Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Leadership Is a Big Part"

So where is it?

The Captain returned for another season, but he has been invisible since he was listed as having back spasms and yesterday was announced as being put on IR retroactive to his original injury date.

I will not lay this "slump" the size of the Grand Canyon at Doug Weight's feet, but as Rob McGowan and many of my blog box buddies have mentioned, the lack of veteran leadership on the team is a key factor.

It is not that they were not SUPPOSED to be on this team when it was built in September. They just are not here. This is not the first time that a team of AHL rookies have had to step up and get the Islanders to at least be able to compete. But it seems sadly different this season.

As my husband put it as he came home to see the latest of the Islander loses, a 5 - 0 shut out to the Nashville Predators: "This is the worst Islanders team EVER." Strong words, but he is one of those Islanders Dynasty era die-hards that just can't stomach the losing streak.

Neither it seems can James Wisniewski. If chemistry is as important as it has been said to be, then we can see why this team is struggling. "I know for me personally, I've had about six (defense) partners."

Yeah. And many of the partners he's had are like green corn: Just not ready yet.

You don't want to use the 149 man games lost before last night's game as an excuse? It has to be. This team was supposed to have a very different look to it when the schedule first came out. WE were supposed to see a break-out season for so many of the "young core players." We were supposed to have another All-Star year for Mark Streit. Doug Weight, who has more experience in the NHL and international competition than the current roster times two, was supposed to guide the youngsters and develop their winning ways.

It's December, the NY Islanders do not have a chance to climb so far out of this hole that they can snag an eight place playoff berth and that is sad and definitely was not part of the plan.

Sadly, that means the plan now, with the December 19th roster freeze looming, needs to be change. Maybe there is a veteran presence out there who is not happy where he is, who has one or two years remaining on a large contract for a team that needs some cap relief. Maybe he could fit nicely in a locker room filled with kids just nearly of drinking age. Maybe.

If that player is out there, can someone please contact the NY Islanders and let them know.

Kudos to #MightyMattMoulson who played with a banged up knee so as not to ruin his streak of consecutive games. Also to Rob Schremp who has played only about 65 games in the NHL who played yesterday with a left eye partially closed from the stick to the face. Bruno played in a full cage to protect that busted cheek bone of his.

This is a team of walking wounded and rookies. This isn't the team that was supposed to be playing the NHL (not AHL) 2010-2011 season. Let's remember that.

No comments: