That buzz you hear around Nassau Coliseum is louder than it has been in a very long time.
There is nothing new about the New York Islanders heading into a new season trying to improve on the one before. Yet, this one has a different feel even though last season ended again without a trip to the playoffs.
The Islanders are set to begin training camp and, albeit for different reasons than last year, are doing so amid a typhoon of optimism and potential.
With training camp around the corner, there are a number of questions surrounding the Islanders. A while back, I sat down with Chris Peters, who writes for Eye on Hockey at CBSSports.com, to ask him a few.
The Islanders are at a crossroads and have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. I figured I’d sit down with Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien and ask him a few of those questions.
The New York Islanders have promoted Doug Weight to assistant general manager and added Greg Cronin as an assistant to head coach Jack Capuano.
“I don’t think we’re far off at all,” defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “I certainly believe in the group we have.”
Don’t look so down, Jack. You get to keep your job. You have basically been cleared of wrongdoing. Garth has rightly jumped on the grenade.
“Cappy will be back,” Snow said. “If we have an opportunity to add to our staff, the way we’d look to add a player, then we’ll do that. But I don’t expect to change the current staff.”
It’s almost astounding how quickly the tides turned; how fast chants of “We Want Playoffs!” were replaced with “Fire Cappy!” and “Sell Wang Sell!” and how suddenly everything went wrong.
I don’t need to sit here and tell you about everything that’s gone wrong with the Islanders this season, but I will tell you this: By no means is this team completely lost.
The Islanders have many problems, but they’ve shown over the last month that when they are good, they are very good.
Ryan Strome should’ve been an Islander in October, but he’s here now and he’s making a difference. And he’s not the only reason the team’s been better of late.
We know the Islanders want to succeed, but they need to start winning games. That’s all that matters now. Moral victories don’t get you points in the standings. Actual victories do.
The New York Rangers have been miserable, but at least they have hope of turning it around and saving their season. The New York Islanders are a different story.