TheDriveForFive's blog

Late Period Heroics Not Enough in Disappointing 5-4 Loss to the Coyotes

TheDriveForFive's picture

Growing up an Islander fan and seeing the team miss the playoffs for nearly a decade, you get used to cheering for the hard worker. You know, guys like Patrick Flatley, Claude Lapointe, Kenny Jonsson, Steve Webb, Mike Peca and now of course, Richard Park and Sean Bergenheim.

Seeing the way these guys have played as of late is one of the only reasons why I haven’t put my foot through the TV. The same thing goes for Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau and Mike Comrie, who have played their tails off over the past week.

Blog of the Year? Isles Minors Report

TheDriveForFive's picture

Yes. It is now official, I am the 2008 New York Islanders Blog of the year, according to the team and Damn, that feels good saying that. In all honesty though, even if I didn’t win, I still know that my work is appreciated. Over the past three seasons, I’ve posted something every day during the regular season and have kept this site going in the offseason with tons of vent sessions to the point where I know that I am appreciated by my readers. That’s all I really ever wanted [that and some extra money hehe]. So winning this award is simply like the whipped cream on a damn good sundae.

Comrie Comes Alive in 4-2 Win Over Panthers

TheDriveForFive's picture

Mike Comrie hasn’t been himself this season. Dealing with a serious hip injury for most of the early season, many wondered why he even decided to play instead of getting healthy. The reason, is a simple one. This team needed him. However, at that time, he wasn’t really in a situation to help out as much as he would have liked. Now healthy, Comrie has been a different player over the past four games and combined with the play of Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau, or the “CoCo Kola” line as I like to call them, the Islanders have more jam than they’ve had in a month.

The Weight-Watching Begins

TheDriveForFive's picture

Aside from being the Islanders leading scorer this season, Doug Weight has done something that not a lot of free agent acquisitions this team has made over the past decade or so have been able to do.

Make his teammates better.

Under Weight’s tutelage, not only is Bill Guerin a better player, but every player he’s played with has been better when they’re on the ice with him. That’s not to say that Weight has been a miracle worker, but he has been a near a point a game player this season and has Guerin on pace for a 30-goal season. I’m also sure that youngsters the likes of Sean Bergenheim, Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey are getting schooled after every great pass and harassed after every foul up. Weight is that kind of player.

That’s not too shabby a deal for everyone involved if you ask me.

Isles Fall to Rangers, What’s Up With DP?

TheDriveForFive's picture

Don’t let the box score fool you. This was not a close game. The Islanders, in spite of their perseverance, were out-played throughout the entire game. If not for Joey MacDonald, this could have easily been an 8-4 game.

In all honesty, it probably should have been. That way this team would know how poorly they played.

The breakdowns in the defensive zone have been a prolonged problem this season and if this team is going to get their respect back any time soon, that’s first thing that needs to be fixed.

Isles – Rangers Pregame Thoughts

TheDriveForFive's picture

This was the game I was waiting for about a week ago, when the Islanders looked like the ‘93 Ottawa Senators. Now that they have their jam and spunk back to an extent, this game against the New York Rangers should be a ton of fun.

Let’s now pretend that the team is not playing the hated-Broadway Blueshirts. Let’s be unbiased and fair in assessing the quality of this team. Between the pipes, I feel like they have one of the top three tandems in the league in Henrik Lundqvist and Steve Valiquette. On defense however, I feel they are extremely overrated. Sure, Dan Girardi and Mark Staal are exciting and promising youngsters, but overpaid veterans the likes of Michal Rozsival, Paul Mara, Dmitri Kalilin and Wade Redden make this defense nothing special in my opinion.

Despite Valiant Comeback, Isles Lose in Shootout

TheDriveForFive's picture

I said yesterday that I don’t care if the Islanders win every night, I just want to see this team put forth a solid effort.

I want to see passion. I want to see intensity. I want to see jam.

