Just wanted to get a few things posted before I head off to bed.
As I was eating a very late dinner, I turned on the NHL network and happened to catch “On the Fly” recapping the Islanders win over the Flyers. What I heard next completely flabbergasted me – the guys were talking about several Islanders in the trade rumors and how teams wouldn’t really want players who were “comfortable with losing”. What kind of statement is that and who in their right mind is comfortable with losing? Have these guys not listened to any of the quotes coming out of the Islanders dressing room the past several weeks? The same comments that got DiPietro several post game interviews off after pushing a little too far? Its one thing to speak about the Islanders with some doubt, but to have that much negativity is outrageous and sickening. I find it hard to believe that any player in that locker room has grown comfortable with losing.
The Islanders may be in dead last when it comes to scoring, but they are in no way out of the picture just yet. They have shown over the past 3 games that anything is possible and gained 3 extremely valuable points in the standings. The Islanders are now only 5 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, 2 points from 10th and 4 points from 9th – so all is definitely not lost.
What is lost however, is defenseman Brendan “the warrior” Witt who went off after taking a knee on knee hit late in the first period – he would not return to the game. Several of us in the locker room discussed the scenario should Witt miss any significant time, the Islanders have Johnson readily available but with an injuries to Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli – the Islanders may need to call up someone from Bridgeport to fill the role. The loss of Witt further compounds a bad situation on defense as they have not been as solid as they were earlier in the season. Witt is good for numerous blocked shots a game, so Sutton and Meyer really need to step up and keep playing good hockey in his absence.
Tonight the Islanders played a great game, they had goals from getting bodies to the front of the net (Hunter and Fedotenko), and also from a speed game with goals from Tambellini and Bergenheim. DiPietro played solid for the most part; he was completely handcuffed on one goal by Briere on the power play. I don’t really know what was said to the team at yesterday’s practice – but the team really needs to keep up their play, because I absolutely loved what I saw tonight.
Now only if it didn’t snow tonight, maybe a few thousand more fans could’ve enjoyed the game as much as I did.
I plan on breaking down the game a bit more tomorrow night after work – sorry this post wasn’t as in depth as it would normally by, but it’s late and I am exhausted.