a bit less (though i owned a strat o matic baseball game almost 30 years ago).  I have been considering not playing in my big fantasy football league this year...anyone else starting to regret the impact of the fantasy game on the real thing??

Category: General
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