Captain Oh My Captain. When I was 13 the Islanders won their first cup and I sat in Section 324, Row L, Seat 8 (my Dad in Seat 7) on May 24, 1980 and watched it happen. I was in that seat next to my Dad for all three home cup victories and for countless other Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights (in the 70s and 80s - those were almost exclusively the nights when the Islanders played at the NVMC) when my team evolved into a dynasty.
Many of you see the banners, but few understand why those numbers are there, and at the core of those numbers, is 5. It was Denny who established this team, it was his ability to combine offensive talent to that point only exceeded by Orr with a viscious toughness and tenacious intensity that Orr never had - it made him their leader and it allowed them to control all three zones on the ice.
What the current team lacks, what the cleary need, is a player of that ilk. The offense seems to have arrived, it is now the job of Garth and company, to find or develop the kind of dominant physical defenseman who can lead the backline. Luckily, the man Garth wanted to commit a huge amount of money to chose Buffalo, because I dont think Ehrhoff was it. A lack of a tough as steel defensive leader is a glaring weakness, and I do not see anyone in our system who can grow into that role. This team will not be a serious contender for any kind of playoff run until they can cut the goals against and control their own defensive zone. To do that, they must have a player like Denis Potvin.
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