Last July (wow, has it really been that long?), I asked LHH introduce me to the world of the New York Islanders to prepare for the absence of my beloved Knicks. I chose the Islanders for no particularly good reason - even me, with my limited hockey knowledge, knew that the Devils and Rangers were most likely going to have better years than the pathetic Isles, but I decided to choose them to start off with.
I figured that worse comes to worst, I would feel no attachment to them and try one of the other teams, or just abandon hockey all together.
Unfortunately though, that didn't happen.
Looking back at the schedule, I vividly remember my father (a casual Rangers fan) saying that he was disappointed his son was watching the Islander’s opener instead of going out on Saturday night like a normal person. I was bored out of my wits that whole game, and even though they won the next one against Minnesota, I was bored during once again. The next two games, though, are the reason I'm still here. Against the Lightening, JT scored two goals and tallied two assists. After that, he had a hat trick plus an assist against the Rangers, both games being wins. It was one thing to read about how good John was, but it was something entirely different to see it for myself, and after those two games, I became a true Islander fan and I accepted John as my personal savior.
Life carried on as normal until December 8th, when the NBA lockout came to an end. I was happy because I would be getting the NBA back, but I couldn't help but think how it would affect how I followed the NHL (part of me hoped it would make me forget I ever did). And by nature of the Knick's schedule and the Islander’s irrelevance, it did have an effect. I watched much fewer games, however I still kept up with them via this site obsessively. Also of note, I attended two games, one in Newark and one at MSG. They got blown out in NJ (it was part two of the trilogy, if I remember correctly), and they lost in the final 5 seconds of overtime in MSG. I still had a blast though. Looking at it now, I chose a terrible time to become an Islander fan. There's a chance they'll move in a few years, and worst, the Devils and Rangers had their best years in years. All around me are happy Devil fans and optimistic Ranger fans, and all alone I sit in my Tavares jersey. Still, I can't wait for next year to start*.
What I concluded my last post with still applies, thanks LHH! Your help and commentary has been indispensable to my immersion in the Isle-verse, and I look forward to disagreeing with you about who the Islanders should draft or what the lines should look like in the future.
*Though as I type this, the Devils are losing 4-0 in game three. So there's that.