All's well that ends well (Isles benefit from shortened season?)
Hockey is back and everything is right in the world of the NHL. Well, sort of. There are some sour faces on fans that feel betrayed by the shield. But pouty, angered people will quickly turn that frown upside down. Fans will forgive as soon as the first puck drops on January 19th. Who can hold a grudge with the game we all love so dearly? (Photo Credit: Flickr/bobfina72)
As the new season rapidly approaches, there are some immediate questions that need to be tended to.
Who will the shortened season favor: the veteran teams or the young guns?
How will teams deal with the immediate pressure of each game meaning more than usual?
With emphasized importance on a regular season that sometimes drags, the fire in games should and will be evident.
Without having a schedule in front of me since they are not readily available, I am going on the premise of rumors of what the schedule will look like. There will only be games inside of each team's conference with seven games being played with each division rival.
Instead of sitting here and wondering what could be with the young core of the Islanders here in 2013, fans will actually get to see it. Tavares will continue to get better and move to the top of the league in many offensive categories.
In John Tavares' fourth full season in the NHL, Isles' fans have the right to be excited for what the future holds. Islanders' fans hope their beloved franchise player can improve on his 31 goal, 50 assist season.
Isles could have a hope that Tavares breaks the 100 point plateau in 2014 with a full slate of games. This year, they should hope that he puts up comparable numbers to what he did through 50 last year. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Dougtone)
The real, pressing question will be if the Islanders are surrounding their gem of a player with enough talent. Only time will tell if the crop of draft picks being hoarded by an organization that had a tendency of rushing or trading, will pay off.
To speed up the process of rebuilding, free agents need to be sprinkled in with the home grown talent. With the news of Brooklyn being home in 2015, they should be able to compliment their young talent with proven stars sooner than later.
The Brooklyn Nets' recently locked up Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, which could be a sign of things to come. The Islanders could be hopping on that trendy Brooklyn, big city popularity surge that the Nets experienced. Players will see marketing opportunies as well as a desirable lifestyle in Brooklyn.
However some may feel about the move to Brooklyn in 2015, there is no denying the positive ramifications this has in attracting players from other organizations. This should help, as the Isles struggle each year to gain any ground in attracting free agents whether premiere or subpar.
The most recent example is Lubomir Visnovsky, who has decided to stay in the KHL rather than play out in Uniondale. This is no coincidence. Try as he might, Garth Snow cannot wrangle any players to play in the Old Barn. Who can forget that Christian Ehrhoff took less money to play in Buffalo?!
As fans clamor for a team that is relevant, optimists can't help but think about what the future should hold. While the Rangers are able to lock up stars to go with their excellent homegrown talent, the Isles could not do so for many years.
That will change. Maybe it had everything to do with an unacceptable facility but the tide is turning. Brooklyn gives the Isles the appeal they have been missing.
For now, fans will enjoy a season in which anything can happen. Analysts are ignoring or counting the Isles out as usual. But the shortened season could bode well for the young, more adaptable bodies of one of the youngest teams in the league.
If anything, just look at this positive notion: there is no time for a November/December losing streak! (Photo Credit: Flickr/bobfina72)