Stolen right from the lips of the late Met, Tug McGraw, "YA GOTTA BELIEVE" is the phrase that should be circulating the Isles dressing room and Coliseum concourse. Especially since the critics had been counting on the Isles to be in the Taylor Hall sweepstakes by now, even encouraging having another lackluster season. Even I doubted the Islanders had what it took to be in the hunt, especially when I told Puck Daddy "I wouldn't reserve my playoff tickets this season." Never been so happy to eatÂ my own words becauseÂ now the Islanders sit just a win away from leap frogging the Flyers, Rangers, andÂ Habs who all have 55 points and hold the 6, 7 and 8 spots respectively.
As fans we've watched boys become men and a team grow together so much so that this team knew from the start of this year that they were playoff material. "when April comes around, I expect us to be in position to compete in the playoffs." That was Richard Park told Islanders Point Blank back in September and everybody looked and laughed. I guess the jokes on them, since a young up and coming group of hockey players have found ways to win.
The Coliseum has even become a place to help develop talent that was given up on, as highlighted by Newsdays Mark Herrmann. A combination of patience, responsible spending, and a coach who know how to nurture young talent have all worked to put together an on ice team that's entertaining, fun and most of all competitive.
Now those words that Park said back in September are being echoed in a much more specific way by the captain. "We're good enough to beat a team in a seven-game playoff series," Weight said, "and we're good enough to be in the playoffs." The team believes this, they've felt this way for a while and you players like Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson, who have both worked hard to get here, would love for that hard work to pay off and make the playoffs. The fans have also regained faith, highlighted this past week by 2 sellouts and a strong showing during Thursday's match up against the Panthers. Not to mention that ticket sales are up 20% and team revenue is up 11% according to Islanders Point Blank.
I go back to the phrase "YA GOTTA BELIEVE" because somehow that has been the rally cry for both the Jets and Islanders, both of which coincidental sent their rookie stars to throw out the first pitch at Citi Field. The point being is even when things looked over for the Jets they perceived on using a core of rookie and vets to lead the way and nearly went all the way. Sounds familiar to the Islanders, minus a few factors, but theÂ core is simulare. Rookies and young guns leadingÂ the wayÂ backed by some experienced vets who know how to motivate a team. So Islanders Country, "YA GOTTA BELIEVE!"no comments
I will have a Triple Feature up after this, Yes a Triple Feature. But in this game, it was Rick DiPietros return to the Coliseum. He played well enough to earn the win against the Sabres, 3-2 in the shootout. In the next triple Feature, I'll have the game against the Devils, where Rick DiPietro also played, the game against the Panthers, and finally tonight against the Devils. Thank you, and enjoy this video, while I work on the Triple Feature
USE EM' OR LOSE EM'
Welcome to another installment of Use Em' or Lose Em', this week we will be spotlighting two more Islanders players:
Jeff Tamballini: Tamballini has been a very on again off gain player who has been up and down from Bridgeport to Long Island for so longÂ he has his a special seat reserved for him on Port Jeff ferry. So far he's matched his goal total from last season, 7, and has nearly matched his points total. He's appeared in 24 games, and recorded his first career hat trick back on Halloween night 2009. However he has failed to score a goal sine November 23 in Toronto. To make matters worse for the kid, he has been an on and off scratch since the arrival of Rob Schremp, who seems to have found his niche in Gordon's system, and hasn't played in twoÂ weeks. It seems management is scared to let him go in fear that he will become a consistent, quality player somewhere else, but after five years with the Islanders organization I say it's to set Tamby free.
IHB VERDICT: Lose Em'
Andy Sutton:Coming off an injury laden season Andy Sutton has stepped up to one of, if not the best Islanders defenseman this season. He leads the team in block shots, also making the list as one of the league leaders in that category, has been a BIG presence on defense laying into opposing teams heavy and hard, all while also managing to help further develop young D-man Jack Hillan. Sutton's contract runs out after this season and it would be wise for the Isles to hold onto this stand up veteran who knows how to bring a tower of power and pain.
IHB VERDICT:Use Em'
** no comments
Tuesday night's Isles/Pens game has left many with a sense of anger and disgust, but not with Andy Sutton. Much of the uproar has been with the comments made by the Islanders broadcast team after the hit. Billy Jaffe and Howie Rose allegedly are said to have blamed the victim, Pascal Dupuis, for leaving himself extremely vulnerable and that's what caused the outcome. ManyÂ Penguins fans have not taken to kindly to that and hell who couldn't blame them.Â When a player on your team goes down fans take it to heart and will not take kindly to any negative words said.
While fans may be cooling down they still feel a tad disrespected. Pensblog summed up their frustration with this simple insult, "well if we had to watch the Isles all season, we'd be jaded too."
So to Billy and Howie I say this, next time choose your words more carfullyÂ to make sure not to insinuateÂ purposly or accidentally thatÂ the victim is some how at fault.Âno comments
Ever sinceÂ Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton laid out Penguins LW Pascal Dupuis last night, he was assessed a 5 minute major penalty for boarding, a 10 minute game misconduct, and most recently a 2 game suspension.Â
This meaning that Sutton, the Islanders best D-man, will miss Tomorrow night's game versus the Florida Panthers and Saturday's game against
This all happened when the Islanders were defending in their zone halfway through the third period. Dupuis, turning, went for the puck behind the net and by this time, Sutton thought Dupuis would turn all the way around to have his shoulder aligned with the boards. While in fact, Dupuis didn't turn all the way around and Sutton was already committed to the hit and accidentally slammed Dupuis' face into the dasher.
A pool of blood formed, Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson waved over assistance, and while teammates Sidney Crosby and former Islander Billy Guerin escorted Dupuis off the ice, Andy sutton was swiftly escorted to the penalty box, thus making the islanders skate shorthanded for the majority of the remainder of the period.
Andy Sutton was visibly upset about hurting Pascal Dupuis. They have been friends for a long time, teammates in
While Andy is sitting out Thursday and Saturday, his fellow defensemen will have their work cut out for them. (Okay maybe not against the ECHL-caliber