That third period, well the last minute and a half at least, the Islanders had me confused. They went from playing well-intentioned, but too unfocused to win hockey, to being the owners, founders and major shareholders of Smuckers. Yes, my friends, they were making jam.

Isles Win?

TheDriveForFive's picture

I was getting the feeling that was never going to use the picture to my left ever again.

But, as this team has proven this season, when they skate their tails off for 60 minutes and don’t make mistakes on defense, they can and will win, regardless of the team they’re playing.

Even though I got a bunch of great things for Christmas this year, thanks to my lovely girlfriend and friends and family, this was one of the best gifts I received this year.

Simply put, this team skated as if their rears were on fire.

I, on the other hand, was totally exhausted from a hectic day on Christmas and Christmas Eve, but I stayed up anyway and watched them.

They deserved it.

I think us fans deserved it a bit too.

How Long Will the Losing Streak Last?

TheDriveForFive's picture

It’s been 10 games and nearly a month since the Islanders last win.

Even in my darkest days as an Islanders fan, I’ve never seen things turn this sour. I mean, things were awfully bad during Butch Goring’s tenure as coach, but let’s be honest here, those teams had no chance. They were full of youngsters, with washed-up veterans that wanted nothing but a paycheck. There was no Bill Guerin, Brendan Witt or Trent Hunter. However, in spite of the markedly different lineup the Islanders have this season, things feel just as dire.

Taking a look at some of my old posts, particularly the “Worst Case Scenario” post I did before the season started, I came to see that this is in-fact the worst case scenario for this team right now.

Merry Christmas from The Drive for Five!

TheDriveForFive's picture

It’s crazy when I think about it.

This is the third Christmas this site has been around.

What first started off as a way for a young college student to earn some extra [practically a tiny piece of] bread while writing about his favorite team in the entire world has slowly turned into a way for a college professor and working journalist to earn some extra [practically a tiny piece of] bread while writing about his favorite team in the entire world. During that time, I’ve seen the Isles go from a playoff team, missing a few pieces and being able to make the second round, to a team riddled with injuries, to a team that is downright poor.

Isles Lose Tenth in a Row

TheDriveForFive's picture

I’m going to level with you guys today. I didn’t watch the game in it’s entirety because I was out covering the Brooklyn Aces of the EPHL for my Aces site, Once I got home, I was so exhausted that I just popped in some Battlestar Galactica and went to sleep. This morning however, I did sift through the game and unfortunately, I didn’t like what I saw.

Gordon Not Making Excuses

TheDriveForFive's picture

The Islanders haven’t looked like a playoff team in quite some time this season, but Islanders head coach Scott Gordon isn’t making any excuses.

Simply put, with all the injuries this team has had, you wouldn’t blame the guy if he did.

Not having Rick DiPietro in the lineup for virtually the entire season alone gives him a get out of jail free card, but even in spite of that, Gordon hasn’t made any excuses.

“Certainly, not having your No. 1 guy for the whole year has been a unique situation,” Gordon told the AP. “It would be a unique situation for any team, but certainly, as a first-time head coach in the NHL, to not have your No. 1 guy and to have to rely so much on a guy that’s done a great job at trying to make a name for himself as a proven NHL goaltender, it certainly has been a hurdle.”

Random Rant: Crosby Goes Too Far

TheDriveForFive's picture

Rather than talks about the Islanders specifically today, I figured I’d take the time out to address the actions of Sydney Crosby over the past week.

You see, Crosby for all his talent, obviously has a vision problem. The other night, he thought Boris Valabik’s testicles were a punching bag. If you haven’t seen what happened, check it out here a few times.

The Skid Continues in 1-0 Loss to Predators, Mom Says the Isles Stink

TheDriveForFive's picture

The Nashville Predators have scored 12 goals this month.

This is a team the Islanders should have beaten, even without the bodies they’re missing.

