Predictions for the upcoming NHL season are starting to surface in various print and online publications. Much like last year, the early consensus has the Islanders finishing last in the division, last in the conference, and last in the Academy Award voting for Best Live Action Short Film. You know, any excuse to put the Islanders last. Here's why I don't care:
- Garth Snow has once again put together a team that can thrive under the leadership of Ted Nolan.
- Making predictions is mostly a worthless exercise. I suppose it takes up column space. It can even be informative and entertaining. But, in the end, predictions have very little value.
I know there are some Islander fans who are upset at the lack of respect being shown for the team as indicated by the various last-place predictions. I say forget about the predictions. Let's just drop the puck and see what happens.
Which brings us to point #1. Ted Nolan's reputation is based on his ability to get the most out of his players. Fedotenko, Comrie, and Vasicek are precisely the kinds of players whose talents should best be served by a coach who knows how to motivate individuals (which, by the way, was one of Al Arbour's great strengths as a coach). There are certain players who simply will not fulfill their potential without the proper environment. We've had to watch several of them struggle on Long Island when it was the wrong environment. I'm expecting good things from this group. But I'm certainly not going to make any predictions!