The Right Stuff?

Commentary, Islanders, Off Season 1 Comment on The Right Stuff?

Yes, I am using a movie from 1983 to reference the Islanders.

BuellerAnyone remember that?  Anyone? (Sound like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! – Bueller?  Bueller?)

Well – to give you a history lesson, the movie “The Right Stuff” is one of the best movies ever made, in my humble opinion.  It talks about the great race to space in the late 50s and early 60s.  The goverment got the seven bravest and best pilots in the military to begin testing the rockets that were being built and seeing if they can go off to space before the Russians did.  These seven pilots came from the Navy, Air Force and Marines, and at first were not in sync.  They did not like each other. 

However, in time not only did they earn each other’s respect, but were a team, making sure that they were able to get the best out of each other, but of the new technology to give them the chance to win the race to space.

When the seven were debating with the engineers for their needs, you began to see the seven together as one cohesive bunch, all on the same page. They even got mild mannered Marine John Glenn (played brilliantly by Ed Harris) to even swear a little (F-ing A, bubba!).

That is why I am seeing from this Islander team.  The core players that have long term contracts have now been here approaching four years.  Instead of Garth Snow going out and getting veteran players (like most fans are clammoring for), he is sticking with his core.  He is keeping the guys together.  As they are more and more comfortable with each other, they are getting better at the same time.  When one slips, the other picks up the slack. 

There are times that I wish that the always unhappy fan would just see that this team is such a close bunch; a crew that has each other’s back and will do everthing for their teammates.  The chemistry is so strong.  When you look at our friends to the west (about 20 miles to be exact), you see them buying talent with big names, as well as big expectations.  But in so many instances, it does not lead to the results that everyone thinks they will get.  It is this ‘lack’ of chemistry that see that team struggle to make a difference.

Yes, I know that we don’t get those players, but I am subscribing to the theory that it takes a team to get the positive results.  Chicago has done it by getting the young guys to ‘grow’ together.  Yes, they added some pieces, and it has yielded them two cups.  I think we are at the point that they were around the 2008 mark, when they were just coming up to the surface.  The Isles can be that team.  With JT, Matty, Kyle, Josh, Grabby, and the other up-front men, playing the roles of Armstrong, Glenn, Cooper, Grissom, and the other guys with the “Right Stuff”, a great story can happen soon enough.

Come on the journey!

** – Note – the schedule is hopefully going to be released TODAY!  The NYI Booster Club is hopefully making some road trips this season.  Check out @NYIBooster on Twitter, or check the NYI Booster Club Facebook Page, and see where they hope to go.  Get involved and make these trips happen.



Gary Harding

Gary Harding is the Lead Writer of Isles Talk. A former President of the Islanders Booster Club, and a season ticket holder for over 24 years, Gary qualifies as a ‘long suffering’ Islander fan. He, and his wife, Claire, sit in row A of Section 317, and attend just about every game possible, as well as a few road games in the year, too. He has been a member of the“Islanders Blog Box” since 2008; a project that allows bloggers like him, to be able to obtain media credentials to Islander home games, and get the perspective of reporting a game, just as if he is a full blown member of the media. Starting in August of 2013, John Panarese and Gary are talk show hosts on SPORTS TALK 1240 - a Part of the Sports Radio New York group on WGBB AM-1240. John and Gary are on at least once a month - talking about New York Sports (with a little Islander influence). Gary, born and raised in Levittown, on Long Island, and worked for a major car rental company for almost 26 years, and now is a Process Improvement Analyst for Icon Central Laboratories. He has been married to Claire for 7 years. They met on a bus trip to see the Islanders play in Montreal. Gary also is a fan of the New York Mets, Long Island Ducks, New York Jets, Everton of the English Premier League, and is a big fan of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Gary is also an accomplished bowler, having achieved perfection on May 4th, 1994, by bowling a perfect 300 game. His highest league average ever was 219, and highest series was 798. Gary also just had weight loss surgery in May of 2013. In the four months following surgery, he has lost nearly 80 pounds, and feels great. For further information on bariatric surgery options, check out Long Island Obesity Surgery. Favorite Isles Moment – Everyone says the cups. They were great. However, I was not a season ticket holder, or going to the games, so my favorite, was the 1993 march to the semi’s – beating Washington and Pittsburgh – the best was seeing Darius Kasparitis punching Lemieux like a rented Mule! Funny how a few years later, they were teammates. Of course, Montreal had NINE guys on the ice when they scored in Overtime in Game 3 of the Semi-Finals. Favorite All time Isles player – Tie – Bossy and Trottier on Offense, and Glenn Healy at the net. (Remember Pens fans, Trottier TAUGHT Mario how to WIN!) Favorite Current Isles player – Okposo and JT – of course – with a close third to Michael Grabner; and with every day appreciating the play of Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic. This year, I am on the Matt Donovan bandwagon. (If I dont - his mother may hit go after me with a Skeet Gun!! LOL!) Favorite NHL City – Not Long Island – Vancouver with a close second to Ottawa – followed by Montreal (spot a pattern here?) Favorite player – not an Islander I like watching Ovie! – He is animated, funny and makes his mark. Also enjoy watching the Sedin twins play. Also - with his last name being the same as mine - Josh Harding of the Wild. Team I hate the most (what do you think?) Gary currently resides in Halesite, Long Island. His e-mail address is

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