Colin Campbell's wheel has spun and landed on a three-game suspension for Danny Briere. By the standards of the NHL where "injury received" and prior history are major factors, that seems almost consistent. Briere's hilarious explanation that he thought Nielsen might do something to him at the draw is stunning; his feeling of freedom with his stick to spear between the legs or crosscheck the face bears watching.
If you remember last Monday, we're doing a weekly poll using that lovely SBN "Fan Confidence Poll" gadget on the left margin of the home page. For now, the standard question is: "How confident are you in the Islanders' playoff chances?" Stretched over a season, that question could get painful. Last week, after week 1 of the current two-week dip in Islanders results, already saw a dip in "confidence." After a 6-1 slaughter in Philadelphia, now what?
- Jon Sim has been placed on waivers [Islanders Twitter] Matt Martin earning his keep? (Or alternatively, just room for RSH's return? Grabner is also skating.)
- Milan Jurcina's hamstring injury is projected at two to four weeks [@KatieStrangNYI]
- Part II of Botta's video with Glenn Healy. [Islanders Point Blank]
- Would the real Islanders please stand up? [Voice of the NYI] Or get angry at least? [Eyes on the Isles]
- More post-mortems and state of the franchise by 7th Woman and McGowan at THW; The special teams from Hockey Crazy
- When stuff gets rough, the rough get posting about other things: Story of Doug Weight's number 93 (and 39). [Islanders]
Earlier this week:
- WeBard's Islanders prospect roundup [note Nino already scored, link in BC's FanShot]
- mikb updates the "Real NHL Standings" (i.e. if a loss were a loss)
- Earlier Today: An interview with the author of a book on Frans Nielsen and the rest of the Danish NHLers.
- FanPosts of note: Collecting "Butch(ery)" or Goring's best | The Roloson v. DP data collection (and rant) post is alive and well | ...as is JP's Islanders Name Game for the word dorks among us.
So again: Now how are we feeling about the Isles? Is this mild roster shakeup -- one somewhat predicted during the summer -- enough to get you hoping for a modest turnaround?
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A Note about Saturday's Recap (if you care)
You probably don't need to read the following unless you are curious about my approach to Saturday's recap.
In my game recap of the Islanders slaughter in Philly I gave Broad Street Hockey the ol' satirical treatment for Travis' focus on the "childish" acts of an Islanders goalie while a suspension-worthy act by a Flyer grew barely a passing glance. To me it was completely missing the forest for the trees -- which, given past treatments of Flyers sins, is why I made the rare decision (rare for me) to mock it outright and throw all of Flyers history out with the bathwater.
But to be fair, Travis later professed Briere deserved a suspension. And if you don't know, Travis is a good writer who busts his tail both creating and growing that blog/community and as manager of all of the SBN hockey blogs. I mean that sincerely, and disagreeing with events and interpretations doesn't change that.
(As for Rick DiPietro's forays: The first scrum was downright silly and made a bad situation worse, into a 5-on-3. The second foray outside the crease, however, I don't blame him one bit: It was 3-on-5 and he had just watched his center get hacked in the face by Brave Briere, who ran away, away.)
Some of their fans interpreted my razzing their fanbase and the one-sided version of events as a way of showing the Islanders fanbase is God's gift to hockey. Not the intent at all. I know waaaay too well there are fools among every rank, and I know the reasonable Flyers fans of the world must constantly muddle through the stereotype associated with the kind of Flyers fan who -- well, basically every Flyers fan who has ever emailed me, sadly. That's why I don't generally engage in fanbase bashing or Saturday's sweeping generalizations -- this world teems with idiots, and the colors they arbitrarily choose to wear doesn't change much. (Oh man, but you should see some of the hilariously illiterate and slur-filled email I have received.)
Still, I was mocking a general attitude with the links I included in that post (which I'll elaborate on here just to be annoyingly thorough): When a Flyer does something patently dirty -- such as Chris Pronger jobbing John Tavares' face into the glass away from the play last season, causing a lost tooth, it is rendered "less-than-legal" and a "welcome to the NHL." When an Islander is being foolish but, at minimum, sticking up for his teammates (remember, DP had exactly three other teammates on the ice at the time of the Briere-Nielsen incident), it's "childish" and "baby" behavior.
Likewise, Pronger's taking game pucks during the Stanley Cup final is ordained as Pronger "just doing what he does best" rather than childish gamesmanship that evidently had zero competitive impact. (Imagine if he took someone's first goal puck? Or the puck from the only Stanley Cup final game victory a goalie ever had?) Suffice to say, if "childish" behavior were my standard of choice, I'd give it a thorough contemplation if after losing a game in the Stanley Cup Finals my most important player was focused on stealing collectibles.
But that's fine. Fans are fans, opinions on even the most clear-cut incidents vary, so there's no point in any of this if you can't have fun with it. I know these are just blogs, many of them designed to capture and amplify fan fervor, others designed to fill the void of mainstream media, and still others trying to straddle the difficult line handling both. People will use them as they see fit, and that's perfectly fine (which is why I'm not trolling for arguments over there). It's a new media world that blends credentialed reporting and off-the-cuff editorializing on the fly. So this is not a lecture or an ingenious insight into the character of a fanbase; rather, an explanation of my approach.
When I see a dose of homerism painted in neutral post-game report colors, I reserve the right to mock it with a commensurate (and obviously exaggerated) dose of homerism of my own. That's all.