Who knew the slump would end and there would be an upswing so close to the trade deadline? If you are as big of an Islanders fan as I am, you almost knew something like this would happen towards crunch/decision time. If it wasn’t a hard enough decision for Garth Snow to decide if he is going to be a buyer or a seller come deadline day – this current string of positive outcomes and great play has to make things even harder.
With so many things going against the team; several injuries, slumping players, and of course the longest losing streak of the season it almost felt as if the Islanders could not pick themselves up from their funk. It is almost as if the injuries to Gervais, Witt, Sillinger and Campoli have made the team excel in the face of diversity – something the team has really begun to enjoy. Defensemen such as Sutton, Meyer, Johnson, Berard and Bergeron have really held their own and in Berard’s case exploded with production. Meyer and Berard have been two of our most offensive defensemen as of late – who knew?
To quote Kerry Cornils, quoting the movie Major League in his game notes today:
“Ok, guys. We’ve won two games in a row. If we win tonight, its called a winning streak. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE.” – Lou Brown “Major League”
The Islanders have defeated a good, but slumping team in the Flyers and have beaten a downtrodden team in full rebuild mode in the Maple Leafs – so tonight should really be a good test when the team faces the Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers have only won once in their last 5 and that was against the New Jersey Devils, so it should prove to be a good game.
Aside from the defense, center Mike Comrie has stepped up his game in a big way. In five games serving as alternate captain, Comrie has 6 points – 3 goals and 3 assists with 3 points coming on the red hot powerplay. There have been a number of people calling for the team to trade Comrie come the deadline, but several sources have said that Comrie is content playing for the team and is looking for an extension. With his recent play and the added responsibility – I am all for Comrie staying on providing the team surrounds him with a true top six forward.
I will be at the game tonight, I have a feeling the Islanders should explode with offense tonight. I will do my best to post from the game and I will be uploading pictures from the past games here in a few. Don’t forget, that tonight is DiPietro bobble head night, so get there early! Coincidentally, I just went to the Islanders store to pick up my Sillinger bobble head….so this is a big bobble head day for me.
Should the Islanders lose, expect Garth Snow to begin to explore trade offers and inquiries as the Thrashers sit ahead of the Islanders in 10th place with 62 points. The Islanders are currently in 13th with 59 – these are extremely valuable two points up for grabs tonight.