Mark Streit's turn in the spotlight this weekend gave us a little more insight into how he sees the club to which he committed the next five years of his career last summer:
"I never thought we'd be in last," Streit says. "You probably have the biggest (hole) in our lineup than any other team. Guys like (goalie) Rick DiPietro, (forward Doug) Weight and some veteran defensemen are out with injuries. It's been tough to swallow. This gives the young guys a chance. Maybe in two or three years, this will end up being good for the team."
What's great is Streit's play has never tailed off this season. I know he could still be in "prove I deserve it" mode, but it's a positive sign that, amid the injuries and full realization that this season was spinning away, you could never tell it from his play.
Fan Q at IslandersPointBlank: Which of your current teammates do you expect to be All-Stars some day?
There are many. I’m sure Rick DiPietro will be back to the All-Star Game. Some of the young guys like Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey definitely have the ability to be all-stars. It is up to Kyle and Josh to work hard and keep both feet on the ground. If they do, I believe they can get here.
Sounds like Streit will be one of the vets keeping on those youngsters. Add another future All-Star from this summer's draft, and maybe the pieces of recovery start falling into place.
But it starts with salvaging something positive out of the rest of the season:
"Everybody has the weekend to clear up their minds and have some different thoughts," he says. "For me, I'm playing in the All-Star Game, which is unbelievable. The other guys can get some time off. You'll come back with a fresh mind and highly motivated for the final 30-something games."
Just don't jeopardize the best lottery slot, okay?