For those who read my “predictions” article at the start of this season, I basically said that I had no clue where the Islanders were going to finish. I didn’t get much of a response from Islanders fans from Long Island, but my NHL fans (Rangers, Devils, Flyers, Penguins) here in Pa said mine was either a cop-out or “The best politically correct piece of work” they have ever read from me. So in this this article, I’m here to defend myself.
When this season started, many “experts” had the Islanders in 14th or 15th in the conference. To me, that’s just lazy and disrespectful research. There was no way that this team was going to be that bad after making a few good drafts, and waiver wire pick ups. Having said that, I had no clue where to put them. Include a short 48 game season, not an 82 and to top it all off, just days before the season had begun, Isles general manager Garth Snow goes out and adds 4 pieces from the waiver wire to help out with the depth of this team. Now I know for certain that this team will not be basement dwellers, but how good could this team be. My real experts, the fans from all over North America have said that they’ve been waiting for the Islanders to just come out of nowhere and BAM!!! they make a statement and a team to deal with come the playoffs. Well, look what happened?
Let’s not beat around the bush here folks, before April Islanders fans were either proud to be fans or were driving them nuts to the point where some kind of drinking was involved with every game played. In the beginning of the season, we saw a bad losing streak and people thought a draft lottery was in place. Such was the culture of this franchise. Then April comes along. A great month of almost undefeated hockey changes the culture of losing, to the Nassau faithful chanting “We want playoffs!!” Sure enough, that’s what we have. The Islanders have exploded onto the scene, John Tavares is Hart trophy mentions and the Coliseum is finally going to rock in the month of May. The fans, not “experts” got it right.
Make no mistake folks, I didn’t make a prediction this year because only the players knew how good they could be. It was all on them, no one else. After seeing what we all saw this year, after seeing this team finally have an identity, I can make two predictions: First, the Islanders are for real and they’re not going anywhere. This team is not a fluke. Second: This organization, barring anything drastic happening, can make the playoffs for the next TEN years. That’s right, ten. Live it up Isles fans, you’ve earned it.
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