Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07: Islanders 3, Senators 2, SO

Have you ever cared less about the Islanders giving up a late goal and allowing a conference rival to take a point at the Coliseum? I don't think that I have. I had a social obligation tonight (postponed from the night of the first Islanders-Rangers game this season--thanks again to understanding friends) so I saw only the first 15 minutes or so of the first period. Coming home to read of a victory over the might Sens was a wonderful surprise.

Three cheers to Josef Vasicek, Rick DiPietro, Bill Guerin, and Mike Sillinger for coming through against the toughest of opponents and showing the rest of the NHL that the Islanders can compete with the best that the league has to offer. I'd like to think that were some defensive stars in this one as well, but that will require further investigation. I do see that Islanders won 60 percent of the faceoffs and the PK finished 6-for-7 against a lethal group of forwards. Meanwhile the PP went scoreless in four chances, so perhaps including Berard in any kind of d-man rotation will be a brief experiment.

Now, let's go back to Monday for a moment. Following the game, Miro Satan served up a quote that had firestorm sprayed all over it. That is, of course, if anything that an Islander did outside of illegal stickwork or testing positive for a banned substance could cause a firestorm in the local media. However, I did see the quote repeated on a number of blogs and forums. When I first read it in Greg Logan's recap of the game, the quote immediately set off alarms. "Fans are going to pounce all over this one," I said to myself.

For those who missed it or don't remember, Satan said, "
Our record is fine, and there's enough experience and grit on this team to go through that." The first few comments attached to the Logan article were critical of Satan. But the conversation soon moved on to other topics. Satan has more or less escaped unscathed.

Saying "Our record is fine" reminded me of Tom Glavine's reaction to giving up seven runs in less than an inning of the Mets' final game this year, virtually guaranteeing that the team would not advance to the playoffs. When asked if he was devastated by the performance, Glavine replied that no, he was not devastated. For a pitcher who has lasted as long as Glavine has, and has accomplished as much as Glavine has, the fact that he was not devastated by one bad game neither surprised me nor enraged me. However, by declaring so in such a matter of fact tone, Glavine raised the ire of many a Met fan. That fan base was devastated by the loss and the season. Glavine miscalculated how his honesty would be perceived. Or he didn't care. For many Mets fans, Glavine's future standing as a Met was sealed by his lack of hurt regardless of whether he returned to the team. He was branded as complacent.

Was Miro guilty of the same transgression? After a tough loss, is it okay for a player to rationalize the result by saying it's okay, we're doing fine? Does that show a lack of fire? The vastly different circumstances make it much easier to excuse Satan and eviscerate Glavine. I decided to give Satan the benefit of the doubt, and judging by the diminutive outcry, it seems that most Islander fans did the same. And the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with Satan. At this point of the season, 12-8-1 was fine. And 13-8-1
looks a whole lot better.

1 comment:

Okposo Island said...

FWIW, I decided that Glavine needed to go after that July game in LA where they handed him 6 runs and he lasted 2 IP. By game 162, it felt to me as if the season had already been lost, regardless of what Glavine did that day.

Unless I misinterpret Miro, it's his way of saying "we're fine, but we know we should be better."