These are not your Waddell's Thrashers.
Well, actually in a lot of ways they are. True, the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 have a spiffy new uni scheme and a spiffy new arena (relatively ... Winnipeg's [Mystery Science Theatre] Centre is newer than the vacated [King of Spain] Arena in Atlanta). But almost paying an expansion-like penalty, they inherit much of what Don Waddell and the decade of derelict Thrashers ownership left them.
Islanders (3-4-2) vs. Jets (4-6-1)
7 p.m. EDT | MSG+2 (twice the plus!) | Audio: NHL - WRHU
Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Mem. Coliseum
Face of the Reborn: Arctic Ice Hockey (nee Behind the Net)
It's good that the Jets seized NHL fever in Winnipeg and demanded long-term "rebuild-length" ticket commitments from fans. Because odds are it will take a few seasons to rebuild the foundation that Atlanta Spirit (irony not included) so methodically left to die on the vine.
They still have some nice lottery pieces from the Waddell area, and Andrew Ladd has grown into a deserving captain, but the handicaps that kept this team from exciting people in Atlanta are still there.
In a related story:
Yep, Mark Flood in the house. Tobias Enstrom is ruled out, and Mark Stuart is questionable. If the Islanders don't take this one...
All that said, the Jets haven't completely stunk this year, and they and the Islanders could easily be bedfellows all year long. The Jets are scoring a lot (3.46) and their 5-on-5, while not outsanding, is not bottom-feeder level. They're being outshot by about a shot per game. It's also been only 11 games.
If I can only remember they're still an Eastern Conference team. (For now.)
Things That Didn't Last as Long as the Atlanta Thrashers
- Oakland/California (Golden) Seals - 1967-76
- Cleveland Barons (NHL) - 1976-78
- Colorado pre-Devils -1976-82
- Kansas City pre-pre-Devils - 1974-76
- Atlanta Flames - 1972-80
- Chevy Chase's funny period (sadly) - 1975-85
- MTV's era of playing music - 1981-92
So yeah, NHL hockey didn't "work" in Atlanta -- and rather than their longevity be a product of success, it was probably a product of the ownership lawsuit keeping its incompetent owners from shedding the franchise as fast as they wanted to. But as a longtime sports fan I can attest to this: You're at the mercy of your owners, period.
Sometimes economic forces play a bigger role (as in Jets 1.0 and the near-collapse of the Alberta teams). But usually it's owners: Sometimes they're good, usually they're average at best, and no matter what they will ultimately disappoint you by: 1) selling the team to someone with a different agenda (Islanders, Blues, Panthers), 2) dying and leaving the team to a disinterested/in-fighting estate, 3) ending up in jail (Sabres, Kings), 4) ending up in financial ruin (Stars, Coyotes).
That's what happens. So enjoy any good times while they last. You've got one lifetime, and many owners.
Rick DiPietro starts tonight; Al Montoya is the backup. [Straight outta Compton]
You remember that the original Jets were Manitoban (?) Travis Hamonic's team and Keith Tkachuk his favorite, so it's cool for him to face the reconstituted Jets. [Newsday]
Tim Wallace scored a hat trick and Nino Niederreiter made like Kyle Okposo by hitting two posts -- except he also hit -- in the Sound Tigers' 4-3 OT win over the Whale. [Isles official site] [Fornabaio - Soundin Off]
Eight Islanders are doing the Movember thing. Moulson's going all in with a t-shirt, too. Any other takers here? I'd do mine and scare people in my office, but I'd have to call it "Movember-Mecember-Manuary-Mebruary-Menarch" before I established anything beyond some disturbing facial moss.
Coverage of the Tattoo Lou deal at the Coliseum in USA Today and a great piece in the Times. Safe to say this has been a PR winner for both the shop and the club. Slap that on the resumé when looking for "new opportunities in the exciting and fast-moving field of communications." (Sorry, industry jargon coming out.)
Revisiting the Avery silliness: First of all, this is what happens when one publication runs a two-line innuendo based on sources saying a GM has been "coy." Secondly, if a blogger did this, you know PHWA blowhards -- not all members, but the blowhards who say one thing, do another -- would be decrying the lack of "professionalism" and other buzzwords to paint all writers on a certain technological medium with the same dismissive brush. Third, if Garth Snow can seriously cause media to lose their #$%& merely by being "coy" in response to insane questions, then cheers to him and man, if I were him I would wield that power with all the coyness my non-coy personality can muster, just to screw with people who probably need to be screwed with.
The Islanders did the School Day charity circuit and they got into some heavy stuff. I don't pay much attention to this side of things -- I'm all hockey -- but it really is impressive how much community work they do. That's a lot of school visits.
There was discussion of the Blue and Orange Army songs a few weeks ago? Now we see they have a website. Thanks to dunnowhat2type for his effort on transcribing the lyrics before he saw this anyway.
FIG Picks: Make your picks for First Islanders Goal (and assists) in this thread.
The long layoff (again) might cause problems tonight -- it's just nice the schedule actually allows the Islanders to play hockey games again. But with the Jets limping in ... well it's probably best that they not pressure themselves this way, but the Islanders really need to take this game.