Somewhere in between coming home Thursday night to find that the Isles somehow lost to the Kings at home and watching Bill Guerin make a criminally bad pass on the power play against the Canadiens, I realized that we have officially reached that point in the Isles season. After a few months of overachieving, the wheels start to come off and I have to make the decision of wanting to see the Isles make the playoffs or just hoping that they stop playing entirely and save me the money I would spend on a playoff ticket.
I know, I know. I shouldn't give up. I should always stick by the Islanders. And I do. It's not like I'm gonna become a Rangers fan instead. I still have a soul (and a reasonably working set of male genitals). It's just that if this is how the Islanders are going to play to start off a playoff run, well maybe I could, you know, get a different hobby for the next few months and make travel plans for the late spring. The Isles' offensive "attack" is so awful that whenever they go down a goal, I start to feel like the game is over. More importantly, it looks like the Isles have decided the same. If I have to see the vacant, slack-jawed looks on Satan and Vasicek's faces for another game, I'm taking a hostage (note to authorities: just kidding). Ditto for the standard shot of Bergeron sitting on the bench looking pissed about the mistake he just made. And Guerin, God bless him, well after that pass that led to the shorthanded goal the other afternoon, I may have said some very untoward things about him and the similarity he bears to a feminine hygiene product. A lot. I'm not apologizing.
A look at the Isles' schedule for the last month of the season alternately gives me hope and makes me want to get my doctor to prescribe me some more anti-anxiety pills. To wit:
Tue Mar 4, 2008 Islanders v. Rangers
Thu Mar 6, 2008 Rangers v. Islanders
Sat Mar 8, 2008 Islanders v. Flyers
Tue Mar 11, 2008 Islanders v. Lightning
Wed Mar 12, 2008 Islanders v. Panthers
Sat Mar 15, 2008 Islanders v. Canadiens
Tue Mar 18, 2008 Maple Leafs v. Islanders
Fri Mar 21, 2008 Islanders v. Devils
Sun Mar 23, 2008 Islanders v. Flyers
Mon Mar 24, 2008 Penguins v. Islanders
Thu Mar 27, 2008 Islanders v. Penguins
Sat Mar 29, 2008 Flyers v. Islanders
Tue Apr 1, 2008 Devils v. Islanders
Thu Apr 3, 2008 Rangers v. Islanders
Fri Apr 4, 2008 Islanders v. Rangers
Not a lot of easy wins there. And four games against the Rangerks, including a season-ending home-and-home. Oh boy.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that if this team has any heart, now would be a good time to start showing it. Maybe the Tambellini and Nielsen callups will get things going. Maybe Comrie stops auditioning for the role of Jason Blake and starts making better decisions with the puck. Maybe DiPietro finally gets rewarded with some wins.
The Rangers fans are barking, guys. Time to get going.
[On a positive note, Kip Brennan got called up, too. Maybe he'll get to kick some ass. Or rip a fan's shirt off.]