Isles End Season on Sour Note, Fall 6-2 to Bruins, Soap Box Time

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The only thing worse than watching the Islanders lose 6-2 is watching the Islanders lose 6-2 in person.

In the end, I felt horrible for my g/f, who had her first NHL spoiled by the exploits of Phil Kessel and the Bruins, who dominated the living crap out of an Islanders team that was sluggish in both ends of the ice.

Despite that however, you could see that Islander fans and the organization feel better about this team than their record indicates, especially Islanders head coach Scott Gordon.

“We have some elements of team identity to carry over into next season,” Gordon told the Associated Press after the game. “The second half of the season flew by with the attitude and commitment we had.”

After a dismal first half, the Isles were a different team in the second, as many of the youngsters carried them. Up until April, the Islanders were playing close to .500 hockey in the second half, no small feat for a team missing players like Rick DiPietro, Trent Hunter, Andy Sutton and Mike Sillinger. During that span, Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Blake Comeau and Sean Bergenheim proved that could be everyday NHLers, while Josh Bailey and Jeff Tambellini showed that they may be able to contribute a bit more than they did earlier in the season as well [keep your fingers crossed.] Even the super youngin’s like Jesse Joensuu, Mike Iggulden, Trevor Smith and Joe Rechlicz have shown some potential and will be fighting for a job in training camp next year.

Doug Weight came back for the last few games of the season and showed his support for the team by signing a one-year extension, while Yann Danis fizzled out after a three-week stretch of excellent hockey in February and March.

Sounds like a Soap Opera doesn’t it? Now imagine writing something about a team like this every day for a year and watching half the other dudes and dudettes give up halfway through.

Seeing the Blog Box occupied only by the uber dependable Gary Harding for the last game of the season yesterday was pretty disappointing. Those guys have a privilege and to just give up because the team is losing says way more than any of their writing ever could.

That’s one of the reasons why I’d rather write at home [aside from the fact that I cover minor league hockey, live in Brooklyn, run three other sites and teach college English and journalism] anyway. What I’m trying to say here is that the Islanders should pay attention to these things very closely. When your most dedicated super fans can’t show up to watch the game from one of the best seats in the house and do something hundreds of young journalism students would die for, you know you have a problem.

Simply put, this team needs more offense, needs to stay healthy and needs a new building. Once that happens, all the fans that gave up will have a reason to believe again and this team can gain it’s respectability back.

Nothing short of John Tavares, the lighthouse project and Rick DiPietro back in net can fix that.

Site News: Now that the season is over, I will update less often, probably once or twice a week, in order to give myself a much needed break. Thank you to everyone that helped support me this season. Hopefully next season we’ll be able to talk Islanders hockey a bit longer.

Photo by Patrick Hickey Jr.