|Let's calm these knee-jerk reactions|
As expected, there would always be cause for concern on Long Island. There will always be the doubters, the people ready to jump ship as soon as the team shows the slightest bit of struggle. An early first period goal allowed? Fire Cappy. One poor performance? Trade Nabby. When the masses voice concerns about the team, their play and their management, somebody has to be there to listen and talk them down from the ledge because some of these knee-jerk reactions are absolutely unreal. I mean, it's September, folks. We shouldn't be pushing the panic button like this already, nor should we be all season long.
But we will.
Our fan-base has been exposed to a lot of crap over the past two seasons, and I get that, but we tend to overreact VERY often to so many LITTLE things; so, for throughout the entire season, Isles Op-Timism will hold Islanders Therapy to discuss every little thing that bothers every one of you...and try to calm the noise.
Today, we discuss the Islanders preseason thus far. Read what I have to say, then feel free to vent, yell, chime in.....whatever it is that you need to do. I promise I'll be here to read and respond.
What has it been, five games...four of them resembling MAYBE half of what we will see on the ice for Isles on the regular season's opening night? And the Islanders have won one of those games, a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Two of the others (both versus the Calgary Flames) saw the Isles split-squad teams unravel in the second period, and the other two saw both Isles teams blanked, including a 3-0 defeat to the Devils at the Barclays Center.
OK, so there's worry. The Islanders have been kept off the scoreboard for two straight games, and I get that; but, "we're going to suck again"? Really?
The Isles didn't get the job done against the Devils. They played a poor brand of hockey, and faced a goalie who made some saves that he absolutely shouldn't have made in Cory Schneider. It was disappointing to see the newly-formed first-line of Matt Moulson-John Tavares-Pierre-Marc Bouchard held off the scoresheet, and it was even more disappointing to see the team blanked in the Barclays' opener.
Teams get shutout. It happens.
The Islanders finished 2013 with the 8th best offense in the NHL, and some of the team's key players weren't even active. Admittedly, most of them were; however, Michael Grabner, the team's 2nd highest goal scorer last season, Cal Clutterbuck and other roster-hopefuls with offensive potential (Peter Regin, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome) were kept off of the ice.
But fine. They played a bad game. They did. There' s no denying that.
But then we use last night's 2-0 loss in Nashville as part of the reason to panic? Come on.
2013 isles postseason: 2-4, two shutouts against. 2013 isles preseason: 1-4, teo shutouts against. Nice offseason @GarthFauxYou do realize one of those shutout losses came during a game where the forwards group looked like this, right?
— JoshBarely (@JoshBarely) September 23, 2013
And that they faced a pretty close to complete Nashville Predators team, right? I mean, Pekka Rinne played 40 minutes in Nashville last night. Let's chalk that one up to panic city, though, because IF this were the Islanders opening night roster (which is far-fetched, even for a "hypothetical scenario), they would be in trouble.
The coaching staff is aware that the team has work to do, as do many others around the NHL. They know what they have to do to fix some of these issues, some which are still arising. This is why we have the preseason, which should have been evident last season when the Isles spent the first half "figuring it out." Come October, the team's best players will be on the ice.
Look. The Islanders were a playoff team last season. The players and the coaching staff did an unbelievable job to get in there.Of course, that doesn't mean they are going to be this season, but nobody should be losing faith in this team because of a few split-squad preseason games.
Let them work it out without critiquing every little thing that goes wrong, especially in September, when the games matter as much as the results of my Xbox Live matchups in NHL 14.
Be free, Isles fans. Sound off.
I'm Chris Triants, and this is my blog.
Let's go Islanders!