I know this is the post win optimism speaking. At least partly due to that.
I wonder how many folks have a new view on the meaning being all those OT losses and the direction this team is heading. Those OTLs come across a wide spectrum of teams, some of the em elite and some of them middle of the road. This win against the Rangers is a win against a bubble team (one of those teams that will be slugging it out for the 7th and 8th playoff spots).
As the schedule gets easier the Isles are going to compile wins against those teams. In no way am I suggesting that this makes the Isles a playoff team. I think some folks should reasses whether or not they think this team is going to be a lottery team. You need a lot of things to go wrong in order to finish in the bottom five of this league. This Islanders team has the talent in Okposo, Bergenheim, Bailey, Taveres, Weight, Streit, Roloson and Biron to stay out of the lottery.
If Tambellini finds himself as hockey player we are looking at a very dangerous team this season.
Those OTLs we have been seeing were not a sign of a team on the skids or struggeling. They are a sign of team that's learning to compete, raise their game, play as a team and put forth a good effort. They were a sign of a team learning how to win hockey games the hard way. That's what I have been saying for a while.
This last win is not empirical that those struggles are over but the quality of play shows that the team is on the way up. Okposo has the skills and drive to be one of the premier players in this game. His anticiapation, vision on the ice and ability to stayin the mix are things that can not be taught. This guy is becoming a player that can dictate and change the course of a game.
The rise in Okposo's game is empirical evidence that a players development can be just as good if not better than any UFA can sign off the market. Those never turn at as good as those that celebrate them. If all goes according to plan this team will sign some UFAs in the future. They will not be signed with the idea that they will automatically create a winning product on the ice (Good teams create a winning product and there is a lot more than mere talent that goes into creating a good team). They will be signed to supplement what we have and give this team an edge.
Make no mistake. This team is on the rise and these kids are getting better. Some of them have shown they are much better players than the ones that were here last season.