Thread: Islanders Point Blank: Superb Interview With Gord Miller
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05-01-2011, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
With all due respect, I do think Miller's commentary on being weary/cautious about the Isles' record in the second half of the season indicating they *will* be good next year is a valid one. Granted, he might just be spewing the usual and applying it to the Isles, but there is merit in the idea that you have to be at least a bit cautious when evaluating the results of a team that starts winning when they have nothing left to lose.

An example of this, and how pressure suddenly makes it a whole new ball game, is the New Jersey Devils this year. Like the Isles, they got off to a horrible start that pretty much had their season written off by about the 25-game mark. After the coaching change, they then went on that ridiculous winning streak, and went something like 23-2 during one particular stretch. They had no pressure every game, because their season was written off for dead.

But what happened when that winning streak put them back in striking range of the playoffs, when making the playoffs was a possibility once more? When the games were suddenly pressure-filled, because if they lost, it meant losing ground on teams they had a realistic chance of catching? Their record wasn't quite as spotless, and they even faltered a bit during one stretch of games that basically cost them the chance to pull off a miracle ending to their season.

All of that isn't to say you shouldn't be optimistic about some of the individual things you saw during the Isle's turn around. The scoring production of Grabner, the improvement of Tavares' all-around game, Moulson showing his 30 goal season the previous year wasn't a fluke, the emergence of Hamonic and Macdonald on defense, etc. Those are things to be excited about, and to pin hopes for the future on. But I don't think the actual wins and losses during a time when none of the games meant anything are the best indication of future success.

All IMO, of course. And, as my NJ example above, it's not just "because it's the Islanders" that I feel it's a legitimate point, even if Miller did seem to be a bit ignorant on some of his comments toward the Isles.
very good post sid the kid, even with the post concussion issues you still got game!

Wonder how much Burke was counting on last seasons Leaf surge coming into this season or this seasons late surge for next season? hm.

I don't put much stock into the record per se, but I must say the Isles weren't blown out of any game since December. Even with subpar goaltending and incredible injuries, they still managed to be "in games" with a chance to win. They were much better at protecting leads and their younger players were the KEY players in getting better.

These are reasons for optimism, sure, but EVEN IF all goes well with continued development next season and Streit/Okposo come back healthy, this still isn't a playoff team.

Question marks in goal, defense and in the top six.

You have to think that if Nino makes the team, he probably won't be great in his rookie year, same for deHaan. If Okposo, Bailey don't take a huge step forward they're in trouble. If Grabner only average 3 breakaways per game that will be a huge set-back.

This NEXT step, the playoffs, is a HUGE step....not an incremental step that's a foregone conclusion.

I'm still optimistic ONLY because I believe in Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, Grabner, Nielsen, Moulson, Streit, MacDonald, Hamonic, deHaan, Niederreiter, LANDESKOG/COUTURIER - I think these guys are really good hockey players and represent a solid core.

But this is a core that's two years away - at the earliest. (IMO) -- but we will see!

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