Instead, the Isles beat around the bush for 60 minutes, rather than establish the forecheck. On top of that, this team refuses to skate the puck into the offensive zone and repeatedly plays dump and chase, which, to me, is like praying to win the lottery every night before you go to bed [do you hear me up there, lottery gods?]. Why not skate the puck into the zone and start a cycle?

At any rate, I don’t have the answers to these questions. As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone in the organization has the answers right now.

MacDonald’s Effort Not Enough in 4-1 Loss to Wild

TheDriveForFive's picture

Thank you Joey MacDonald. You played your tail off last night. You made one show stopping save after another and did everything in your power to ensure an Islanders victory.

The only problem was your defense forgot to show up.

That and Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo proved that they have a lot of growing up to do defensively.

I said in my pregame piece yesterday that the Wild defensemen needed to be watched and not allowed to make that first good pass out of the neutral zone. With that obviously not happening, combined with the Islanders inability to generate quality scoring opportunities did the Isles in once again.

However, before a terrible third period, I really liked what I saw from both Mike Comrie and Okposo, who were hustling and were at least noticeable.

Then, again, it happened.

DiPietro Back After Christmas, Pregame Thoughts

TheDriveForFive's picture

On December 26, the Islanders will have 48 games remaining in their season. If all else goes as planned, they’ll have their franchise goaltender back as well. I don’t know how you guys feel about this, but to me, this may end up being a pretty damn good Christmas present to all Islander fans.

The only question is, what DP will the Islanders get?

Will they get the wild and crazy, puck-chasing lunatic that lives on the edge and gives Islander fans ulcers, or will they get a mature leader that can help take this team out of the mud and somewhere respectable?

DP Learns His Lesson, What’s Next?

TheDriveForFive's picture

According to Greg Logan’s blog, it looks like Rick DiPietro isn’t going to be playing dress up any time soon.

Logan calls it a lesson learned. I, on the other hand, call it the Islanders organization finally using common sense.

Isles Show Moxie, Ovechkin Shows Talent in 5-4 Loss, Looking to the Future

TheDriveForFive's picture

Doug Weight is getting closer to that milestone and the Islanders are getting better, but again it’s not enough.

One great period wasn’t for the Islanders to win last night and why should it have been? How many times has this team played great for 40 minutes this season to only come up short? So when the Islanders managed to play one of their best third periods of the season, I wasn’t holding my breath.

It didn’t matter that Joey MacDonald battled back after a few shaky goals and kept the team in the game or that Richard Park played on his best games in an Islander uniform. It didn’t matter that Bill Guerin, Mark Streit and Weight were solid. It didn’t matter that Tim Jackman was killing himself in the corner or Freddy Meyer was doing a decent job against Alex Ovechkin.

One turnover, one shot, one game.

Weight Deserves Better

TheDriveForFive's picture

Undervalued and underutilized last season in Anaheim, Doug Weight came to the Islanders for a second lease on his career.

If any of the other team’s in the league didn’t pick up the one time All-Star, it was because he was coming off the worst season of his career and one that made it look like he was on his last leg.

That’s why many GM’S around the league and Islander fans alike thought Islanders management was crazy when they were the ones that brought him in this summer. However, Weight has easily been the team’s best player this season and has already proved his value, scoring 27 points in 30 games, two more than he scored of all last season.

Should the Islanders Take the Plunge with Avery?

TheDriveForFive's picture

When nothing is going right, do you try a quick fix or do you wait it out and possibly torment your fan-base and organization more?

That’s the question plaguing the Islanders right now. Not to say that Sean Avery is exactly a quick fix, but he may be the injection of spunk this team needs right now. Over the past few games as well, the Islanders have put Jon Sim, who, let’s be fair here, is a poor man’s Avery, on waivers, making it obvious his services are no longer needed. Considering Avery isn’t extremely overpriced at four million per, do the Islanders take the plunge?

Syndicate content