November 10, 2010

Thoughts on Scott Gordon, Game vs. Ducks and Other Items

3:54: Roloson is in net tonight.

3:13 PM: I realize that it has been a few days since the last post, and I apologize for that. Sean is on his vacation, and I had to take care of a couple of matters before being able to sit down and write some thoughts down.

I'll start with the recent talk of Scott Gordon and his status as Islanders coach. I made a mention after the Ottawa game that Darren Dreger made an interesting comment about how much longer losses could mount before something would have to happen. Obviously, when a team is struggling one assumes that the coach would be the one to go. I'm not convinced that the Islanders would dump Gordon in-season when he is already in the last year of his contract. However, nothing is impossible, and if they did dump him it would be nothing short of a HUGE mistake.

When Ted Nolan left and various candidates were mentioned, I was a big proponent of bringing in John Tortorella or Paul Maurice. I knew of Gordon as a dark horse candidate, a guy who was being eyed with so many teams turning to younger coaches such as Cory Clouston. When the Islanders announced him as coach, I was pretty content and was excited to see what he could provide to the rebuilding team.

After a little bit I wasn't his biggest fan, I'll admit that. Those of you who have been followers from the beginning may remember that. I had to take a step back and realize that this was a young NHL coach who had his own learning to do when it came to system adjustments.

If rumors are true, then the Islanders need to take a step back themselves and realize what is going on here. Gordon is left with a very inexperienced, cheap roster that has a ton of injuries on it with Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit missing significant time. I don't like using items like that as excuses, and it wouldn't be if some of the players were more developed or the team could spend money. It's just the reality of the situation now.

As far as Gordon losing the team, I don't believe that at all. Players are just not giving it their all. You can see it, notably from Blake Comeau. A few games ago I made the mention that he was at the very least still fore checking hard. That's not even the case now. Comeau has had inconsistency issues at all levels, with many different coaches. I'm not going to buy the idea that Gordon has lost him. I will say though, that tuning out the coach is a very plausible idea when he's in a contract year. It rarely happens in sports, but the Islanders elected to do it this way. It's very dangerous territory.
I don't blame any single person for the seven game losing streak, but when I analyze the situation I can't help but continue to glace in Charles Wang's direction. Since media day, when allegedly we were going to get more updates than in the past, we have heard nothing about the future of the team. I understand the cost cutting due to this, but the fact that there doesn't seem to be any contact with anyone is disconcerning. There comes a point in time where one says "alright, enough is enough already, let's start thinking about it more and stop being stubborn." I supported the project, although admitted it was slightly too big to get approved fully. I'm at the point now where I blame everyone in that fiasco. I can only hope that through all of the silence that he is actually going to meetings behind closed doors.

At any rate, Katie Strang couldn't get a solid answer from Garth Snow on Gordon's status as he cited a team policy that explains how they don't talk publicly about the coaching staff, but he and the coach were happy with the improvement the past two games. Fair enough.

I hope Strang's source that says that Gordon's job is not in danger is correct. It would be a grave error on the part of the Islanders.

Quick Hits from Last Week: I wanted to make an extensive post or even a podcast to go over some things just like we normally would when Sean is here, but like I said I was unable to be able to do much for that. Perhaps this weekend could be a little bit better. Although we are both on the record with our predictions in the last podcast, I want to re-iterrate my stance and say I still feel the Islanders win in Anaheim tonight. The games against the Kings and Sharks are going to be tough, but if the Islanders can get back on their game they can match up with both of them. They did last season.

We were both off on our predictions last week as I thought they would go 2-1 while sean was feeling 1-2. He doen't have them winning any of the games this week. We'll see.

When it comes to a Sin Bin pick for the week, there are a number of guys to choose from. My instinct was to go with Rick DiPietro because he let the games get away from him and kept coming out of the net and gave up some bad goals because of that. But Comeau sure gave him a run for his money, and it's a toss-up. I'm going Comeau.

Isles vs. Ducks: The Islanders are in Anaheim tonight to face the Ducks. Anaheim is coming off a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose last night, while the Islanders last played Saturday night. Zenon Konopka made the trip after haing his injured foot looked at. He blocked a shot late in the game against the Flyers to injure it. As a precaution, the Isles re-called Jon Sim from Bridgeport.

The Ducks had a poor start to the season, but have won their last four games. Their defense is still suspect, however, just as much as the Isles defense is. I would expect a high scoring game.

Ryan Getzlaf injured his ankle last night, and there has been no word yet on if he'll play or not. He was supposedly going to test it out some time today.

No word yet on who's in or out for the Islanders. If the team announces it in the next little while, I'll have it here. If not, then you'll have to rely on Katie Strang or Chris Botta.

Here's hoping we have a win to analyze tomorrow.


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