Monday, November 17, 2008

Islanders Top Canucks, Stick It to Vancouver Press

I would have posted this regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, but I admit it's a lot more fun after the Islanders defeated the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout.

A lot was made on tonight's television broadcast of the hatchet job done on the Islanders leading up to the game by members of the Vancouver press. Columnists, bloggers, and TV hosts everywhere have been taking cheap shots at the Isles since the first season previews began to appear, but lately these criticisms are really starting to miss the mark to hilarious effect.

I first became aware of Gordon McIntyre's piece in The Vancouver Province during a visit to New York Islander Fan Central prior to today's game. Let's do a little more call and response...

General manager Garth Snow has put together a pretty good squad -- if it was the 2001-02 season.

But Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin, Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger are all past their best-by date.

All right. But let's just do this for fun:

Doug Weight—18 GP, 4 G, 12 A, 16 pts
Henrik Sedin—18 GP, 3 G, 12 A, 15 pts

Bill Guerin—18 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 pts
Daniel Sedin—18 GP, 6 G, 8 A 14 pts

I don't know. They still look fresh enough to me.

And, yikes, is that Richard Park wearing an 'A' and logging up to 19 1/2 minutes?

Yes, that is the highly respected veteran, loved by players and coaches alike, wearing an 'A' in the absence of injured teammates Sillinger and Brendan Witt. And while Park may have hit 19 1/2 minutes here and there, he's averaging around 15 minutes per game. Actually, now that I look it up, Park has only hit 19 1/2 minutes once, 18+ minutes once, and 17+ minutes twice. He's played as few as 12+ minutes four times.

This once-proud franchise has long been a joke and owner Charles Wang is hinting he will leave town or sell the team if the decrepit Nassau Coliseum, long past the glory years of Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy, isn't replaced.

Actually, he's not hinting that. The media and the commissioner are hinting that.

The Isles will be missing defenceman Thomas Pock, suspended for five games after getting a major and being tossed from Thursday's game for elbowing former Canuck Ryan Shannon in the head in his debut with the Senators.

They would also be missing Witt and Freddy Meyer, who have played very little this season and, no offense to Pock, are much more significant losses.

I don't want to get in the habit of doing this (unless it proves to be endlessly fun), but sometimes they just make it too easy.

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