Easter Conference Echoes: Where do the Islanders go from here?


I’m sorry Islanders fans, but your organization has become a punchline around the NHL. I honestly think I’d rather watch the Devil Wears Prada (if you never seen it/heard of it, consider yourself lucky) on repeat than have to sit through a live Islanders game. I know I’m being harsh, but the Islanders have been a stale organizations for a few years now and also one of the least entertaining teams in the league.

It’s too bad, though. The Islanders have had a rich history and was once considered one of the most dominant teams in NHL, winning 4 straight Stanley Cups from 79-81, 80-81, 81-82, and 82-83; however, since the lockout the Islanders have only made the playoffs once, which came in 2006-2007. In the rest of that time, the team didn’t have a winning season. Now this season the Islanders are at the bottom of the whole league with only 6 wins in their 30 games thus far.

I know what many Islander fans are saying and that is “we’re rebuilding”, but with what? I understand John Tavares is the “golden boy”, but Tavares hasn’t looked very impressive this season and only managed to muster a solid rookie season, but he didn’t do anything to get too excited about. This season, in 27 games, Tavares has an unimpressive 16 points and isn’t even leading his team in points– the 27 year old, 9th round pick Matt Moulson is with 17 points in 30 games.

Tavares is the player the Islanders have decided to build themselves around and maybe he will be the superstar that many expect, but without a solid supporting cast, he’ll be a big fish in a small pond. Tavares does have a good compliment and that is Kyle Okposo, but Okposo has been sidelined all season with a torn labrum. After those 2, the Islanders have a bunch of young underachievers like Blake Comeau, Rob Schremp and Michael Grabner.

Also, what’s the point of having the relic Dough Weight on the team anymore? What does he add to the squad? He isn’t an offensive threat anymore and he is injured more than he is healthy. Sure, Weight was a good player in his prime, but 39 is far from prime-age. It’s not like you’re bringing a long a veteran presence that will help the youngsters. Doug Weight is nothing more than a hope and prayer at this point. I understand the theory is to have Weight be the resident “father” for the young players, but it hasn’t helped. If Tavares and Okposo are going to be great, then they’ll do it by themselves; it’s not going to because of Doug Weight coddling them.

And let’s be honest, this team doesn’t have a franchise goalie. If you’re one of the few Islanders fans left that thinks Rick DiPietro still “has it” then you’re more delusional than Theo Fleury thinking he has a chance at a come back. Unfortunately, the Rick DiPietro deal will go down as one of the biggest busts in the history of sports. Right now the Islanders are relying on 41 year old Dwayne Roloson to fill in for the once again injured DiPietro.

Of course, we all know who you blame– the management. They have the right formula. On paper you want a young team with a ton of potential with a smattering of veterans in the lineup to help bring them along, but what they’re doing wrong is picking the right people. Drafting Tavares and Okposo is definitely start, but they aren’t hockey studs yet and the people they’ve brought in are nothing but disappointing.

I really don’t mean to rip apart a team with a rich hockey history, but as a fan of hockey, it is embarrassing to see such a team flounder. At least the Islanders fans have one thing to look forward to and that is the first round draft pick.

Thanks again for reading this week. Hope everyone has a happy holidays! Of course pictures are from yardbarker.com and don’t forget to check out sabrenoise.com.