Sunday, January 4, 2009

Launching 2009

Welcome to the new year. First, let me say thanks for allowing me to recharge over the last several days. My batteries died without warning. That and the west coast trip left me feeling oddly detached from the Islanders despite missing only a few chunks of play here and there.

I'll be honest—at times it can feel like there's not much left to contribute with two, full-time major bloggers on top of everything and us independent types with a tiny fraction of the access that they have. You're getting your information and breaking news there first. And Islanders fans themselves are so engaged in everything that all it takes is a trip to the comments on those blogs or forums like HF Boards and Islander Mania to make it seem like there's nothing new to say.

But that's the challenge—to continue to have something to say, or simply something to share. So we press on! (Even if pressing on begins with a post like this.)

It's a few days past now, but still worth it to congratulate Doug Weight on reaching (and passing) the 1,000-point mark, and Josh Bailey on erasing that doughnut from the goals column. I'd also like to congratulate The Drive for Five on being named the 2008 NYI Blog of the Year in voting held at Yes! Islanders.

Who else can we congratulate? How about Garth Snow for picking the right free-agent defenseman?

And while we're passing out accolades, let's recognize the NHL for putting on another great show with this year's Winter Classic at Wrigley.

And for your end-of-year entertainment, here are Puck Daddy's Top Ten Goals of 2008 (one of them scored by an Islander—see if you can guess who before watching).

The tone of this season has certainly changed a lot in the last month. It's no longer about seeing how far this team might go. The day to day of what happened and why is now secondary to the what's going to happen and how well will it work.

It almost seems as though we're entering a period of limbo where not much matters except that Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, Jeff Tambellini, Bailey, and a quick healer named Nielsen continue to play larger roles and find some success in doing so.

The first shoe hasn't even dropped yet, but we're already anxiously waiting for the other one to bounce off the floor. After March 4, we'll be able to regroup, enjoy the rest of the season for whatever value it holds, and then look forward to Year 2 of this multi-year project.

I should have more to say soon about specific expectations for players as we move forward. In the meantime, we have a team out west that at least won't let you shut off the game in the middle of the third. With a light schedule on Monday and some flexibility in my lineup for a rental, my fantasy team now includes the point-producing machine Richard Park.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I recently had a random run-in on a New York City street with Butch Goring, whom I have never met, but who was nice enough to stop and talk to a stranger who called out his name.


7th Woman said...

Happy New Year! They go so fast now, don't they?

And you're right... what "new" items can we bring to the table? Not many, if any. It's like trying to squeeze a word in edgewise. But patience and persistence will pay off... I think.

Garth has tough decisions to make. I wish him well and hope he doesn't lose any more hair making them!

Dominik said...

Happy New Year!

Know what you both mean with the all-access newsbreaking blogs. I find myself trying to mix in team news for SBN surfers from other teams, while hoping to avoid turning off Isles fans for whom any news is old news (by the time they hit my site).

For what it's worth, I love that your posts are often timeless perspectives. Doesn't matter if the topic is "late-breaking" or not -- I just enjoy reading your perspective on things. They never sound rushed.

Re: Butch Goring. This is probably because I see more of his personality (on TV) than I do others', but I can't think of many better old Islanders to run into on the street. That must've been a treat.

Islanders Outsider said...

Dee, let's hope Garth doesn't get his drafting power from his hair then.

Dom, I think writing for a site like SBN demands that you include all pertinent team news for other teams' fans even if it seems a little repetitive to you. You do a great job of mixing it up with insights and reactions that keep those of us who have already read the day's news highly entertained.