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A Lighter Approach to the Remainder of the New York Islanders’ Season

by Alex Kuhlke | Posted on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

With the New York Islanders’ season coming to an end, it’s hard to find much to look forward to during the final four games – could it be the battle with Calgary for 26th place? Or the fact that we can maybe finish with 80 points?

Finding out where we draft? Potential management changes, meaning an ACTUAL shift in power?

These are all reasonable areas of saddened excitement I suppose, but I’d like to take a more enjoyable approach.

Instead of being the bearer of more bad news, I’m here to remind us (as fans) just what we can look forward to in these final four games. Maybe it’s the female in me, but I’d like to point out the not-so-serious little things we can enjoy for the remainder of the season. Since our season is “over” anyway, we need to enjoy ourselves somehow, right?

Exhibit A: The Rookies.

Because of injuries, the Islanders have had to make quite a few calls down to Bridgeport this season. Johan Sundstrom, Kevin Czuczman, John Persson, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, Calvin de Haan, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Scott Mayfield, Matt Donovan, and the latest, Brett Gallant, have all gotten the call at some point this season. Most of them have been powering through games to make their name remembered in the NHL. Having these rookies up has given a lot of hope to Islanders fans in regards to the future of this team. Especially without John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, these guys are producing fairly well, are earning points and are meshing well with the vets on the ice.

The last four games should be no different, giving us a glimpse into Islanders’ seasons to come. As I watch the Sound Tigers become Islanders, it’s hard to not root for their every move. As the season comes to a close, let’s see just how productive these guys can be. After all, I believe the children are our future.

Matt Carkner has shown he is not afraid to get physical. (Kathy Willens / AP)

Matt Carkner has shown he is not afraid to get physical. (Kathy Willens / AP)

Exhibit B: Matt Carkner.

After complaining all season about Carkner’s mistakes, turnovers, and missed defensive opportunities, it seems as though Islanders fans are now completely on this guy’s side. Maybe it has to do with his new, loveable presence on Twitter, but it could also be the merciless beatings he’s been giving numerous times per game. Fighting breathes life to a struggling bench, and Matt Carkner has been quite the resuscitator. At 6’5”, 235lbs, Carkner has been throwing many a punch as the newly-adopted law enforcer on the ice that he is. Over the rest of this season I am excited to see what kind of fires he can spark by laying down his “Carkanator” moves on some unsuspecting opponents.

Exhibit C: Fights in general for that matter.

Besides Matt Carkner, it’ll be fun to also see how Matt Martin finishes the season. Ever the fighter, Martin never disappoints by protecting his teammates and getting revenge on opponents where it’s due. The new addition of Brett Gallant, a notorious fighter, should also bring a new color to the fighting palate that the Islanders have created this season. And lest we forget Cal Clutterbuck, who can annoy even the most tolerant players into trying to punch his face in – a battle which Clutterbuck usually wins with a mouthguard-populated smile. Hockey fans always love a good fight, so we’ll see what the final four games bring in this department.

Exhibit D: Playoffs.

Even though the Islanders’ season will finish after these four games, it doesn’t mean that our Islanders’ pride has to end for the season also. Being an Islanders fan, more often than not, comes with a rivalry with many teams that are playoff-bound this season. So to continue the blue and orange spirit, I’m very much looking forward to rooting against these teams in the post-season, all in the name of the Isles.

 

Passion is a word us Islanders fans know very well, otherwise we would never have the patience to continue to support this team, so I hope this optimistic outlook I’ve given you helps as we all endure the final four games and beyond this season. So stay strong, Islanders fans- a brighter future is (hopefully) near.

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